A study of current practices in technical vocational curriculum development in community colleges of the western states Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/bk128f59n

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  • 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. Summary 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 professional meetings. 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. Recommendations 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 building.
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