Black youth in vocational education: further education, labor market, civic and political participation

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Virginia Tech

Since the days of Booker T. Washington and W. E. B. Du Bois, the argument has flourished relative to the value of vocational education for Black youth. This study, using data from the "High School and Beyond 1980 Sophomore Cohort Third Follow-Up (1986)" survey, investigated three basic areas, namely: (a) the demographic, personological, and educational profile of Black youth enrolled in vocational education, and the manner in which this profile varied in relation to their vocational concentration patterns, (b) the profile of these youth in terms of their employment outcomes, educational expectations, and civic and political participation > practices after completion of their secondary schooling, according to their concentration patterns, and (c) the changes over time among these youth within their vocational concentration patterns, with regard to aptitude, educational and vocational expectations, and employment status.

Major findings of this study have been presented for the students by concentration patterns. Some of the major overall findings were: Students with greater concentration in vocational education course work tended to come from urban areas, the southern region of the United States, and the lowest socioeconomic status quartile. Both educational and occupational expectations were unrealistic in terms of Standardized test performance and grades. A large percentage waS not in the labor force and a very small percentage was participating in civic or political activities.

Findings for outcome and change over time variables were presented for the three vocational participation patterns, Concentrators, Limited Concentrators, and Samplers.