Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Student and employer perceptions of work-based learning in rural community colleges in Mississippi
by King Bailey, Shirley Ann, Ph.D., Mississippi State University, 2009, 204; 3352302
Abstract (Summary)

The general goal of work-based learning is to bridge the gap between the academic world and the labor market, providing those students with the skills they need to give employers the satisfaction they desire from well-trained, well-educated employees. Work-based learning, which includes work experience, structured training, and other workplace learning experiences appropriate to students’ career interests and linked to school curricula, provides the connection between students and employers.

The sample consisted of 112 participants. 78 students and 34 employers involved in work-based learning at rural Mississippi community colleges specifically those students and employers involved in work-based learning hosted by Copiah Lincoln Community College, East Central Community College, and Itawamba Community College.Statistical analysis procedures included descriptive statistics, Independent t-Tests, ANOVA, and Tukey Post Hoc tests. These statistical analyses revealed significant differences based on the variables set forth in the study. This study was designed to examine if statistically significant differences existed in perception of needed skills and in the perceived value of work-based programs between students and employers. Additionally, it determined if statistically significant differences existed in value and needed skills based on age, gender, ethnicity, and education.

Overall, employers and students reported that work-based learning programs were beneficial to those who participated in work-based learning programs. But in the basic skills category, the thinking skills category, the personal quality category, the data revealed that they were not consistent in their thinking. Employers thought that reading, integrity and honesty were important; where as, students thought that math, visualizing and reasoning were important.

In reference to the value work-based learning programs provide, employers had a positive view of work-based learning programs in that they believed the quality of training students needed would be provided to those who participated. In 9 value areas for students and employers, differences occurred more in what work-based learning was to provide. Employers and students reported that all skills, as well as the value of work-based learning were very important.

In the role of teacher and employer, female work-based learning participants expected collaboration between employers and teachers. Further implications of the findings are discussed in this paper.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Olinzock, Anthony
Commitee: Okojie, Mabel CPO, Stumpf, Arthur D., Wiseman, Marty
School: Mississippi State University
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- Mississippi
Source: DAI-A 70/04, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Community college education, Vocational education
Keywords: Community colleges, Education, Employer, Mississippi, Rural education, Skills, Vocational, Work-based learning, Workforce
Publication Number: 3352302
ISBN: 978-1-109-08898-4
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