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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

We are indebted to the many individuals who contributed to this research project. First, we express our sincere thanks to two individuals, Sandra Foster and James Jacobs, who joined us in 1992 to conceptualize this project and form the core group of the National Council for Occupational Education's (NCOE) task force on work-based learning. Their vision helped shape the project early on; their assistance throughout encouraged us to persevere. We also thank Ellen Dran and Robert Sheets of the Center for Governmental Studies of Northern Illinois University. Their thorough and professional administration of the national survey and careful data processing were essential to completing this study in a timely fashion.

We also thank several individuals who provided thoughtful criticisms to a draft of the work-based learning survey: Louise Bertsche of the National Alliance of Business, Luis Castro of the office of U.S. Senator Paul Simon, Ron Castaldi of the U.S. Department of Education, Richard Kazis of Jobs for the Future, and Sandra Sterling of the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries. Their input helped us revise the survey instrument and involve several members of the NCOE Board in a pilot test of it, an activity that provided valuable feedback for the final version of the survey. We thank the NCOE Board members for their valuable assistance during the pilot phase of the project and their continued support throughout. Similarly, we appreciate the support received from the National Center for Research in Vocational Education (NCRVE). We especially thank Mildred Griggs, NCRVE site director at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, for her encouragement over the past two years as we conducted the study.

This year the NCOE task force on work-based learning was joined by several talented and enthusiastic members: Mary Burnett of North Seattle Community College, Robert Day of Mountain Empire Community College, David Sargent of the Georgia Department of Technical and Adult Education, and George Johnston and Paula Puckett of the University of Illinois. These individuals have contributed to the project in countless ways, including assisting in interpreting the survey results presented here. Their wisdom and foresight has enriched the project immeasurably.

Finally, several others have helped to create this final report and we cannot forget their contributions. We are grateful to James Layton for his assistance with statistical analysis of the enormous database created by our survey research. We are also indebted to William Reger for his careful handling of the painstaking job of creating the text and statistical tables for this manuscript. Finally, we thank three anonymous reviewers who critiqued an early draft of the report as well as the staff of the Materials Distribution Service unit of NCRVE for making the report more accurate, readable, and interesting.

Reflecting over the past two years, we cannot deny the struggles encountered as we attempted to study an ill-defined, emerging educational innovation such as work-based learning. However, we will also not quickly forget the sense of accomplishment this project has given us. We are proud of our efforts and thank all who shared in the experience with us.

Debra D. Bragg
Russell E. Hamm
Kay A. Trinkle






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