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ERIC Number: ED528100
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 131
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1246-0371-1
The Effect of Studying Tech Prep in High School and College Academic Performance
Ray, Larry A.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, TUI University
This study examined the academic performance of Tech Prep students (referred to as participants) in comparison to non-Tech Prep students (referred to as non-participants) entering a two-year community college from sixteen different high schools in Stark County, Ohio. This study provided a quantitative analysis of students' academic experiences to determine if Tech Prep students achieve higher GPA's than non-Tech Prep students in post-high-school education at the college level. Findings are presented for students identified locally as participants in Tech Prep programs--referred to as Tech Prep participants, as compared to a group of students drawn from the general student population with similar academic performance at high school graduation, referred to as non-Tech Prep participants. Recorded data from the class years of 1998-2007 was used to determine whether Tech Prep participants in high school demonstrated greater academic performance levels than non-Tech Prep participants. It was determined that during this time 1,108 students enrolled from Tech Prep programs. It was important to select students who had completed at least one semester (12 hours) at the college in order to analyze GPA. It was determined that approximately 776 students had fulfilled enough coursework. Using a random selection, to identify ten percent of the students, 77 students were selected from this group. In order to maintain equal-sized groups, 77 students were randomly selected from the non-Tech Prep group. Therefore, at a total of 154 students were selected for the study, 77 who participated in Tech Prep during high school and 77 who did not participate in that program. Considering the federal commitment to Tech Prep implementation, beginning with the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Applied Technology Education Act of 1990 (Perkins II), it is important to understand various ways these programs have influenced student academic performance, by evaluating student grade point averages in college. This study assessed student academic performance, drawing heavily upon transcript analysis (GPA scores). Focus was on the Stark County College Tech Prep consortium high schools, with results presented in the main text in narrative, figures, and supporting tables. All data was maintained and stored, providing a rich source of information for further analysis of students' transitions from high school to college. In all test results the relationship between studying Tech Prep in high school and the student's college academic performance in post-secondary school was not statistically significant. Of the independent variables, Age and High School GPA were found to have some statistically significant relationships. The independent variable Age was statistically significant predictor of Mathematics GPA, but a significant predictor of the other dependent variables. The independent variable High School GPA was a statistically significant predictor of the dependent variables, Overall GPA, Technical GPA, Non-Technical GPA, Mathematics GPA, English and Communication GPA, and Science GPA. This study provided an opportunity to study students who participated in Tech Prep in high school and entered a two-year college and uncovered issues not often found in the existing literature. The findings are relevant to any college that enrolls Tech Prep participants since understanding the potential positive and shortcomings of this population is critical. This study indicated that the reauthorization of the Perkins Vocational-Technical Education Program (College Tech Prep) was found to lack clarity and purpose. The Carl Perkins Title II legislation that led to the development of Tech Prep states that Tech Prep includes a rigorous and focused course of study that provides students with essential academic and technical foundations. Additionally, Tech Prep is declared as a pathway for students which prepare them for technologically advanced careers and post secondary education by emphasizing strong academic skills. The results of this study cast strong doubts on whether Tech Prep participants are more prepared than non-Tech Prep participants for college academic performance. Based on student performance in Mathematics, Technical, Social Science, and English and Communication courses this study suggested that Tech Prep participants are not better equipped for college academic performance than non-Tech Prep participants. This research study provides evaluative evidence to question whether Tech Prep provides college academic readiness. At the same time, the findings and speculations that emerged from this study provide suggestions for future research to more clearly explore "under what conditions?" The following conclusions appear to be warranted: (1) Generalizations from this study can be used by administrators in higher education to analyze the situation of college preparation, identify areas of needed change, and adopt new strategies to increase college readiness. (2) The findings can assist educational leaders, legislators, and policymakers in increasing the communication between secondary and postsecondary institutions regarding expectations of high school graduates, in writing educational policies, and in assisting students in the transition from high school to college. (Abstract shortened by UMI.) [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: High Schools; Postsecondary Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Ohio
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Carl D Perkins Vocational and Applied Technology Education Act 1990