A perceptual study regarding the importance of identified university cooperative education coordinator tasks and preferred organizational formats Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/h128nh432

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  • Purpose of the Study: The purpose of this study was to determine the perceptions of university cooperative education coordinators regarding the importance of tasks identified by cooperative education experts as being critical to the operation of university programs. The study was also concerned with coordinators' preferences regarding the organizational formats used to perform the identified tasks. Methods and Procedures: A search of the literature and review by a jury of experts resulted in a list of 35 tasks identified as being important to the coordination of university cooperative education programs. Perceptions regarding the relative importance of, and responsibility for, these tasks were acquired by analyzing mail questionnaire responses from 197 university cooperative education coordinators representing 28 universities from seven identified geographic regions of the United States. The data were analyzed with use of descriptive statistics, factor analysis, one-way analysis of variance, and Chi Square. Findings and Conclusions: Coordinators believed that tasks related to placement site development were the most important. Coordinators generally agreed with the experts regarding the importance of the identified tasks. Respondents reported that 32 of the 35 tasks were either "important" or "very important" to the operation of their program. They felt that the least important tasks were related to conducting surveys and teaching classes related to cooperative education experiences. It was found that the 35 identified tasks could be reduced to seven factors. Analysis of the means of these factors suggest that respondents considered their order of importance to be as follows: Placement Site Development, Program Planning, Supervision, Program Administration, Public Relations, Counseling, and Related Instruction. Coordinators representing different program types (Alternating, Parallel, Both Alternating and Parallel, and Other) rated the importance of tasks similarly. However, different organizational formats (centralized, decentralized, and shared) seemed to influence how these same coordinators rated these same tasks. Perceptual differences occurred among respondents when considering tasks related to placement site development, public relations, program administration, and related cooperative education instruction. Coordinators generally preferred their current organizational format for the performance of the identified tasks. When respondents expressed an interest in change, they tended to prefer a format more centralized than their current one.
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