The STEAM-Active (Project Number: 2021-1-ES01-KA220-HED-000032107) project is funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA). Neither the European Union nor EACEA can be held responsible for them.

Designing and implementing a STEM career maturity program for prospective counselors

Partners' Institution
University of Peloponnese
Year of publication
Educational stage
University Level
Journal name
International Journal of STEM Education volume
Thematic Area
STEAM intervention (teaching strategies, evaluation...), Definition and characteristics of STEAM
The general purpose of the current study was to examine the effectiveness of the STEM career maturity program prepared for fourth-year students of the counseling undergraduate program.
Relevance for Complex Systems Knowledge
In this study, researchers are trying to find answers on how the career counseling competencies of the prospective counselors participating in a STEM career maturity program change.
The study group consisted of fourth-year undergraduate students who were selected via the purposive sampling method from students attending the Department of Counselling at the Faculty of Education of a public university in the 2019–2020 academic year. There were a total of 160 fourth-year students attending this department.

Methodology & Evaluation
The current study employed the mixed-methods sequential explanatory design. In the mixed-methods sequential explanatory design, first, the quantitative data were collected. Next, the qualitative data were collected to reach more detailed explanations and then analyzed. Finally, both the quantitative and qualitative datasets were interpreted together.
The quantitative dimension of the current study was conducted using the quasi-experimental pretest-posttest design with an experimental and a control group. In the qualitative dimension of the study, the phenomenological design was used. The phenomenological design allowed an in-depth exploration of the meanings and experiences that the participants had about the phenomenon (Patton, 2014), as well as how the participants made sense of the concept of STEM career maturity and what experiences they had about the concept. Finally, the quantitative data collected with the quasi-experimental design and the qualitative data collected with the phenomenological design were interpreted together. They use "Career counseling competences and performance indicators scale" and "Focus group interviews" as tools for data collection. Then, they proceeded to quantitative and qualitative data analysis.

There were some quantitative findings that were analyzed and presented in tables in the study.
Four themes were selected as a result of the analysis of the qualitative data, comprising
1. personal and professional development,
2. awareness of the STEM majors and careers,
3. STEM-focused career counseling, and
4. feedback about the program.
Point of Strength
The point of strength of this publication is the detailed and comprehensive data that was collected and presented.
STEM education, Career counseling, Career maturity, Mixed methods