Program Evaluation of Career Development Services in Five Turkish Schools: A Preliminary Study
School counselors in Turkey, like in many other countries, are tasked with providing career development services within the broader school curriculum. Yet, both globally as well as in Turkey, the unemployment rate among youth continues to rise. In addition, Turkey is home to thousands of Syrian refugees largely concentrated in four cities, creating another layer of challenge for school counselors as career development providers. Effective programs are essential more than ever before, yet very few rigorous efforts at evaluating such programs are in place. In Turkey there are some recent policies governing both career practices and their evaluation, which represents a promising beginning for evaluating these programs locally and nationally. This preliminary qualitative study aims to provide such an example of program evaluation by measuring six key components as identified by the Career Builders Toolkit, an empirically based tool designed to develop and evaluate career and workforce development programs. Five school counseling programs in the city of Gaziantep, Turkey (which is among the cities with a very high Syrian refugee populations), were purposefully selected. Their program materials were content analyzed and, encoded around the Career Builders Toolkit six key components, were rated as being Sufficient, Existing, or Absent, thus providing information about the growth areas still needed in these school-based career development curricula. Among the largest growth areas identified were trainer curriculum and evaluation. Implications for policy, research, and practice are provided based on a Tripartite Model of Program Evaluation.
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