A STUDY OF THE PERCEPTIONS OF THE EFFECTIVENESS OF TRADE AND INDUSTRIAL EDUCATION IN THE PREPARATION OF GRADUATES FOR EMPLOYABILITY AND POST-SECONDARY EDUCATION

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Date

2016-12-13

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Authors

King, Elizabeth J

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East Carolina University

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This dissertation was a mixed method study that examined the perceptions of the effectiveness of trade and industrial education of graduates' employability and post-secondary education. The purpose of this study was to research the following questions: To what extent did graduates perceive that the trade and industrial courses taken at the Robeson County Career Center contributed to their employment potential? To what extent did graduates perceive that the trade and industrial courses taken at the Robeson County Career Center added to their post-secondary educational potential? To what extent did Career-Technical educators at the Robeson County Career Center perceive that graduates who completed trade and industrial courses or received credentials were prepared for the workforce? To what extent did business professionals perceive that graduates who completed Robeson County Career Center trade and industrial courses were employable? Data were collected from the 2013-14 Graduate Concentrator Feedback Surveys. Teachers and business professionals' data were collected with the same survey adapted to each audience. The findings indicated that teachers and business professionals perceived that trade and industrial courses had a positive impact on graduate employability and post-secondary education. The conclusion suggested a disconnect of the graduates' perceptions of what is learned in trade and industrial courses in relation to future employment and post-secondary education. The need to establish partnerships between the business/industrial communities and educational institutions and the necessity of educating students on the benefits of earning credentials were among the recommendations to improve the effectiveness of the Robeson County Career Center programs and specifically, how the center's graduates perceived these programs.

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