Date of Award

4-2-2015

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EDD)

Degree Program

Educational Leadership

Department

College of Education

First Advisor

Joe Melita

Second Advisor

Adam Kosnitzky

Third Advisor

Mark Luttio

Abstract

A plethora of recent employment surveys have identified the 'talent paradox' implying the inability of the employers to find suitable workers despite the abundant availability of undergraduates reportedly due to the lack of future work skills. Against this backdrop, this study aims to illuminate the need for improving the marketability of the undergraduate students by infusing hitherto untested combination of the two interventional models, namely, Edward de Bono's Six Thinking Hats and Stephen R Covey's 7 Habits of the Highly Effective People. ' The very dynamic nature of the unemployment problem among undergraduates is of current and continuing interest not only to the individual student level but to the educators and policy makers at the national level as well. The study offers two hypotheses. One is to test the relationship between having future work skills and empowering undergraduates for future work life and the second is to test the relationship between the use of the two named interventions and improving the future work skill. Each hypothesis has two research questions. The case study has a mixed research design consisting of predominantly qualitative questions with a touch of quantitative questions. The responses from the individual interviews of 18 undergraduate students and two career counselors of Lynn University to a detailed questionnaire form the primary data collection instrument, further complemented by semi-structured observation and field notes. The findings of this study support both the hypotheses. The application of de Bono's and Covey's models at undergraduate level has been an exception rather than a rule. Thus, there is a need to further explore the scope for introduction of these rarely used models in colleges either as part of curriculum or as a supplement. While the findings from this study provide useful insights into the nature of future work skills to the students, they also help educators and the program developers develop appropriate pedagogical interventions to bridge the skill-gap. Extension of this research to bigger universities and longitudinal studies are the recommendations for further research.

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