An Analysis Of The Effectiveness Of An Academic And Career Development Project Upon A Selected Group Of Secondary School Students

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Educat.D.)


Purpose. The purpose of this research project was to investigate, for a twelve-week segment, selected cognitive and affective changes occurring in secondary school potential dropouts participating in a nine-month CETA University of Miami Monitor Intervention Academic and Career Development (UMMIAC) Program. Variables investigated were the (a) gain in reading skills; (b) change in self concept; (c) success in a work experience; and (d) change in regular school attendance.Description of Program. The major curriculum components were developed to enhance the potential dropout's problem-solving skills by familiarizing the student with the tasks and procedures used to deal with independent living, and to provide strategies for use in coping with day-to-day living situations. These included: (1) A Street Law component designed to create an awareness of the law, and its purposes and operations. (2) A Vocational/Career component to assist the student in assessing his/her job-related skills, interests and values by creating an awareness of vocational realities. Financial management was included in this component focusing on the basic mathematical skills related to banking, budgeting and financial problem-solving. (3) A Reading component designed to teach real life reading comprehension and to develop knowledge about community resources using news articles and classified ads as an auxilliary source. Basic skill training for developmental and remedial reading were an integral part of this component. (4) A Learning Counseling component designed to familiarize the student with the process of his/her own individual style of learning, stressing use of learning strengths. These included strategies for dealing with pressure, frustration and other possible problems that might be encountered by the potential dropout.Procedures. Potential dropouts from a South Dade County secondary school were selected for this project. The selection of the thirty-five 11th and 12th grade students was under the guidelines established by the principal investigator.Two instruments, the Stanford Diagnostic Reading Test (SDRT) and the Coopersmith Self-Esteem Inventory (CSEI), were administered to collect pre- and posttest data during the Spring and Summer of 1978. During the twelve-week segment investigated in this doctoral project the students participated in the CETA (UMMIAC) Program.Two instruments were developed by the project investigator. The first one was a work experience evaluation to determine the degree of success in a work experience. The second instrument was a questionnaire to determine follow-up placement and to collect other demographic information concerning participants.Findings. (1) Analysis of the data revealed no statistically significant differences (p < .05) in mean reading gain after participation for a twelve-week segment of the program. (2) A significant (p < .05) increased score for the measurement for self concept occurred after participation for a twelve-week segment of the program. (3) Participation in the program did not affect mean numbers of days absent in regular school classes. (4) A post hoc analysis using the Ekwall Ratio of Learning indicated a significant increase in the rate of learning during the project as compared to previous rate of learning.


Education, Curriculum and Instruction

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