A high school internship program as an informed decision-making influence: a quantitative case study
Sisemore, Micheal James
This study examined the change of College and Career Readiness (CCR) perceptions high school students reported as a result of a semester long internship program. The primary perceptions being measured included informed decision making, career choice awareness, college choice awareness, and clarity of the students futures after high school. This quantitative case study was grounded in Conley's (2008) defining work on CCR of high school students. Fifteen high school students that completed the internship program replied to pre and post program surveys. The data analysis suggests that internship program interventions can provide high school students with experiences that broaden their understanding of choices and their ability to make informed forward-looking decisions. A Mann-Whitney U analysis did not reveal a statistical significance. However, the results demonstrated practical significance within six constructual factors including, Decision making confidence, education and community awareness, skills and interest confidence, career choice confidence, college choice confidence, and external influences. The data led the researcher to suggest that a broad longitudinal study be conducted across many internship programs that would inform an innovative high school curriculum to redefine CCR as its needs evolve. Limitations of the study are discussed as are additional recommendations.