School of Education


Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)


Phillip Alsup


childhood career development, middle school, career exploration, quantitative


Education | Vocational Education


Career development is a lifelong process that begins in childhood and continues throughout adulthood. Little effort has been devoted to childhood career development; the focus is generally for older adolescents. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the differences in career development between general education and special education students who participate in a career development intervention and students that do not participate in the intervention. The results of this study are important to special education, so adequate interventions can be completed to better assist these students in career development. The study is a quasi-experimental nonequivalent control-group design that compares three treatment schools to three comparison schools. The Childhood Career Development Scale was used to evaluate the career development progress of sixth-grade students. The sample consisted of 279 sixth-grade students with 151 boys and 128 girls with a mean age of 11.8 years. A two-way multivariate analysis of variance evaluated the subscales on the Childhood Career Development Scale for each group of students. The results show no significant difference between students that participated in the curriculum and those that did not participate and no significant interaction between curriculum and educational placement. There were significant differences in the subscales of planning, time perspective, locus of control, and interests between general education and special education students, with general education students having a statistically higher mean score in those subscales. Future research could include longitudinal studies that explore career development over time and incorporate early career development activities that transition to in-depth exploration.