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Perceived objectives and values of the forest service long term training program in systematic analysis Public Deposited

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  • Through its Policy Analysis section, the Forest Service has conducted a Long Term Training Program in Systematic Analysis (hereinafter called the Program) at Michigan State University, then later, jointly at both Michigan State and Oregon State University f or twenty years. Approximately one hundred graduates of the Program are r-ijW in various stages of career development within the Forest Service. A few trainees have quit the Forest Service altogether (Ashford, 1985). The Program is reviewed periodically as part of the monitoring function. Currently, a questionaire is used to determine the effectiveness of the Program in terms of applicability of the presented material to subsequent field work problems; desireability of continuing the Program; identification of opportunities for refinement of the Program; and the rating of the graduate's performance as scored by their immediate supervisor (Leffers, 1986). Although previous reviews have indicated a strong desire to continue the Program, questions regarding the effective utilization of the graduates have arisen. In March of 1985, Eugene Ashford spoke to the current and prospective Program candidates and indicated that only three graduates were in line positions (Ashford, 1985). With these data in mind, the Policy Analysis group has become interested in determining why there was such a low representation in the line positions when one of the underlying (but undocumented) purposes of the Program is to increase the number of line officers with analytical skills (Ashford, 1985) A major question is, what value is placed on the graduates of the Program? The purpose of this paper is to determine what constraints are driving the job selection process and how this Program interrelates with those constraints.
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