Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Center for the Advancement of Education


It was the purpose of this study to determine reasons why less than one-third of the graduates of highly specialized secondary vocational school offering training in six specific entry level health careers has very low placement results in the field of training. Once reasons for poor placement were discovered, strategies were developed to improve training-related placement results through employment or continuing education. An evaluation procedure was developed to determine the effectiveness of the strategies recommended. Procedures for this study were three-fold. First, a telephone survey was conducted of a random sample of graduates of the Health Careers Center who were previously identified as not following the career of training. The purpose for the telephone survey was to determine reasons for failure to enter the field of study. Second, comparable secondary vocational schools throughout the state of Ohio were surveyed to ascertain the typical placement rates in the field of training and the reasons for successful or unsuccessful placement rates. Third, the literature search focused on articulation programs between secondary vocational schools and community colleges to ferret out strategies which successfully removed barriers which limited vocational school graduates from continuing education and in fact eased the transition from secondary to postsecondary school. The findings of this research indicate five reasons why graduates of the secondary vocational school fail to enter the field of training and three reasons why articulation with the local community college has failed to materialize in a sustained pattern. These findings are: 1. Students perceive themselves as not being prepared to enter the job market in the field of training. 2. Graduates demonstrate immaturity and a sense of naivete in continually making unrealistic career choices. 3. Students are not prepared to make binding career decisions about entering a health field with limited career exploration classes prior to the tenth grade. 4. Students have insufficient clinical experiences prior to graduation. 5. Job development, job placement, and job follow-up activities at the vocational school are insufficient to meet the needs of graduates. Reasons for poor articulation are: 1. Commitment, trust, and communication between the local community college and the vocational school is insufficient to establish a viable articulation program. 2. Turf protection remains a barrier to articulation between the vocational school and the local community college. 3. The lack of common planning to establish cooperative career ladders, mutual marketing strategies, and interrelated guidance and counseling activities continues to be an obstacle to articulation. A multi-faced strategic plan was developed to address the reasons why graduates fail to enter the field of training. These strategies are as follows: Strategy 1. Implement plan to raise graduation requirements of vocational secondary school. Strategy 2. Increase time spent in vocational classes. Strategy 3. Implement career decision component in group guidance classes. Strategy 4. Institute “Introduction to Health Careers” program. Strategy 5. Infuse decision-making skills and career options choices in middle school curriculum. Strategy 6. Increase clinical experiences of students prior to graduation. Strategy 7. Incorporate JAG model into vocational school program. Strategy 8. Adopt resolution of priority of articulation program between secondary vocational school and local community college. Strategy 9. Establish joint committees for joint pupil services. Finally, an evaluation system has been established to measure the effectiveness of these recommendations by means 0f a three year follow-up graduate survey.

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