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An analysis of attitudes and opinions of employer groups concerning cooperative vocational education

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  • The Purpose of the Study: The major purpose of this study was to determine if there were differences among the opinions of participating employers, previous participating employers, and non- participating employers concerning cooperative vocational education,. The hypothesis that there is no significant difference among the mean scores for the three employer groups was tested. Specifically, the objectives were to: (1) determine, utilizing the Delphi technique, a consensus of cooperative vocational education experts regarding values, objectives, program elements and future direction of cooperative vocational education; (2) develop a survey questionnaire based upon the consensus of the Delphi panel members; (3) determine by analysis of questionnaire results if there are differences in the opinions and attitudes of employer groups regarding the values, objectives, program elements and future direction of cooperative vocational education; and (4) ascertain areas of concern, consensus or variations of opinions from the business sector regarding cooperative vocational education. The Procedures: Construction and validation of the questionnaire were accomplished through a review of literature and an evaluation and consensus by six Delphi panel members. A mail survey questionnaire containing 29 value statements, 78 program elements and objectives statements, and three future direction statements, together with a five-point Likert- type scale, was used to gather the data. The sample for the study consisted of 25 participating employers, 25 previous-participating employers, and 25 non-participating employers, all randomly selected from lists supplied by career education directors from Oregon secondary schools. These schools were identified as offering five or more occupational clusters during the 1974-75 school year, having an ongoing cooperative vocational education program, and having received Part G funding within the last six years. The F statistic was used to analyze contrasts among the mean scores for each statement with the .05 level of significance being used to determine differences existing among the three groups. A test of Least Significant Difference was used to determine where significant differences existed between means of statements which were rejected in the analysis of variance test. Selected Findings and Conclusions: The analysis of variance test indicated that the three employer groups were alike in their responses to statements contained in the questionnaire; but significant differences did occur in one of 29 value statements, one of 78 program elements and objectives statements, and one of three future direction statements. The hypothesis was retained on 107 of the 110 statements. In a ranking of the highest and lowest mean scores for the three employer groups, ten statements scored above 4.00 and 15 statements scored below 2.50 by all groups. The three employer groups agreed there was value in cooperative vocational education programs. Selected Suggestions for Further Study: In view of the findings and conclusions of the study, it is sug gested additional research be conducted to assess if variations do exist between the three employer groups concerning cooperative vocational education. It is also suggested further study be made in the areas of teacher education and in-service education in the areas where total agreement was not reached by the three groups. In addition, research should be conducted in the areas where all three employer groups reached concurrence in agreement or disagreement to statements to provide for further program expansion involving the business community.
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