An Examination of Adult Undergraduate Students' Perceptions of Career Development, Lifelong/Continuous Learning, and the Development of Possible Selves after Participating in a Career-Based Capstone Experience




Guel, Autumn

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Many of the fundamental elements of education, “the development of intellectual powers and capacities; ethical and civic preparation; personal growth and self-direction” (Kuh, 2008, p. 2) have persisted throughout our educational history however, others are consistently in flux as an ever-changing global society requires that we reevaluate what is needed to empower individuals (Kuh, 2008). Spelling (2005) writes, “in this Age of Information, a quality education has never been more valuable or highly sought. It is the key to unlocking opportunity for an individual, a family, or a society” (p. 3). In response, many educational programs have incorporated high-impact culminating experiences into their programs. These culminating experiences provide students an opportunity to integrate prior learning experiences and to engage in meaningful and authentic learning practices that aid in the development of lifelong/continuous learning skills, “personal and professional development” (Apgar, 2019, p.152), and “support the transition from academics to the world of work” (Devine et. al., 2020, p. 607). However, many employers are finding that college graduates are still not adequately prepared for the workforce (CAEL, 2018). Consequently, there is a need for further understanding of how such programs impact a student’s future development. To address this knowledge gap and suggest relevant implications for practice, this study draws from experiential learning and possible selves theories to examine the perceived sense of progression in career development, lifelong/continuous learning, and the development of possible selves, among adults who have graduated from a culminating capstone experience that incorporated a career development component.



capstone, career development, continuous learning, culminating experience, experiential learning, lifelong learning, possible selves


Guel, A. (2023). An examination of adult undergraduate students' perceptions of career development, lifelong/continuous learning, and the development of possible selves after participating in a career-based capstone experience (Unpublished dissertation). Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.


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