Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
T. W. Ivarie
A 1965 status study of vocational Education in Utah sought the opinions of state educators and the genera l citizenry. Two major conclusions from that study follow:
The present day school system is not adequately meeting the needs of young people. It serves well the 20 percent who may complete college and some others, but it is woefully short of meeting the needs of nearly 80 percent of the young people of this country. This conclusion is supported by the responses of school directors throughout the country, school district superintendents in Utah, and the school board members and parents in Utah who returned questionnaires.
Although vocational education programs have been in operation in this country for approximately a half century, there are not nearly enough persons enrolled in them. These programs must be greatly expanded in trade and industrial education, business and office occupations, distributive education, and perhaps in home economics related to career occupations. This conclusion is supported by the same group mentioned in the preceding conclusion.
According to a recent survey of intentions of 16,451 high school seniors in Utah for the school year 1966-67, 64.57 percent said they intend to go to college, 7.25 percent to vocational school, and 3.47 percent to business school.
Yet, much less than half of the 64 plus percent actually matriculate and eventually finish college. The Peabody Report on Vocational Education in Utah makes note of the percentage of students who finish college.
Studies of high school graduates who enroll in baccalaureate degree programs at the collegiate level do not agree as to the percentage entering college, with the reports varying between 45 and 54 percent. There seems to be agreement, however, that 24 percent of the students starting the first grade 16 or more years ago are now completing college.
The disparity between the larger number of students who intend to go to college and the smaller number who actually finish college, gives some indication that the secondary schools ' counseling and/or occupational orientation techniques may not form entirely realistic attitudes in high school students .
This might indicate that parents, counselors and students have need for more practical and better quality occupational information and that greater emphasis needs to be placed on the choice of a vocation or of pursuing a technical training program after high school rather than following the college preparatory program merely as a matter of propriety.
For a number of years some amounts of state aid for vocational programs have been left unutilized. As an example consider the 1964-65 school year; approximately 19.5 Distribution Units out of 40 possible for vocational classes were utilized by high schools in the State (20.5 units not used in that year would represent about $140,425). Expressed as a percentage, the vocational Distribution Units which we reutilized represented less than two-tenths of one percent of all Distribution Units used in the Utah Minimum School Program.
A similar situation existed in the 1966-67 school year when 59.5 Distribution Units were utilized out of an available 77.0 units-.
To briefly reiterate these somewhat divergent positions then, it appears that 65 percent of high school seniors think they will go to college; yet, only 24 percent complete college. Parents, school superintendents and school board members feel that high schools are serving well the needs of only the academic, college bound student and not the approximately 80 percent who never complete college. Even vocational teachers as a group apparently do not presently orient students with occupational information (this conclusion is pointed out by a reference under paragraph two, Importance of Study - see footnote 6). Despite this concern, during some years, Utah schools have not fully used the state aid available for vocational education which by legislative appointment is less than two-tenths of one percent.
The author of this study feels that this is a situation which would benefit by some means to achieve greater public acceptance, including student acceptance. The author has dedicated and devoted this study to assist in the progress toward this end. Hopefully, the study will be a contribution to the instructional resources needed to promote one of the areas of vocational education, that of training for office occupations.
Burbidge, Richard Lynn, "The Development of a Sound Filmstrip Entitled Office Occupations in Utah" (1967). All Graduate Plan B and other Reports. 567.