Year of Publication

2014

Degree Name

Master of Science in Family Sciences (MSFS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis

College

Agriculture, Food and Environment

Department

Family Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Donna R. Smith

Abstract

This article explored the experiences of college graduates in their program of study and during their transition from college graduation to the workplace. Factors focused on were perceptions of program and curriculum, employment preparation, connections to faculty and relationships with family members. Six individuals who graduated from the University of Kentucky Family Sciences (FAM) Department were interviewed. Participants openly shared positive and negative experiences. The study was examined through two theoretical lenses: Glen Elder’s life course perspective and Ludwig von Bertalanffy’s general systems theory. Participant interviews were transcribed verbatim and transcriptions were analyzed with inductive coding. Central themes that emerged included connections and networking, feelings in classes/curriculum/program, support and challenges within family relationships, transferring majors, ambiguity and lack of direction and graduate school. Findings from the study showed that graduates generally felt positively about their program of study and its translation to the workplace, though challenges were experienced in understanding what FAM was and what type of job it could lead to. Connections and networking within personal and professional relationships were found to be a crucial component of experiences.

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