Dissertations, Theses and Capstone Projects

Date of Award


Degree Type



Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Susan Stockdale

Second Advisor

Dr. Angela Blaver

Third Advisor

Dr. Annisa Vega


The purpose of this study was to investigate an effective career guidance intervention by means of: (a) comparing two computer assisted career guidance (CACG) systems, GA College 411 and Career Cruising; (b) comparing adoption rates between the two CACG systems; (c) comparing two intervention interval times, massed vs. spaced; and (d) comparing variables of gender and ethnicity. The theoretical lens for this investigation included: (a) Career Development Theory; (b) Social Cognitive Theory; (c) Diffusion Theory; and (d) Cognitive Information Processing Theories. This study utilized a convenient sample of 150 ninth grade students, enrolled a large high school in Georgia, randomly assigned into five treatment groups: (a) Career Cruising massed; (b) GA College 411 massed; (c) Career Cruising spaced; (d) GA College 411 spaced; and (e) the comparison group. At the beginning of the study, all participants were asked to complete a pretest of the Career Decision Self-Efficacy Scale-Short Form (Betz, Klein, & Taylor, 1996). Students in the massed treatment groups were provided with a one-time, 90- minute, career intervention using one of the two CACG systems. Students in the spaced treatment groups were provided with the same intervention as the massed treatment group, but their intervention was spaced out over three, 30-minute, sessions. At the conclusion of all treatments, participants were asked to complete a posttest of the CDSES-SF, the technology acceptance model-questionnaire (TAM-Q), survey and open- ended questions, and to report the number of CACG log-ins for the duration of the study. The results indicated that both GA College 411 and Career Cruising were effective career development interventions and that a spaced career lesson was more effective than one massed lesson for increasing ninth grade students' career decision self-efficacy. Additionally, the ninth grade students indicated that GA College 411 was a superior CACG system to Career Cruising in the areas of: (a) self-appraisal; (b) gathering information; (c) goal selection; (d) planning; (e) perceived usefulness; (f) transcript information; and (g) college information regarding tuition, majors, and campus life. Implications for theory, practice, and future research are discussed.