ERIC Number: ED317780
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Mar
At-Risk Secondary Students and the Impact of Occupational Education.
Smith, David Lawson; Ament, Patrick A.
Estimates of the current national dropout rate during grades 9-12 ranged between 25 percent and 30 percent. Studies were undertaken to determine the characteristics of dropouts; the consequences of dropping out of school; and associations between dropping out and specific curricula, including the occupational curriculum. Because of methodological problems, some studies were inconclusive or suggested that the occupational education curriculum was more associated with dropping out than were the general or academic curricula. Recently, more carefully controlled studies indicated a positive relationship between involvement in an occupational curriculum and retention of the at-risk student. Studies have identified components of the occupational curriculum most associated with retention, such as teacher control of curriculum, small class size, individualization, student recognition, external ties, and work experience. Improving the retentive quality of occupational education should include continued encouragement of academic skill acquisition in the occupational education curriculum; encouragement of career exploration and guidance programs and early, relevant introductory occupational education experiences; facilitation of broader student options for enrollment in job-specific training courses by the tenth grade; and provision of appropriate and relevant work-study experiences. (A six-page list of references is included in the document.) (CML)
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Nevada State Dept. of Education, Carson City. Planning, Research and Evaluation Branch.