Page images

The state-wide plan must be built around a number of basic elements of Vocational education such as: population needs analysis, job market analysis, job performance analysis, curriculum resources, teacher education, leadership development, program planning, program review, vocational education promotion, student recruitment, counseling and guidance, vocational instruction, placement and follow-up, and evaluation; and must take into full account national priorities (such as provision for disadvantaged and handicapped persons), and state priorities for vocational education.

Comprehensive planning must take into account that the term vocational education means:

"Vocational or technical training or retraining which is given in schools or classes (including field or laboratory work and remedial or related academic and technical instruction incident thereto) under public supervision and control or, by private non-profit or proprietary schools under contract with a State Board or local educational agency and is conducted as part of a program designed to prepare individuals for gainful employment as semiskilled or skilled workers or technicians or subprofessionals in recognized occupations and in new and emerging occupations to prepare individuals for enrollment in advanced technical education programs, but excluding any program to prepare individuals for employment in occupations which the Commissioner determines, and specifies by regulation, to be generally considered professional and which requires a baccalaureate or higher degree; and such term includes vocational guidance and counseling (individually or through group instruction) in connection with such training or for the purpose of facilitating occupational choices; instruction related to the occupation or occupations for which the students are in training or instruction necessary for students to benefit from such training; the term also includes health, allied health, and service occupations, vocational home economics (consumer and homemaking education and occupational home economics) and vocational education student organizations; job placement and follow-up; the training of persons engaged as, or preparing to become, teachers in a vocational education program or preparing such teachers to meet special educational needs of handicapped students; teachers, coordinators, supervisors, or directors of such teachers while in such a training program; leadership development programs designed to provide high level education for emerging leaders in vocational education; travel of students and vocational education personnel while engaged in a training program; and the acquisition, maintenance, and repair of instructional supplies, teaching aids, and equipment, but such term does not include the construction, acquisition or initial equipment of buildings or the acquisition or rental of land."

Mr. Chairman, our recommendations are made with the realization that comprehensive planning is the key to the future of vocational education. Duplication of effort, splintering of interest and uncoordinated use of resources are detrimental to the interest of the Nation.

National Leadership

Leadership and coordination of all vocational education programs and services at the federal level will be necessary for comprehensive state planning to be effective. There must be maintained a Bureau in the U.S. Office of Education with authority and resources for national leadership.

Under the direction of the Bureau a concerted national effort should be developed to provide leadership for state agencies to expand programs and improve quality. This leadership posture must be manifest in the quality of professional staff in the Bureau and in the kinds of services provided by to the states. Services needed are: (1) developing standards of quality for vocational education; (2) evaluation and accountability criteria and procedures; (3) monitoring of specific vocational education programs, particularly those related to national priorities; (4) dissemination of applied research and curriculum developments in such form as to be immediately adaptable to local vocational education programs: (5) development and use of a national vocational education data system; (6) preparation of an annual report for the President and the Congress related to the status, achievements, directions, and needs of vocational education in the Nation: (7) assisting state boards for vocational education to prepare and evaluate state planning documents (and to make reports concerning 4-6 year projections from state planning documents); (8) developing national reviews of vocational edu



cation to provide evidence for the Congress that the intent of legislation is being carried out in all of the states; (9) planning and conducting (or contracting with appropriate agencies to plan and conduct) national and regional workshops and symposia.

There appears to be a need for a strong National Center for Vocational Education. This Center should have responsibility for conducting applied research or for sub-contracting research projects and also for some of the functions needed at the national level. There has been very little evidence of leadership for vocational education in the activities of the National Institute for Education and without a concerted effort the needed research and dissemination will falter. Periodic Review of Vocational Education

Comprehensive state and local planning accompanied by strong national leadership may not accomplish the desired results for vocational education without the continued active interest of Congress.

For this reason we recommend that any revision of the Vocational Education Amendments of 1968 incorporate the concept of periodic reviews of vocational education. In this way Congress can take stock of the program of vocational education and can make adjustments with added clarity and precision.

Sole State Agency

Authority for policy and administration of vocational education in the state must rest with one state agency for vocational education. This sole agency or state board should have the capability and flexibility to develop policy for vocational education that would govern programs and distribution of funds for all facets of vocational eduaction in the state. The lack of coordination inherent in multiple agencies and separate planning groups and commissions is detrimental. The coordination of the planning and administrative process under one agency is needed as a part of any changes in the law.

Vocational Guidance and Exploration

There is a need to provide greatly expanded and revised vocational guidance and exploration programs for in-school youth and for out-of-school youth and adults, so that they can act upon "considered" vocation choices and plans. Reaching such goals involves providing opportunities through curriculum and specialized approaches which enable individuals to discover their interests, abilities and values in relation to awareness, orientation, exploration and decision-making and planning as applied to the world of work. The primary emphasis of funding this new concept should be on staff development and preparation and applied research and demonstration programs. The end product should be that individuals will more succesfully manage and direct their own vocational lives.

Previously a strong emphasis was given to the employment of school counselors to work on an individual basis with youths. Administrative guidelines required the establishment of a counseling office and counselors were perceived as members of the administrative rather than the institutional team. Further, the fact that counselors were located outside the curriculum made it difficult for students to find time to receive counseling assistance. This gradually led, in many instances, to counselors assuming quasi-administrative roles. The answer to improvement of the quality of guidance was, under this thrust, add an additional counselor. In most instances, this approach did not result in change in students. Vocational guidance and exploration would allow students to move from awareness and orientation to exploration and to acquire entry-level skills needed for employment compentency.

The concepts in career guidance programs include: awareness, orientation and exploration, including decision-making and planning. All of these concepts deal with a life-long process that should assist students to arrive at sound vocational decisions and to formulate and follow through with career plans.

Components of a strong vocational guidance and exploration program include: (1) operationalized programs that have been conducted under the exemplary section of the Vocational Education Amendments of 1968; (2) awareness, orientation, exploration, decision-making and planning for careers and employment; (3) detailed follow through programs for the disadvantaged, the young adults and for those who are chronically unemployed; (4) placement services for some students as an integral part of their instructional program.

Utilization of Vocational Education

Vocational education programs operated at all levels in multiple settings as the Nation's delivery system for education and training for employment should be the objective of any changes in vocational education legislation. To do this, emphasis must be given to secondary programs in the public school systems, as well as to increasing the role postsecondary institutions play in training and preparing people for employment. In addition, the adult education programs designed to provide supplementary and/or preparatory training for employment must have a larger role in vocational education.


Secondary vocational education programs offered to high school students so they may identify and pursue a vocational goal through preparation for an occupation in his or her chosen field is important to the long term future of this Nation. Enrollment in these programs is increasing and our recommendations are to maintain the solid growth rate in this area. Basic modifications in these programs and the parts of the Vocational Education Amendments of 1968 that provide authority for them are not required.


Postsecondary vocational education received a significant emphasis in the Vocational Education Act of 1963 and the Amendments of 1968. Data on increases in enrollment, together with positive evidence that more youth are continuing their education after high school, are indication of the tremendous need for continued expansion of postsecondary vocational education.

Postsecondary vocational education consists of training or retraining for persons who have completed, graduated or left secondary (high) school. It includes preparation for any occupation for which there is a reasonable expectation for employment, including new and emerging occupations (except professional occupations that require a baccalaureate or higher degree).

Comprehensive state planning should provide for coordination of postsecondary and secondary programs that will further expand the role of postsecondary vocational education.


It is now time for adult vocational education to be responsible for meeting the unique needs of adults who have either completed or interrupted their formal education. These adults may be unemployed, seeking employment, or employed and needing further education and training to correct defects in employability skills, to achieve employment stability or to advance in employment. Programs conducted as adult vocational education are either preparatory to employment or supplementary to employment.

Vocational education's adult program must actively seek out employed young adults and recent dropouts and graduates who did not obtain employment and assist them in the adult vocational education program to correct defects in their employability skills; many such persons are improperly employed and their actual jobs are not directly related to their ability, interests and capacity to work. Failure to provide in this manner for young adults creates a ready supply of persons for welfare assisted programs and future poverty roles in society.

In addition, many adults are forced by changing occupations and economic conditions to seek new careers (frequently more than once during their working lives). Expansion of vocational education to accommodate this situation is imperative.

A significant number of young adults and adults served by vocational education will need financial assistance in order to perfect, or redirect, employment skills. This facet of the program is discussed as student services. Program services

The Vocational Education Act of 1963 and the Amendments of 1968 treated the various program services for vocational education as "ancillary” or “miscellaneous.” As a result they became subsumed by other programs and have not contributed to the program as they could. Teacher education, placement and

follow-up, student support programs and leadership development are necessary components of vocational education. These services should be prominently treated in federal legislation.


Permissiveness in legislation and a variety of priorities among the states, have caused funds to be diverted from teacher education to other program aspects. Records are not available to indicate exactly the extent to which federal funds supported teacher education. However, Office of Education estimates indicate that possibly $10 million of federal funds were used for teacher education in FY 72.

Anticipated continued expansion of vocational education, particularly expansion in postsecondary institutions, and the outreach plan that should be employed in the adult program, requires particular attention to teacher education. The problem is not solely an adjustment to larger numbers of teachers, but an adjustment to the needs of teachers of the handicapped, disadvantaged, youth outreach, and teaching problems related to retraining for complex occupations with changing qualities of sophistication.

The quality of vocational education in the future depends upon the same major element as it has been dependent upon in the past-the teacher. Preservice and in-service teacher education that is focused around technical occupational competency and professional educational competency are the basis for renewed thrust when considering the needs in teacher education.


The goal of Congress to make vocational education "available" to all people of all ages in all communities can be enhanced considerably by making provision in legislation for student financial support. This support would make it possible for students to take advantage of vocational education offerings. Without such provision many students will be effectively denied the basic goal Congress seeks to achieve.

Students who need some kind of a financial support to achieve vocational competency are found throughout the Nation. Many of this group are included in those who drop out of high school prior to graduation. It is highly probable that many of the dropouts are seeking to enter the labor force; and are doing so without the vcational education necessary to command a job appropriate to their abilities. Other graduates, dropouts, or persons who have achieved a certificate of completion from high school and who have entered the labor force need additional vocational education in order to advance in their occupation or to prepare for a new occupation. Many of these former students need financial assistance during their vocational preparation period in order to stay in school. Student support programs should apply to persons who are underemployed, improperly employed, imperfectly employed, and unemployed because their basic in-school education program did not provide sufficient vocational skills and knowledges for them to become appropriately employed.

The concept of work-study programs, as described in Part H of the Vocational Education Amendments of 1968 has been found to be successful in practice and should continue. It would appear that this program has particular relevance for high schools, but should not be limited exclusively to high schools.

A major problem with Part H, P.L. 90-576, is the restrictions placed upon student earnings. The amounts specified are entirely too low to attract the students into the program that should be served. Many students, because of a variety of socio-economic conditions, do not stay in school. The work-study program, if appropriately funded, could keep students (particularly socially and economically disadvantaged students) in school until they can acquire skills and knowledges saleable in the world of work.

Financial stipends may be a necessity for a segment of the population who have left the secondary school system, who need training or retraining, and who have acute economic responsibilities that cannot be satisfied by a work-study program. This population segment includes men and women-unemployed, underemployed, disadvantaged or handicapped-for the most part high school graduates, who need the education and training provided in the post-secondary and adult vocational education programs.

44-822 0-7538

According to a 1972 study conducted by the U.S. Office of Education based on a sample of about 18,000 seniors, and about 1800 faculty who counseled 12th grade students, 34 percent of the students stated that they would have to work after high school graduation before they could pay for further schooling.* Thus roughly one-third of the high school graduates might enter postsecondary or adult vocational education programs if support in the form of a stipend was available to them. This group represents roughly one million students each year. Another large group of students needing stipend support are those who have left the secondary school system for any of a variety of reasons. This group is estimated to be about 730,000 students per year. Many of this group have limited financial resources (about one-third are heads of households) and could be served effectively by the postsecondary and adult vocational education programs. The total of these two groups represent about 1,730,000 persons who will not be in school and will not be preparing to enter productive employment. Serving this group is a part of the outreach program of vocational education, but there must be financial support during their preparation for employment.



The range and scope of vocational education has enlarged substantially during the past decade. Prior to World War II a kind of understanding had developed that each teacher was responsible for his or her own placement. This practice worked reasonably well, but as the size of the vocational education program enlarged, the problem required the attention of other people in addition to teachers. Concurrently with the expansion of vocational education came an urgent need for placement and followup data.

Unfortunately, these two facets of vocational education-placement and follow-up-have too long been placed in a single category. Such a combination, however convenient, has performed some degree of disservice to each. Their meaning, purpose or the performance of these two vital functions of vocational education requires that renewed emphasis be given them in legislation and that followup become a follow through function that is integral to all vocational education.


Public Law 90-35, Part F, Section 552, provided for Leadership Development Awards to be granted to selected individuals to pursue a three-year graduate program in the area of vocational education. Experience with the three-year graduate program has provided evidence that the objectives of the program were actually exceeded although the number of persons involved in the program was small compared with the need. The investment by the federal government produced high returns in the form of positions of leadership actually achieved by the graduates.

The number of persons from vocational education involved in the three-year Leadership Development Awards program represented an extremely small percentage of the total number of vocational education teachers, as shown below:

[blocks in formation]

1 Summary Data-Vocational Education, Office of Education, Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Washington, D.C.

National Longitudinal Study of the High School Class of 1972, U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare, Office of Education, Washington, D.C.

5 Employment of High School Graduates and Dropouts, U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Special Labor Force Report No. 155, Washington, D.C., 1973,

« PreviousContinue »