Date of Award

May 2017

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

C. Erik Timmerman

Committee Members

Erin Ruppel, Sang-Yeon Kim, Xiaoxia Cao, Scott D'Urso


Anticipatory Socialization, Career Preparation, Information Seeking


Issues with unemployment, underemployment, and inadequate preparation have raised concerns about what colleges are doing to ready students for post-graduate careers, but little discussion exists regarding students’ roles in the process. Students play active roles in the vocational anticipatory socialization process, so this study examines the factors that influence college students to seek career information from two sources: the Internet and campus career centers. The Comprehensive Model of Information Seeking (CMIS) is used as the framework for the study. Data were collected from college students at two campuses, and all students were randomly assigned to respond to survey items about either the Internet or the campus career center. Structural equation modeling was used to test the hypothesized model. Results demonstrated a good fit to the model for the Internet as the information source when a theoretically reasonable path from perceived source quality to perceived source usefulness was added to the model. Internet experience exerted the strongest influence on participants’ Internet self-efficacy, perceptions of information source quality, and, in turn, perceptions of information source usefulness and information seeking intentions. However, several proposed paths were not significant, suggesting the need for replication studies and further research. The data did not fit the model for the campus career center data, even when reasonable modifications were made to the model. Results provide theoretical support for the CMIS as a viable framework beyond health information seeking and identify multiple practical applications and opportunities for future research on career information seeking.