Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Center for the Advancement of Education


Jane E. Matson


The Vocational Assessment Center is under the direction of the Vocational, Adult and Community Education Department in the Martin County (Florida) School District. Employability skills workshops, vocational assessment, testing, and career exploration activities were available at the center. A special concern of the counselors at the center was assisting single parents and displaced homemakers in gaining the necessary skills and confidence to compete for high-wage high demand occupations. Each year for the last four years a federal grant was written and funded targeting this specific population. Follow-up of this group was of crucial importance for evaluation. feedback and funding. The purpose of this study was (1) to conduct an investigation to determine the methods used by other single parent and displaced grant managers in Florida; (2) to design an effective follow-up system; and (3) to suggest an implementation plan for the follow-up of displaced homemakers and single parents who were completers of the employability skills workshop held at the Vocational Assessment Center to increase the system's effectiveness in obtaining needed accurate data. The following basic research questions were examined: 1. Why was the original six months and one year postcard follow-up plan used at the Vocational Assessment Center ineffective? 2 . How can the percentage of follow-up responses be increased? 3. What follow-up system would be the most appropriate for implementation at the Vocational Assessment Center in Martin County? Five procedures were used to meet the objectives of the project according to case study research methodology. First, a comprehensive review of the literature was conducted to gather data concerning information related to displaced homemakers and single parents and also related to existing follow-up plans dealing with other similar populations of all types. The second procedural step was to identify and label the files of each displaced homonaker and single parent for ease in obtaining the necessary address information on the targeted workshop completers. Next an open-ended written survey was mailed to the seventy-five grant managers to analyze current follow-up practices and procedures utilized in displaced homemaker and single parent programs throughout the state of Florida. A questionnaire was then developed and sent to displaced homemakers and single parents who were employability skills workshop completers from September 1989 to February 1990. The form was rent one to three months after completion of the workshop. The final step was to develop and present a plan for recommending, implementing and evaluating the proposed follow-up system for the targeted population. The following conclusions were reached as a result of this study. It was very important to obtain accurate information from former students but that many project leaders were not accomplishing this goal. The most typical methods of tracking former students by postcard and telephone were unsuccessful because this population was very mobile. The most successful plan reported was a letter type questionnaire mailed one to three months after completion of the workshop with a stamped return envelope included. The major recommendations suggested from this project were that: (1) a letter-type questionnaire replace the original post card and that it be mailed to former students one to three months after course completion with a stamped addressed envelope: (2) a survey chart be maintained by the grant manager or an aide at the institution and tallied weekly to provide constant feedback and evaluation; (3) the recommendations be reported to the advisory board; (4) the proposed follow-up plan be used at the Vocational Assessment Center; and (5) the findings of this study be distributed to the other displaced homemaker and single parent project grant managers in Florida. Statistical analysis was limited to percentage calculations and were presented in table and figure form. The result of this study when implemented will help to improve the follow-up of displaced homemakers and single parents who are employability skills workshop completers. The follow-up system developed will be shared with the Florida grant managers through the mail and at a state-wide conference.

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