Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Center for the Advancement of Education


Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College (O-C Tech) is one of sixteen two-year institutions comprising the statewide comprehensive technical education system in South Carolina. At O-C Tech, over sixty-three percent of the students register for computer technology courses. Many of these students discover that the series of computer courses they are taking may not qualify them for an entry-level position in local small businesses. This results in increased attrition and loss of money and time for students. The purpose of this major applied research project was to provide O-C Tech's Computer Technology (CPT) department with a model microcomputer applications curriculum and a sense of direction for the 1990's. The project was designed to bring resolution to the following research questions. 1. What will the Computer Technology needs of O-C Tech’s students be for the 1990's, taking into account the projected societal changes? 2. What microcomputer business programs would most likely be supported by regional businesses to the extent they would be willing to employ students trained in these applications? 3. Will O-C Tech be able to respond to the needs identified in (1) and (2) above, in terms of curricula, faculty expertise, facilities, and equipment? a. If so, what action must be taken to revise and/or update curricula and programs in the CPT department? b. If not, what additional resources, facilities and/or equipment will be necessary to meet future requirements? The methodology utilized was systemically related to the research questions posed, the results of which were the operational framework for the curriculum model derived. The review of the literature and personal interviews were conducted to determine what others have done to resolve computer education problems. The review of the literature pointed to other studies utilizing the case study approach. Case records were established on three other regional colleges to analyze the characteristics of their CPT curriculum. A cross-case analysis was conducted on the case records to determine the commonality and differences in their offerings. This cross-case analysis was significant in reviewing similarities and differences in recently revised CPT courses. Elements of existing microcomputer applications programs and data findings from the survey questionnaire that were compatible with O-C Tech's CPT framework were adapted for use in the model derived for this project. The model included two prerequisite courses, four core, and five elective courses. The model also has a common course numbering system that facilitates a clearer understanding of course sequence. The proposed microcomputer applications model was presented to the Academic Review Committee, consisting of a cross-section of college representatives, who reviewed the proposal and made appropriate comments. These comments, as well as the data findings from this study were used to formulate the following conclusions and recommendations. It was concluded that serious fragmentation does exist among the technical institutions with regard to uniform CPT articulation at both the two- and four-year colleges. It was also concluded that there is a need for a curriculum model to address this fragmentation, as well as address the perceived training needs of clients at the O-C Tech CPT Resource center. The following recommendations were formulated for O-C Tech as a result of this study: 1. Adopt the Microcomputer Applications Certificate curriculum in this study, including its common course numbering, and mandate its use. 2. Appoint a Task Force on Articulation, comprised of key personnel from selected two- and four-year colleges, to conduct further studies on the problem of articulation among institutions. 3. Continue studies similar to this one to assess the business applications software currently being used by small business owners. 4. Collect follow-up data from the clients who attend the CPT training classes to evaluate the effectiveness of the new applications curriculum. 5. Continue with procedures found in this study to follow-up on what sister institutions are doing to revise their courses to qualify them for transfer to another college. 6. Conduct future studies among regional small businesses to ascertain computer training needs. 7. Repeat this study in five years to determine if there is (a) a continued trend of two-year college to follow the Data Processing Management Curriculum guidelines, and (b) a trend of sister institutions to utilize system-wide guidelines on course development.

To access this thesis/dissertation you must have a valid OR email address and create an account for NSUWorks.

Free My Thesis

If you are the author of this work and would like to grant permission to make it openly accessible to all, please click the Free My Thesis button.

Included in

Education Commons