Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Abraham S. Fischler School of Education


Karen B. Kamin

Committee Member

Judith S. Stein


career and technical education, career exploration, career pathways, evaluation, website


An Evaluation of the Wisconsin Career Pathways Web Site: A Comprehensive Plan for Ongoing Development. Margaret A. Rubin, 2014: Applied Dissertation, Nova Southeastern University, Abraham S. Fischler School of Education. ERIC Descriptors: Career and Technical Education, Career Exploration, Career Guidance, Evaluation, Web Sites. This research study was designed to provide for the ongoing development and improvement of the Wisconsin Career Pathways Web site. The Web site aids secondary educators in the development of secondary-to-postsecondary programs of study, assists middle and high school students in career exploration and academic planning, and helps middle and high school counselors and advisers guide students for success in college and careers by providing them with access to school-wide and individual student Web-site activity. The Web site was developed in phases following a year of planning during the 2008-09 fiscal year. The concept of programs of study is a relatively new and emerging school-reform initiative, and the Wisconsin Career Pathways Web site project was initiated as a Web-based dynamic data-driven resource to help Wisconsin stakeholders. The Web site has been in a constant state of development, expansion, upgrade, and improvement since the launch of its 1st phase in 2010. A developmental evaluation approach was utilized to address the evolving nature of the Web site. The writer developed online surveys to gather input from 3 stakeholder groups: technical college career-prep administrators, middle and high school counselors and advisers, and secondary program-of-study builders. Following quantitative and qualitative data analysis of the surveys, the writer developed a preliminary plan for the Web site's ongoing development and followed up with a focus-group session of interested survey participants representing each of the stakeholder groups. Based on the analysis of qualitative data collected at the focus-group session, the researcher finalized the preliminary plan. The final plan includes a discussion of the data collected and analyzed as well as recommendations for ongoing development and improvement of the Web site. The sequential mixed-methods approach was instrumental in exposing the satisfactory components of the Web site. In general, the data reflected satisfaction with the Web site, namely its user-friendliness, which was one of the project team's earliest goals for the Web site. The Web site is seen as an essential resource for Wisconsin stakeholders. To keep moving forward with Wisconsin's program-of-study and college and career planning initiatives, addressing the unmet needs of stakeholders will not only increase Web-site usage but will lead to a clearer understanding of those initiatives. Based on the results of this study, the researcher developed a comprehensive plan. The plan suggests that improving the online program-of-study builder tool, providing more training, building reporting capacity, developing a marketing plan, and increasing Web-site interactivity based on push-notification technology are necessary actions for the ongoing development and improvement of the Web site. The findings of the study will be submitted to the Wisconsin Technical College System.

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