|Abstract or Summary
The purpose of this study was to compare the ability and achievement
of students in career cluster programs to the ability and achievement
of students not in career cluster programs. The cluster programs
included in this study were Distributive Education, Health
Careers, Mechanical, Food Services, Metals, Child Care, Construction,
and Office Occupations.
This study gathered data with which to compare the achievement
and ability of students in cluster programs with those of students in other academic areas. Through personal contact with the principals
and counselors at the schools, access was secured to the cumulative
folders, which included compilations of each student's records upon
graduation. The data transferred from these folders to the recording
form included sex, clusters completed, Differential Aptitude Test
scores, and grades received in the minimum graduation requirement
From the data on the recording form, means were computed
for both the male and the female students in each cluster, In addition,
means were computed for all the cluster students and all the noncluster
students of each sex. Significant differences were determined
by comparing each cluster group's mean Differential Aptitude Test
scores and GPA with the means for the non-cluster group of the same
There were 1890 students included in this study of which 372
were cluster students and 1518 were non-cluster students, The mean
DAT scores and GPA's of the cluster students were respectively
compared to the mean DAT scores and GPA's of the non-cluster
An analysis of variance was made between these groups and an
F-value was established. An F-value greater than 3.84 is significant at the . 05 level. An F-value greater than 6. 63 is significant at the
01 level. An F-value greater than 10.83 is significant at the . 001
In most cases, there was a significant difference between the
cluster and non-cluster students' DAT scores and GPA's. Respectively,
cluster students as a group were found to be of lower ability
and achievement than non-cluster students, according to the measures
used. Six conclusions were drawn from this study and five recommendations
The six conclusions that were drawn from this study are:
1. Students in cluster programs are generally lower in potential
ability and academic achievement.
2. There is no significant difference between the DAT scores and
GPA's of Health Cluster boys and the DAT scores and GPA of
3. There is no significant difference between the GPA of Office
Occupation girls and the GPA of non-cluster girls.
4. There is no significant difference in seven out of the eight DAT
scores and GPA for boys in the Child Care cluster compared to
non-cluster boys. 5. It appears that students in Mechanics, Construction, and Metals
clusters are being channeled into the appropriate clusters, as
there is no significant difference between the mechanical reasoning
and space relations mean DAT scores compared to non-cluster
boys' mechanical reasoning and space relations mean DAT scores.
6. The sample size in many cases was not large enough to enable the
drawing of any valid conclusions.
Further studies are needed to:
1. Reveal how cluster students are performing in their specific
Z. Determine in five years if the addition of new clusters attracts
higher ability students.
3. Identify from higher ability and higher achieving students why they
are not in cluster programs.
4. Ascertain if the lower ability and lower achieving students are
being channeled into new courses added to the school curriculum.
5. Measure academic ability and achievement by a means other than