Date of Award

8-1980

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

Department

Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. John Geisler

Second Advisor

Dr. Thelma Urbick

Third Advisor

Dr. Gordon Johnson

Abstract

This study was designed to investigate the effect of participation in a cooperative education work-experience program on the level of vocational maturity attitudes of senior high school students. The post-test only, control group design was utilized. A sample of randomly selected senior students from 11 Muskegon County, Michigan, high schools volunteered to be participants for the study. This sample population consisted of one control group of 98 students with no previous cooperative education experience, one experimental group of 100 students with 1 year of cooperative education experience, and a second experimental group of 100 students with 2 years of experience in cooperative education. The Career Maturity Inventory: Attitude Scale was chosen as the measurement instrument for the study, and all participating students were requested to complete the inventory on a pre-arranged schedule in March of 1980. Demographic data in terms of age, sex, self-estimate of grade-point-average, and major curricular concentration was also collected.

The attitude inventories completed by the 298 students in the three treatment groups were then statistically analyzed with a oneway analysis of variance procedure. The results obtained indicated that there was no significant difference in vocational maturity attitudes between the three treatment groups. Utilizing a two-way analysis of variance procedure, the effect of the demographic data collected, interacting with the treatment group, on the level of vocational maturity attitudes was investigated. It was determined that age, sex, grade-point-average, and curriculum do not appear to interact with experience in cooperative education to significantly affect the level of vocational maturity attitudes. It was demonstrated, however, that age, sex, grade-point-average, and curriculum of the participants, when considered exclusive of treatment group, significantly affected the level of vocational maturity attitudes.

The investigator concluded on the basis of this evidence that participation in cooperative education work-experience for a 1- or 2-year period of time does not significantly affect the level of vocational maturity attitudes of senior high school students. It was felt that the study did demonstrate by implication that the construct of vocational maturity appears to be somewhat illusive, and certainly difficult to detect as an outcome of the cooperative education experience. It is also evident that vocational maturity attitudes are closely related to, if not identical with, academic ability.

It was suggested that an increased level of vocational maturity attitudes does not appear to be a viable critical outcome of cooperative education work-experience for senior high school students. It was recommended that further research be conducted to identify the specific outcomes on student behavior of career education programs such as cooperative education work-experience.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access

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