An Analysis Of Basic Academic Skills Associated With Success In Various Areas Of Vocational Education: A Technique For Planning Academic Programs
This research work was directed towards analyzing and interpreting the basic academic skills of reading, writing and computation associated with success in each of the various areas of vocational and technical activities, and to suggest ways in which administrators and decision-makers might use the information in planning and operating programs designed to (1) prepare youth for employment; (2) help them maintain their employability; and (3) help them advance within their occupations. Nine research questions were raised to guide the study. The research used a longitudinal approach. The data for the research came from three major sources: (1) the 1981 Basic Skills Survey; (2) the 1982 Employer's Survey; and (3) the 1982 Graduate Follow-Up Survey. A participatory approach was used in assessing the need for basic academic skills in vocational activities. Both descriptive and inferential statistical procedures were used in analyzing the data for the research. The study found, among other things, that (1) employers and employees differ in their perceptions of the basic academic skills needed for success on the job; (2) employees across various program areas perceived the importance of the basic academic skills differently; (3) employers in the seven program areas differ in their beliefs about the significance of the various basic academic skills for effective job performance; and (4) most employers reported that their new entry-level employees were deficient in basic enabling skills. In most cases the specific reading, mathematics and writing skills required for success in each program area do not differ significantly from program to program. The higher you go on the aggregate of a specific skill into a family of skills, the less variability there is in the demand for such a skill across vocational program areas. For instance, there were variations in the perceptions of employers and employees on the importance of some specific skills for success in their jobs. But, when the specific skills were regrouped into a family of skills, there appeared to be no significant difference in the perceptions of employers and employees of the significance of such skills for effective job performance. All these findings bear implications for policy and planning in general.
dissertation or thesis