College and Career Exploration Group Manual

Date of Award

Spring 5-11-2018

Document Type

Project (696 or 796 registration)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Counseling


Graduate Studies

Committee Chair

Taryn Akgul


Career, Exploration, Group



This group manual was written to give a brief outline of what career exploration could look like in a high school setting. Two different career theories were researched use in the manual. Holland’s RIASEC theory is one of the most commonly used assessments in career counseling as well as in schools for career exploration with students. Research shows that Holland’s theory is valid and still valuable today. This theory gives students a code based on their personality and career interests. This code is then used to help students identify careers that match up with those interests. Limitations of Holland’s theory includes the lack of the social influences students have when it comes to their career choices. Another career theory that research has shown to supplement Holland’s theory is Social Cognitive Career Theory. This theory fills the gap in Holland’s RIASEC theory and addresses the social influences on career choice. Social Cognitive Career Theory considers different social influences on a student’s view on jobs. This theory also considers the students own self-efficacy when it comes to different careers and what they think will work best for them. These theories have been used before together in other instances and research shows they work very well together. Other factors that were researched before implementing this group manual was how school counselors felt about implementing career exploration and interest inventories as well as how well do these career theories work in a group setting versus just individually. School Counselors felt that even though career exploration was part of their job they felt more comfortable working with students on social-emotional problems then career exploration. Other research showed the importance of using groups to help build self-efficacy and belief in students who are exploring different careers. The research seems to support this group. Both the premise and theories used have sufficient research behind them to validate the need for this group to be used in a school.

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