Career services in higher education has a long history of supporting student development and post-graduation success (American Council on Education, 1937; Rayman, 1999; Dey & Cruzvergara, 2014). However, there is a dearth of research identifying specific connections between engagement with career services and student success. College student thriving has been established in previous studies as positively contributing to traditional measures of college student success, including intention to persist, grade point average, institutional fit and satisfaction, and self-reported learning gains (Schreiner, 2013). Examining the relationship of student experience with career services and thriving provides a new way to evaluate the contribution of career services work to college student success. This study utilized the Thriving QuotientTM (Schreiner, 2016), a valid and reliable survey instrument, with 952 clients of Career Services at Brigham Young University. Three career services variables included are frequency of interaction, satisfaction, and quality of engagement with career services. Confirmatory factor analysis established thriving as a second order latent construct and confirmed other latent pathway variables to thriving in the model. The final model explains 72.1% of the total variance of student thriving with excellent model fit. Student experience with career services does not directly contribute to student thriving, but it does strengthen other thriving-supportive variables. Sense of community and major certainty has the strongest overall contribution to thriving. Satisfaction with career services has the largest effect of the career services variables on factors which contribute to thriving: spirituality, sense of community, major certainty, experience with faculty, feelings of institutional integrity, and campus involvement. The contribution of student experience with career services to thriving is indirect, with small to moderate correlations through thriving pathway variables. Thriving Quotient scores of various student demographic groups are compared using independent sample t-tests and one-way ANOVA tests. Students with higher grades and seniors have higher thriving quotient scores; sophomores have lower scores. No significant differences are noted for first-generation students or non-white students.
College and Department
David O. McKay School of Education; Educational Leadership and Foundations
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Chowen, Jodi M., "Thriving in College: The Contribution of Career Services to Student Success" (2022). Theses and Dissertations. 9717.
higher education, student success, career services, thriving, assessment, student affairs