A comparison of secondary and postsecondary school teachers' and administrators' attitudes toward tech-prep programs
John N. Riley
The tech-prep program is a educational initiative to improve the quality of instruction and employment potential of students. It also represents a trend in educational reform with strategies for articulation and integration between secondary and postsecondary schools or from school to the workplace. The purpose of this study was to compare and obtain a better understanding of attitudes toward tech-prep programs between secondary and postsecondary school tech-prep teachers and administrators. The relationship among the curriculum and the administration of tech-prep programs and several demographic variables: educational level; years of teaching/administrative experience; and the number of in-service training activities attended was researched in this study;The survey research method was employed in this study. Samples were selected from tech-prep teachers and administrators in secondary and postsecondary schools which had the strongest tech-prep programs and had implemented them for at least two years in the state. A total of 200 questionnaires were distributed to tech-prep teachers and administrators with a response rate of 79.5 percent. The main findings were: (a) tech-prep teachers in secondary and postsecondary schools who had a higher educational degree, particularly the doctoral degree, demonstrated more favorable attitudes toward the curriculum of tech-prep programs than those who had less education; (b) administrators in secondary and postsecondary schools who had a higher educational degree demonstrated more favorable attitudes toward the curriculum of tech-prep programs than those who had less education, particularly a masters degree or masters + 30 credits vs. a bachelors degree; (c) administrators in secondary and postsecondary schools who had attended a greater number of in-service training activities (between 1990-1993) demonstrated more favorable attitudes toward the curriculum and the administration of tech-prep programs than those with a fewer number of in-service training activities;Recommendations for secondary and postsecondary schools were to: (a) continuously hold seminars or conferences to introduce the purposes and strategies of tech-prep programs to educators and faculty; (b) encourage faculty to attend in-service training activities regarding planning, development, and implementation of tech-prep programs; and (c) encourage faculty of higher educational institutions to be involved in the planning, development, and implementation of tech-prep programs. Recommendations for future research were to: (a) replicate the study using a different population (e.g., different department, state) to gain different perspectives on tech-prep programs; (b) combine other research methods such as interview and case study methodology to enable a deeper, more detailed understanding of the process of tech-prep program planning, development, and implementation; and (c) conduct a feasibility study in other countries based on the experience of implementing tech-prep programs in America.