The effects of local advisory committees on secondary school vocational programs in Oregon as perceived by committee representatives and administrators Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/g158bk84f

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  • Purpose of the Study: The purpose of the study was to determine the characteristics of existing secondary school advisory committees and the effects that these groups have on local vocational programs which they serve. The major purpose of this study was to ascertain, through statistical analyses, the degree to which perceived effectiveness correlates with selected group characteristics. Procedures: The subjects for the initial portion of the study were administrators representing each of Oregon's 220 secondary high schools. They were sent an initial survey questionnaire in order for them to (a) identify vocational programs that have advisory committees and (b) designate a member of each committee as the contact person. One hundred eighty-two administrators responded to the initial survey. From these responses, a sample was selected for the second part of the study. A stratified random selection was made so that small, medium, and large schools were equally represented. The following vocational areas were equally represented within each level of school size: agriculture, business, trade and industrial, and home economics. The above sample included a total of 96 committees. For each of the 96 committees, a Characteristics and Effects Questionnaire was sent to the committee representative designated in the initial survey and to the school administrator most closely associated with the committee. The Characteristics and Effects Questionnaire was designed to collect information about advisory committee composition, functions, organizational structure, ways and extent to which these committees were utilized, and the internally-perceived effectiveness of these committees. Of the 192 potential respondents, 87 committee representatives and 94 administrators completed the Questionnaire. The statistical procedures used to assess the results of the Characteristics and Effects Questionnaire were the multivariate and univariate analyses of variance, t-test, chi-square, and regression analysis. Each of these statistics used a computed Effectiveness Score as the dependent variable. This Score was a composite of the answers to 16 items on the Questionnaire which allowed the respondents to give their assessment of committee performance in specific functional areas. Conclusions In this study, the following factors were related to higher ratings on the dimension of perceived effectiveness: task orientation of the committee as measured by such variables as having written agendas, minutes, and statements of objectives; having mechanisms for dropping ineffective members; having officers; a committee size of eight to ten members; and selection of advisory committee members by the advisory committee itself. Committees in larger schools tended to receive higher ratings on the dimension of perceived effectiveness than committees in smaller schools. Other variables in this study, besides those used in the computation of the Effectiveness Score, were viewed as possible effectiveness measures. Nearly all of these were significantly related to the Score. This relationship helped affirm the content validity of the Effectiveness Score as a measure of perceived effectiveness. Recommendations for Further Study It is recommended that: 1.) the effect of committee members' educational levels on committee effectiveness be assessed, 2.) a study be made of the interaction effects between members' educational disciplines and the type of advisory committee to which they belong as these variables relate to the effectiveness dimension, and 3.) the optimum committee characteristics found in the present study be manipulated in a controlled experiment. An objective effectiveness measure should be developed to assess the results.
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