|Abstract or Summary
- The purpose of this study was to investigate the practices of
curriculum development in the community colleges of the western
states and make recommendations for guidelines that can be used to
plan, implement, and evaluate technical vocational programs in the
community colleges. The various functions of other organizations
concerned with curriculum development were considered.
The findings of this study were limited primarily to an analysis
of the facts and opinions concerning the practices of curriculum development
and evaluation of technical vocational education programs
in public community college, as expressed on questionnaires received
from state directors and community college administrators of technical
vocational education in the West.
Fifty-six community college administrators in ten western states
were represented in the investigation. State directors in the same
ten states participated in the study.
The data received from the questionnaire returns were recorded,
analyzed, and interpreted. A comparison of the information from
both administrative groups in the study was made. The literature revealed
data that established a setting for the study by tracing the vocational
education and community college movements, developments
in Oregon, issues in technical vocational education, and trends.
The formal requirements in technical vocational curriculum
development in the ten western states suggest that approvals are required
by the community college and state department of education officials
before a new course or curriculum can be offered. This permission
is especially necessary where state or federal funds are requested
to support the offering.
Recent changes in curriculum development at the community
college level include more extensive use of advisory committees, involvement
of faculty to a greater extent, and strengthening or expanding
the technical vocational offerings, State departments of education
are producing guidelines, working out arrangements with state community
college boards, and contracting with several schools for the
funding of curriculum laboratories. The major resources or other sources of help in curriculum
development were found to be materials developed by other commuity
colleges, U.S. Office of Education materials, state departments
of education, and the professional literature. Many community colleges
were receiving help from occupational advisory committees,
faculty, local surveys, professional organization, and attendance at
Financial support for curriculum development generally was
not found to be budgeted as such at either the community college or
state department of education level. The biggest curriculum development
expenditures at the community colleges were being made for
professional libraries, extra pay for curriculum work, summer employment,
released time to work on curriculum, and travel time and
expenses to visit other community colleges with curriculums of interest.
The state departments of education were employing community
college and curriculum specialists and contracting with other agencies
in addition to providing a professional library.
Curriculum titles found in the study that were offered in the
past are currently the basic offering. No new titles are planned for
the near future. Nonengineering related curriculums outnumber the
engineering related nearly two to one and are the fastest growing in
number and enrollment. Technical vocational education makes up
approximately one-third of total enrollment and this ratio is not
expected to change in the near future.
In the planning and implementing of a new curriculum offering,
the community college administrators must perform a great variety
of activities before the necessary approvals can be obtained. These
activities include involvement of the advisory committee, faculty, and
administration. Data needed to justify the offering are found by using
a community survey, employment service, and information from other
sources. Leadtime needed to estimate and acquire the building
space, equipment, and supplies needed, employ an instructor and recruit
and screen students will take a minimum of nine months.
The community college and state department administrators
agree generally on the criteria appropriate to the evaluation of a
community college technical vocational program. These criteria are
the same as those used to evaluate a successful vocational education
program at the high school level.
In summary it is recommended that the appropriate agency officials
should make every effort to locate the bulk of the technical vocational
curriculum development at the community college level. It
is further recommended that each community college president use
the findings of this study to establish guidelines for technical vocational
curriculum development that are consistent with and will contribute to their institutional goals.
The state departments of education and the U.S. Office of Education
should examine their roles in curriculum development to the
end that greater emphasis, funds, and professional assistance can be
directed to the community college as the main force in curriculum