A survey of Montana employers participating in high school distributive education programs during the 1970-71 school year to determine coordination practices and employer preferences
Koon, Charles William
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What do Montana's high school distributive education participating employers claim is occurring in regards to coordination practices, and what are their opinions on the operation of their programs? To attack this problem and keep the information as current as possible, the 1970-71 school year was applied since it held the latest completed academic school year. Thirteen of fourteen distributive education programs in operation during the selected year in Montana submitted coordination reports to the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, which were screened and 193 employers were identified. All 14 programs in operation were classified as Part B programs under the Vocational Education Amendments of 1968 and have no state stipulations on coordination practices. Simultaneously a questionnaire to be mass mailed to all identified employers was prepared and submitted to the Executive Director of the Montana Advisory Council for Vocational Education, the Supervisor for Marketing and Distributive Education, the Autumn 1971 Business Research class at Montana State University, and the Distributive Education Teacher-Educator for constructive criticism. The questionnaire was mailed in November, 1971, a follow-up was forwarded in January, 1972, and the survey was terminated on February 11, 1972. The invited sample (193) was revised downward to 189 upon survey termination because 4 employers were either out of business or claimed no association with the program. Of the 189 revised invited sample, there were 133 (70.9 percent) responses and 107 (56.6 percent) usable. Findings presented tended to substantiate the hypothesis that teacher-coordinators during the 1970-71 school year were not in strict compliance with commonly accepted coordination practices. However, it should be kept in mind that the survey was limited in scope in that only one of the three major participants in the distributive education program--the employer---was questioned: the teacher-coordinator and the student were not involved. Furthermore, findings suggested that participating employers tended to prefer teacher-coordinator visitations to their business establishments on an average of once a month. Based upon the survey findings, two important conclusions were reached: (1) There is a need to develop and maintain a periodic inquiry of participating employers and to follow-up with feedback on what was revealed in comparison to commonly accepted coordination practices; and (2) There is a need to strive for improvement on all fronts dealing with commonly accepted coordination practices.