Morales, Nia, & Susan K. Jacobson (2018 February, in press). Assessing natural resource internships: A social cognitive analysis of national diversity programs. Applied Environmental Education and Communication, ePub in advance of print. (Link: https://doi.org/10.1080/1533015X.2018.1435320)

Abstract: We assessed influences of conservation and natural resource (CNR) internships on minority students’ perceptions of self-efficacy and CNR career goals and expectations, based on social cognitive career theory. We conducted six focus groups using Q methodology, surveyed 134 students, and followed up with 23 alumni and a control group of 11 candidates one year later to measure the impacts of three national programs. Results showed significant increases in knowledge, more positive perceptions and outcome expectations, higher self-efficacy, and increased interest in CNR careers. After one year, alumni continued reporting positive changes and greater perceptions of competitiveness for CNR careers than the control group despite both groups having similar rates of volunteerism/job history in CNR. Results also suggest the need to involve students earlier to encourage interest in CNR careers.

Nia Morales <nia.morales@myfwc.com> is with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Gainesville, FL (USA).

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