Strategies for the Development of Integrated Career and Technical Education Program Evaluation Systems

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Virginia Tech


This research effort was designed to analyze the current federal career and technical education legislation to determine methods of "operationalizing" the policy at the state and local levels. In performing the policy analysis, organizational and systems viewpoints were consistently used in determining the intent of the legislation and then how to structure a program evaluation system to fulfill the policy goals. The research methodology is a hybrid interdisciplinary method that combined policy and system analyses. Secondary career and technical education legislation served as a test case to develop the program evaluation system strategies and requirements because the researcher was familiar with this segment of education and the policies associated with it. Program evaluation theoretical foundations were presented as means to understand the policy intentions and to develop a conceptual system model. The resulting system model was presented with actual examples of system constructs. Detailed process flowcharts were developed to show the system structure and functions. Organizational responsibilities and requirements were addressed in the system model development. An additional component of the systems analysis was to determine the system implementation sequence. The implementation sequence is based on a longitudinal program evaluation design that spans a five-year interval for each graduation year cohort. The system model resulting from this research is one of many possible variations that could be developed to satisfy the requirements of the federal Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Applied Technology Education Act of 1998. The system analysis and model development strategies can be applied to other education and socioeconomic policies that deliver human services with accountability requirements. No attempt was made to perform a system cost analysis in this research effort.



assessment, evaluation, systems analysis, policy