ERIC Number: ED378446
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Feb
Work-Based Learning in Two-Year Colleges in the United States.
Bragg, Debra D.; And Others
A study of the status of work-based learning in U.S. two-year colleges sought to determine the aggregate depth, scope, and quality of work-based learning. A census design was used to ascertain the scope of work-based learning, through a mailed survey of 1,036 U.S. two-year colleges (nearly 50 percent response rate). Results of the study indicate that work-based learning experiences are occurring at the colleges, although these experiences are from limited curriculum and program areas. An average of 18 percent of students in vocational education were taking part in work-based learning at the time of the survey in most of the responding institutions. In addition, approximately one-quarter of the respondents estimated that a majority of students involved in customized or contract training were also participating in work-based learning. More than 60 programs were identified in which work-based learning was a required component. Most of these programs were in the health and business fields, and nursing was the only program that almost always required work-based learning. Work-based learning was rarely required in manufacturing and high technology programs. The programs found a tendency for programs to gravitate toward particular work-based learning models such as the following: professional and clinical, cooperative, school-based enterprise, and traditional adult or youth apprenticeship. The research showed how some components of the programs related to the federal School-to-Work Opportunities (STWO) legislation, although few of the programs included all of the required components. The study also found that the colleges themselves assumed responsibility for most of the program components: curriculum, instruction, student selection, and selection of workplace mentors and coaches. Support for the programs was greatest among groups with the most to gain, such as business and industry representatives; less support was seen from parents and four-year colleges. The results also indicated that the programs' greatest problems were lack of resources and lack of involvement from the business community. Recommendations were made for more fiscal resources, more incentives for businesses to join work-based learning partnerships, and clearer standards from the state and federal governments. (The report includes the questionnaire with aggregated responses listed. Contains 23 references.) (KC)
Descriptors: Cooperative Programs, Education Work Relationship, Educational Needs, Experiential Learning, Program Implementation, Program Improvement, School Business Relationship, Two Year Colleges, Work Experience Programs
NCRVE Materials Distribution Service, Horrabin Hall 46, Western Illinois University, Macomb, IL 61455 (order no. MDS-721: $6).
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Vocational and Adult Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: National Center for Research in Vocational Education, Berkeley, CA.