An international research team under the leadership of Dr. Norman Amundson (University of British Columbia) and Dr. Spencer Niles (Penn State University) is undertaking a CERIC-funded exploratory research project on the importance of “HOPE” for the career exploration and decision-making of entry-level college and university students.

This study will use the Hope-Centered Career Inventory (HCCI) and in-depth interviewing with a group of college students in both Canada and the U.S. to create a better understanding of how hope contributes to career outcomes such as vocational identity, school engagement, academic achievement and career aspirations.

This project will contribute to confirming a new theoretical perspective in the career counselling field: the Hope-Centered Model of Career Development (HCMCD; Niles, Amundson & Neault, 2011). The Hope-Centered Career Inventory (HCCI), developed on the basis of HCMCD, will enable researchers to examine the model’s relationships with other constructs.

The project can also identify the relationship between hope and other variables pertaining to students’ school engagement and vocational identity. Many studies have been done with the topic of school engagement; however linking it with career hope has not been attempted. With an international research team members from six different countries (Canada, U.S., South Korea, Taiwan, China and Bermuda), there is potential to understand the Canadian and U.S. context from a global perspective.

The effects of hope on career outcomes are under-researched. This project will identify how hope could enhance students’ vocational identity and school engagement. Furthermore, no research has been conducted to identify contributors to shaping one’s hope. The researchers expect that this project will stimulate interest among career counsellors and career development researchers in examining the causes and effects of career hope in a college setting.

It is anticipated that this project will lay a foundation for the development of appropriate hope-based interventions for working with this population, e.g., using social media and games, for high school and college students.

Follow the research on its CERIC project page.