Types Of Decided And Undecided Students


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Types Of Decided And Undecided Students

  1. 1. Types of Decided and Undecided Students George Steele [email_address] University of Southern Maine Workshop
  2. 2. Overview <ul><li>Review types as identified by Virginia Gordon </li></ul><ul><li>Categorize students from case studies into typology </li></ul><ul><li>Review areas identified in selected article for discussion </li></ul>Steele, G. (2003), A research-based approach to working with undecided students: A case study, NACADA Journal, 23 (1 & 2) 10- 26.
  3. 3. What types describe your students? <ul><li>Case Study 1: Parent Interfering </li></ul><ul><li>Case Study 2: Impulsive Decision Maker </li></ul><ul><li>Case Study 3: Competitive Program – Lack of Skills </li></ul>
  4. 4. Types of decided/undecided <ul><li>Very Decided </li></ul><ul><li>Somewhat Decided </li></ul><ul><li>Unstable Decided </li></ul><ul><li>Tentatively Undecided </li></ul><ul><li>Developmentally Undecided </li></ul><ul><li>Seriously Undecided </li></ul><ul><li>Chronically Indecisive </li></ul>Virginia N. Gordon, (1998) Career Decidedness Types: A Literature Review, Career Development Quarterly, 46,4, 386-403.
  5. 5. Background to Gordon’s Types <ul><li>Synthesis of 15 studies on decided/ undecided students from 1977 to 1996. </li></ul><ul><li>One advantage of identifying general sub-types of students who exhibit some common characteristics is that possible interventions can be designed to focus on the patterns of needs and concerns …. when they are making educational and career related decision. (p. 391) </li></ul><ul><li>Sub-types based on decision status </li></ul>
  6. 6. Very decided <ul><li>Feel good about themselves - believe they have personal control over their lives and can make good decisions - consider their future career important to them </li></ul><ul><li>Describe themselves as implementing a choice or making plans </li></ul><ul><li>Satisfied with choice </li></ul>
  7. 7. Somewhat decided <ul><li>Lack appropriate occupational or self-information </li></ul><ul><li>May be thwarted by institutional barriers or may be unrealistically influenced by positive job market prospects </li></ul><ul><li>Higher levels of state and trait anxiety compared to very decided </li></ul><ul><li>Doubt about “correctness” of decisions </li></ul><ul><li>May become “Major-changers” </li></ul><ul><li>Need help re-tracing reasons for decisions </li></ul>
  8. 8. Unstable decided <ul><li>Clear about future career but unclear about their goals or values </li></ul><ul><li>Lack self-efficacy – have high level of anxiety and lack confidence in there ability to perform – do not seek help because they are “decided” </li></ul><ul><li>Can be described as decided – indecisive </li></ul><ul><li>May experience ambivalence about their choice </li></ul><ul><li>May need counseling for their lack of confidence in their ability to perform adequately and may have high goal instability </li></ul>
  9. 9. Tentatively undecided <ul><li>Happy and playful, though undecided, close to a decision </li></ul><ul><li>Feel comfortable with self and situation </li></ul><ul><li>Intuitive decision makers – considering several academic/career alternatives </li></ul><ul><li>While they might have the fewest career decision-making difficulties; they may need help in organizing their decision making process </li></ul><ul><li>May have fear of commitment </li></ul>
  10. 10. Developmentally undecided <ul><li>Student dealing with normal developmental tasks; may resolve indecision through maturation </li></ul><ul><li>Happy and work oriented – may have identified several tentative career choices </li></ul><ul><li>Building competencies to perform developmental tasks required to make a commitment to choice </li></ul><ul><li>Confident but uninformed - need to gather more information about the world of work and self and work on decision-making skills </li></ul><ul><li>May need help in narrowing choices </li></ul>
  11. 11. Seriously undecided <ul><li>Low levels of vocational identity and self-esteem </li></ul><ul><li>Perceive external barriers and rely on others to make decisions </li></ul><ul><li>Moderate levels of state and trait anxiety </li></ul><ul><li>Students may not be far from a decision, but something is blocking their path (frustrated) or looking for perfect choice (perfectionist) </li></ul><ul><li>May need counseling - personal concerns must be addressed before traditional career exploration activities can take place </li></ul>
  12. 12. Chronically indecisive <ul><li>Distressed, unclear about career options – excessive anxiety – may have fear of commitment or motivated by socially prescribed perfectionism </li></ul><ul><li>High levels of state and trait anxiety </li></ul><ul><li>Lack strong motivation to become clear about their values and goals </li></ul><ul><li>Fear of commitment and perfectionism may be part of the indecisive personality </li></ul><ul><li>These students need probably long-term counseling to address personal issues before academic/vocational issues can be addressed </li></ul>
  13. 13. What types describe your students? <ul><li>Case Study 1: Parent Interfering </li></ul><ul><li>Case Study 2: Impulsive Decision Maker </li></ul><ul><li>Case Study 3: Competitive Program – Lack of Skills </li></ul>
  14. 14. Sub-types of decided and undecided students? <ul><li>What are the implications for development of services at a campus level? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>For configuration of services? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>For training? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>For availability of resources? </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Area in article for further discussion <ul><li>Advising Interview </li></ul><ul><li>Indecisive vs. undecided </li></ul><ul><li>Models for decision making </li></ul><ul><li>Sub-types of decided and undecided students </li></ul><ul><li>Characteristics of undecided students </li></ul><ul><li>Major changing students </li></ul><ul><li>Organizational models </li></ul><ul><li>Training: Conceptual, Informational, and Relationship </li></ul>
  16. 16. The advising interview <ul><li>Opening Interview </li></ul><ul><li>Identifying the problem </li></ul><ul><li>Identifying possible solutions </li></ul><ul><li>Taking action on solution </li></ul><ul><li>Summarizing the transaction </li></ul>Virginia N. Gordon (1992). Handbook of Academic Advising , Greenwood Publishing, Inc. Westport CT, p.53
  17. 17. Undecided students <ul><li>“Students who were unwilling, unable or unready to make educational or vocational decisions.” </li></ul>Virginia N. Gordon (1995). The undecided college student: An academic and career advising challenge, 2nd edition, Charles Thomas, Publishers. p. X
  18. 18. Indecisive students… <ul><li>Have difficulty making any decision </li></ul><ul><li>Tend to have higher levels of anxiety </li></ul><ul><li>Difficulty making a commitment to a particular course of action </li></ul>
  19. 19. Characteristics of undecided students <ul><li>Much of the research is contradictory and confusing - Lewallen (1993) </li></ul><ul><li>Generally not different for the rest of the student population – some might have more anxiety about the choice. </li></ul><ul><li>Variables/ideas useful: self-efficacy, anxiety and occupational choice, ego-identity status, identity and vocational maturity, persistence and academic success, etc…. </li></ul>
  20. 20. Models of decision making <ul><li>Gordon (1992) conceptual grouping: self-assessment, educational, occupational and decision making knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Schein and Laff (1997) start with dialogue - an academic major is an artificial construct </li></ul><ul><li>Beck (1999) used chaos theory as a metaphor </li></ul><ul><li>Bertrum (1996) used a continuum of five types of information: data, information, knowledge, understanding, and wisdom – need to move beyond information. </li></ul>
  21. 21. Major-changing students/Over subscribed majors <ul><li>Who are these students at UMS? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the majors that are oversubscribed? </li></ul><ul><li>What resources/services do they have? </li></ul>
  22. 22. Organizational models <ul><li>Faculty only </li></ul><ul><li>Supplementary </li></ul><ul><li>Split </li></ul><ul><li>Dual </li></ul><ul><li>Total intake </li></ul><ul><li>Satellite </li></ul><ul><li>Self-contained </li></ul>Habley, Wes (1983) Organizational structures for academic advising: Models and implications, Journal of College Student Personnel , 24(6) 535-540.