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Motivation through relevance: how career models motivate student career goals

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This study addresses the problem of high school graduates with learning disabilities who are unprepared for higher education and the workplace because of limited exposure to career professionals and perceived barriers. The purpose of this study is to examine how

This study addresses the problem of high school graduates with learning disabilities who are unprepared for higher education and the workplace because of limited exposure to career professionals and perceived barriers. The purpose of this study is to examine how a career exploration model, entitled CaMPs (Career Model Professionals) influences students’ career decision-making self-efficacy. CaMPs incorporates exposure to career role models, as well as career research and self-reflection. CaMPs proivides students with learning disabilities first-hand accounts of successful career professionals, to assist them in setting academic and career goals that are aligned to their personal strengths. This mixed methods study develops and evaluates a career based innovation for high school students and reviews the relationship between the innovation and students’ self-efficacy. Students completed a self-efficacy survey (Career Decision Self-Efficacy - Short Form: CDSE) before and after the implementation of the CaMPs program. A t-test comparing pre- and post-survey scores indicated that there was a significant increase in self-efficacy after completion of the program. Qualitative data revealed changes in students’ career interests and new considerations to their career preparation process after participating in the CaMPs innovation. This study will be useful in the development of career programs for high school students, particularly those with learning disabilities, to assist them in choosing and preparing for their future careers.

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2017

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A college entrance essay exam intervention for students with disabilities and struggling writers: a randomized control trial

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High school students with high-incidence disabilities and struggling writers face considerable challenges when taking high-stakes writing assessments designed to examine their suitability for entrance to college. I examined the effectiveness of a writing intervention for improving these students’ performance on

High school students with high-incidence disabilities and struggling writers face considerable challenges when taking high-stakes writing assessments designed to examine their suitability for entrance to college. I examined the effectiveness of a writing intervention for improving these students’ performance on a popular college entrance exam, the writing assessment for the ACT. Students were taught a planning and composing strategy for successfully taking this test using the Self-Regulated Strategy Development (SRSD) model. A randomized control trial was conducted where 20 high school students were randomly assigned to a treatment (N = 10) or control (N = 10) condition. Control students received ACT math preparation. SRSD instruction statistically enhanced students’ planning, the quality of their written text (including ideas and analysis, development and support, organization, and language use), the inclusion of argumentative elements in their compositions, and the use of transition words in written text. Limitations of the study, future research, and implications for practice are discussed.

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2017