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ERIC Number: ED525212
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 245
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1244-8306-1
A Qualitative Understanding of Occupational Engagement in College Students
Bjornsen, Abby L.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Kansas
The purpose of the current study is to examine the transition experiences of college students nearing graduation through the lens of occupational engagement. The construct of occupational engagement is defined as "...taking part in behaviors that contribute to the decision-maker's fund of information and experience of the larger world, not just the world as processed when a career decision is imminent" (Krieshok, Black, & McKay, 2009, p. 284). The Occupational Engagement Scale-Student, OES-S (Cox, 2008) was administered to 205 college seniors at a large Midwestern university. The OES-S is a 14-item questionnaire on a five-point Likert scale that has been empirically demonstrated to support the argument that the construct of occupational engagement is important to the success of college students. Ten students scoring in the upper 10% on the OES-S (five males and five females) and ten students scoring in the lower 10% on the OES-S (five males and five females) were contacted via email and asked for their participation in a 30-minute, in-person interview. Interviews were conducted on-campus, during the daytime hours, and at the convenience of each interviewee. Upon interviewee consent, each interview was audio-recorded. Audiotapes were transcribed and coded for themes. Due to the exploratory nature of the current study, existing literature did not serve as a basis for theme development. Therefore, a grounded theory approach was utilized, with themes emerging during the process of data analysis. Results are presented via eighteen sub-themes and categories falling under four meta-themes: (1) On (and Around) the Fence; (2) Internal Processes; (3) External Factors; and (4) Taking Action. It was ultimately concluded that the construct of occupational engagement as it has been operationally defined plays a critical role in the experience of transitioning from college for these 20 individuals nearing graduation. Limitations of the current study are discussed, and directions for future research are provided. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A