VISTAS Effective Counseling Interventions, Tools, and Techniques

VISTAS Online is an innovative publication produced for ACA by Dr. Garry R. Walz and Dr. Jeanne C. Bleuer of Counseling Outfitters, LLC. Its purpose is to provide a means of capturing the ideas, information and experiences generated by the annual ACA Conference and selected ACA Division Conferences. Papers on a program or practice that has been validated through research or experience may also be submitted. This digital collection of peer-reviewed articles is authored by counselors, for counselors. VISTAS Online contains the full text of over 900 proprietary counseling articles published from 2004 to 2017.

The Impact of Vocational and Personality Factors on Career Development of First-Year College Students

Beth Wasylow, Ramona Mellott, and William E. Martin, Jr.


In 1969, Super wrote that adolescents are in a crucial stage of exploring and confirming their career plans. Fast forward 30 years and Arnett’s (2000)research has concurred with Super and suggested that the emerging adults of today view their career potential
as limitless, with or without career planning. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (1999–2000) has predicted that by the year 2008, 12 of the 20 fastest growing occupations will require an associate degree or higher.  Thus, it is necessary that vocational planning views individuals’ needs through the career decision-making stage they are in, their interests, and unique personality variables (Borchard, 1995). One must be interested in
one’s vocational pursuits and qualified to meet the demands of the job to attain the best person environment fit possible. For many, both interest and ability are marked on a continuum. How individuals perceive themselves as fitting into their environment
plays a role in understanding first-year college students’ career development as it relates to career decision making. Okun and Finch (1998) found that college students who experienced a good fit within their environment and self-understanding also reported
having an educational plan (i.e., a declared major), which ultimately led to increases in retention rates at the university level.

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