National industry-based skill standards technical committees: perceptions of adoption of standards in vocational education programs
Bunn, Phyllis Carolyn
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Over the past fifteen years, concern has developed for the condition of the American economy. As a result, business and education leaders in the United States have acknowledged the interdependence between education and the economy. The keys to linking education and the economy are workforce preparation and performance. One major outcome of the concern about the economy and workforce preparation has been the development of industry-based standards, including certification of occupational skills and competencies. The identification, by those who developed the standards, of their perceptions of their adoption might enable business and industry and the labor and education communities to better utilize skill standards. The purpose of this study was to develop an understanding of the perceptions of national industry-based skill standard technical committee members regarding the adoption of skill standards in vocational education programs at the secondary and post-secondary education levels. The study addressed four main research objectives using both quantitative and qualitative methodology. The objectives related to technical committee members' demographic and occupational characteristics and perceptions of the process and results of the standard development project; their perceptions regarding vocational educators IJse of skill standards in workforce preparation programs; their perceptions regarding factors which would enhance or inhibit the adoption of the standards by vocational educators; and their perceptions of how skill standards will impact the effectiveness of vocational education. Skill standards technical committee members' perceptions of their work on the committees and their perceptions of adoption of the standards by vocational educators provide valuable information to assess the skill standard projects and determine whether the work of the committees has been focused on the goals set by the Perkins Act, the U. S. Departments of Education and labor, and the National Skill Standards Board. From the results of this study findings related to the use of the standards by vocational educators, enhancers, inhibitors, and impacts of the standards are reported. Themes associated with international competitiveness, the standard development process, and committee representativeness were also included. Perceptions of technical committee members provide an opportunity to determine how the standards will be adopted by vocational educators as well as the strengths and shortcomings of the committees and possible future directions. Thus, this study provides implications for skill standards committees as well as recommendations for further research.
- Doctoral Dissertations