Date of Award

Spring 5-2019

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Educational Administration



Major Professor

Dr. Brian Beabout


Recent college graduates are clearly facing significant labor market challenges and statistics show that college graduates will more likely find themselves unemployed or underemployed rather than gainfully employed in the current job market. The purpose of this study was to examine the career identity development of non-public high school seniors taking a career preparation program involving internships within all career pathways, not just those requiring a bachelor’s degree or higher. Individual interviews were conducted with ten students, the program director, and four site coordinators to gain the insight from their experiences with the career development course. Results from this study indicated that students experienced a high level of student engagement in the program, exposure to real-world experience in careers, and meaningful relationships with adults who participated in the program. Findings in this study also indicated how self-awareness and self-confidence gained from participating in the program lead to the development of a positive career identity. This study can be used to inform schools and school districts of the value of internships on the development of career identity.


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