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Technological decision making in career services

Christine Kay Davis Timm, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


Student affairs offices used technological systems to manage interactions with student customers in a real time environment. Such student interaction management systems performed administrative tasks, provided usage reports, and, most importantly, delivered services directly to students. Career services used systems to record student interactions and facilitate interactions between students and career opportunities. The purpose of this study was to understand career center directors' and staff's perceptions of characteristics related to student interaction management system decision making. The study took place during November and December 2003. ^ The review of literature included a brief history of values guiding student affairs and career services; technology usage in student affairs and career services; and challenges regarding technology selection and implementation. A case study methodology was used. Data were primarily collected through audio-taped phone interviews with ten women and nine men who served professional roles within career centers. Participants were selected due to their involvement in a collaborative project with their professional association to create a placement related student interaction management system. Analysis of the data was done through several levels of categorizing and coding information. In analyzing data collected from interviews with participants, the research questions were answered in five themes and four sub-themes. Customer behavior/needs was the first theme. Director was the second theme focusing on the multiple roles of the director. The third theme was process with one sub-theme of change. The fourth theme was infrastructure and included three sub-themes: autonomy, resources, and technological tools. The fifth theme was recommendations and summarized the ideas presented within the other themes. In addition, participants described a chronology of technology usage in career centers. ^ The findings revealed the need for strong leadership and a supportive infrastructure to make positive technology decisions. Career centers benefited through strategic planning processes focused on addressing customer needs when considering new or changed technology. Career center professionals were advised to gain technology decision making skills through individual activities, graduate courses, professional associations, and interactions with other professionals. ^

Subject Area

Education, Administration|Education, Guidance and Counseling|Education, Technology of

Recommended Citation

Timm, Christine Kay Davis, "Technological decision making in career services" (2004). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3159565.