Type of Document Dissertation Author Erefah, Ebenezer W. Author's Email Address firstname.lastname@example.org URN etd-07152005-154829 Title A Longitudinal Comparison of Vocational and Non-Vocational Education Students in Leon County Public Secondary Schools: A Study of May 1999 & May 2000 High School Graduates Degree Doctor of Education Department Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, Department of Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Hollie Thomas Committee Chair Bonnie B. Greenwood Committee Member Marsha Rehm Committee Member William Synder Committee Member Keywords
- Vocational; Non-Vocational; High School Graduates;
Date of Defense 2005-06-06 Availability unrestricted AbstractThe purpose of this study was to compare vocational and non-vocational education
students in public secondary schools in Leon County, Florida, to see whether high school
graduates who were in vocational education programs in their 9th through 12th grades had more advantages in graduation, postsecondary school enrollment, employment, and wages, over their non-vocational education counterparts. In order to achieve this purpose, data for Godby, Leon, Lincoln, and Rickards High Schools’ May 1999, and May 2000, high-school and post-highschool were collected, analyzed, and compared. Eighth grade data were also collected to determine the subjects’ socioeconomic status. A sample of 2,698 students was obtained from the four high schools involved in this study. The data for the investigation were obtained from the Florida Department of Education’s (FDOE) “Florida Education and Training Placement Information Program” (FETPIP) and “Educational Information and Accountability Services” (EIAS) databases. Through “skewed” (rearranged) students identification numbers, it was possible to track each high school graduate to their eighth grade data. The analytical method heavily relied on descriptive statistics with intensive use of tables. The Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) software was used to summarize and analyze the data. Findings The study indicated that students in high school vocational education programs may have
some advantages over non-vocational education students in terms of high school graduation, postsecondary school enrollment, employment and probably wages.
The data indicated that participation in vocational education programs were distributed
among the students that were representative of both the lower socioeconomic status (LSES) and the higher socioeconomic status (HSES) categories, male and female, black and white. The data further indicated that vocational education programs may have motivational values to the advantage of academically disadvantaged students, especially those within the LSES category, thereby enabling them to remain in school and graduate. Analyses of the data showed that in most cases, vocational education students, especially within the LSES, reported a higher rate of graduation from high school than their non-vocational education colleagues. The data further showed that in some cases, especially among the LSES black students, the more vocational education credits or courses a student earned in high school, the more likely the student graduates from high school.
The study also indicated that vocational education high school graduates were very
competitive against their non-vocational education high school counterparts in terms of college enrollments. In some cases, especially among the LSES students, vocational education high school graduates reported higher rates of university enrollments than non-vocational education students. Regarding community college enrollment, the study indicated that both vocational and non-vocational education high school graduates were more attracted to the Associate in Arts (AA) degrees (college transfer option) than the Associate in Science (AS) degree programs (more professional and work option).
The study further indicated that most vocational education high school graduates who enrolled in undergraduate BS degree programs were majoring in the fields similar to the vocational education programs in which they were trained in high school. Higher rates of employment were also reported among vocational education high school graduates than among non-vocational education counterparts. The study further showed that high school graduates who had participated in a Diversified Cooperative Education vocational
program (internship or on-the-job training program), Business Technology Education, Computer Science Education, and Family and Consumer Science Education in high school were more likely than were non-vocational education colleagues to be employed in professional fields such as banks, doctors offices, law enforcement, hotels, and with more hours, and presumably better wages. The study also indicated that in some cases, vocational education high school graduates who were working in the fields for which they were trained in high school earned more wages with more working hours than did their non-vocational education colleagues. Since these were only high school graduates with limited occupational skills and job experience, the wage differences between vocational and non-vocational education high school graduates may not be very wide.
Conclusions: Participation in vocational education enhanced the chances of high school graduation, especially if the students earn two or more vocational education credits or courses, improved the chances of enrollment in undergraduate BS, AA, and AS degree programs, and also improved the prospect of job opportunities and higher wages, especially among the students and high school graduates who worked in the fields for which they were trained in high school. These benefits of vocational education over non-vocational education were more noticeably among lower socioeconomic status black male and female, and white female students and high school graduates.
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