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Career Decision Making Experiences of College Students in the Visual Arts

Title: The Career Decision Making Experiences of College Students in the Visual Arts.
Name(s): Cooley, Jill A. (Jill Allison), author
Sampson, James P., Jr., professor directing dissertation
Padavic, Irene, outside committee member
Peterson, Gary W., committee member
Reardon, Robert C., committee member
Department of Educational Psychology and Learning Systems, degree granting department
Florida State University, degree granting institution
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2007
Publisher: Florida State University
Florida State University
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Florida
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: Over the past several decades, job opportunities in the arts have decreased, while the number of college students pursuing majors in the arts has increased. In addition to the difficulty artists' face, college students encounter major developmental changes which impact their career decisions. While much research has been dedicated to college student development and career decision making, little is known about these elements as they relate to college students who major in the arts. The discrepancy between the number of jobs in the arts, and the number of college students pursuing the arts, has important implications for career services. The lack of information about college students in the arts can hinder career development professionals' ability to provide the most relevant services to these students. The present study focuses on college students in the visual arts. The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore and gain a deeper understanding of the career decision making experiences of college students who pursue a major in the visual arts. The phenomenological perspective provided a framework for data collection and analysis. In-depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted with eight participants who were pursuing college majors in the visual arts. At the time of the interviews four participants were entering the major and four were preparing to graduate. These two groups were selected in order to gain understanding about the perspective of students at different points in their college experience. Through data analysis, nine common themes were identified and grouped according specific experiences, difficulties and challenges, and perceived benefits associated with their career decision making. The nine themes are: 1) Childhood artistic/creative development; 2) Teachers and mentors; 3) Being part of a creative community; 4) Considering a career path without art; 5) Parental influence; 6) Support/resources; 7) Congruence with identity; 8) Motivated by challenges; and 9) Making a contribution. The common experience expressed by participants was that their decision to pursue a major and career in the visual arts was challenging, but also very rewarding. This study provides important information about the career decision making experiences and needs of college students in the visual arts. Additionally, differences between students entering the major and those preparing to graduate provide information about their experience at different stages of their development. The findings of this study have implications for future research, and the design and implementation of career services for college students in the visual arts.
Identifier: FSU_migr_etd-3416 (IID)
Submitted Note: A Dissertation submitted to the Department of Educational Psychology and Learning Systems in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Degree Awarded: Summer Semester, 2007.
Date of Defense: June 8, 2007.
Keywords: Career Advising Artists
Bibliography Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Advisory Committee: James P. Sampson, Jr., Professor Directing Dissertation; Irene Padavic, Outside Committee Member; Gary W. Peterson, Committee Member; Robert C. Reardon, Committee Member.
Subject(s): Arts
Persistent Link to This Record:
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Host Institution: FSU

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Cooley, J. A. (J. A. ). (2007). The Career Decision Making Experiences of College Students in the Visual Arts. Retrieved from