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FINDINGS AND DISCUSSION

This section of the report provides a discussion of the survey results according to the major sections of the questionnaire beginning with institutional characteristics (Part Six). Then, findings regarding the scope of work-based learning (Part One) are presented followed by a description of health and nonhealth programs (Parts Two and Three) that colleges nominated as indicative of their colleges' "best" work-based learning programs. Next, results from Part Four of the survey are discussed in relation to the barriers to growth of work-based learning and level of support for such programs from various stakeholder groups. Finally, respondents' recommendations for ways local, state, and federal governments could encourage the growth of work-based learning are presented.

Institutional Characteristics of Responding Two-Year Colleges

A series of questions sought to identify the characteristics of the two-year colleges responding to the survey instrument. The intent of the questions was to identify characteristics of two-year colleges in the United States that operate work-based learning programs in order to provide a context for interpreting all other survey results. Information concerning the size of the responding institutions was sought by asking for an institution's total head-count enrollment for fiscal year 1993 (FY93) as well as full-time equivalent (FTE) enrollment for FY93. Table 1 portrays the head-count enrollment patterns of the responding colleges.

Table 1
Student Head-Count Enrollment of Two-Year Colleges (FY93)

Head-Count Enrollment
by 1,000s
Number of Colleges Percent of Colleges

Up to 4,00012732%
4,001 to 8,0007719
8,001 to 12,0006216
12,001 to 16,000297
16,001 to 20,000236
20,001 to 24,000205
24,001 to 28,000144
28,001 to 32,000123
32,001 to 36,00051
36,001 to 40,00041
36,001 to 44,00051
44,001 & over133

n = 430

Results show that approximately 50% of the colleges had enrollments of less than 8,000 head-count. Approximately one-half of the responding colleges identified themselves as being in rural or small town community environments which corresponds with the smaller size of the colleges reported in Table 1 and also in Table 2. Only 20% reported being located in an urban area. Aggregating all the institutions' head-count enrollments, the average for two-year colleges responding to this questionnaire was 12,402 (SD=13,245.6) The wide variation in student enrollments is evident in the range of head-count enrollments reported by responding institutions (i.e., a minimum of 150 students and maximum of 77,086).

Table 2 presents enrollments of the two-year colleges by student FTE enrollment. As in Table 1, the largest percentage of colleges reported enrollments at the lower end of the scale. In the case of FTE enrollment, one-third of the responding colleges had FTE enrollments of 2,000 or below; over 60% had enrollments of 4,000 FTE or below. The mean of the size of the institutions by FTE enrollment was 5,307. Again, the variation in enrollment figures is evident from the standard deviation of 6,729 as well as a minimum of 6 and maximum of 59,000 FTE student enrollments for responding two-year colleges. When asked what change had occurred in enrollment over the past two fiscal years, nearly 57% of the institutions reported that FTE enrollments had increased by more than 2% annually. Another 37% indicated FTE enrollments were unchanged and only 6% said their FTE enrollments had decreased by more than 2% annually during the past two fiscal years.

Findings regarding change in FTE enrollments are particularly interesting in light of other findings of the study regarding recent changes in resources. When asked whether financial resources to support the college had been increasing, stable, or decreasing during the past two years, approximately 42% reported that financial resources had decreased. Another 38% said financial resources had remained stable and only 20% reported resources had increased. These results suggest a potentially troubling trend: As enrollment demands upon nearly 60% of the responding colleges have increased, a sizable proportion of these schools have also experienced declining financial resources. If this trend continues, it could create difficulty for any new educational innovation, including new or updated work-based learning programs. Later in this report when barriers to the establishment of work-based learning programs are described, readers should note that three of the highest rated barriers to the growth of work-based learning have to do with financial resources.

Table 2
Student FTE Enrollment of Two-Year Colleges (FY93)

FTE Enrollment by 1,000s Number of Colleges Percent of Colleges

Up to 2,00013033%
2,001 to 4,00011328
4,001 to 6,0006216
6,001 to 8,000246
8,001 to 10,000195
10,001 to 12,00082
12,001 to 14,000103
14,001 to 16,00082
16,001 to 18,00092
18,001 to 20,00021
20,001 to 22,00021
22,001 to 24,00031
24,001 & over82

n = 417

The survey also sought to discover the nature of the missions of the responding two-year colleges by asking respondents to indicate the percentage of their student enrollment in the following three basic types of education: (1) transfer or college parallel; (2) occupational, technical, or career (including commercial and industrial) training; and (3) adult, continuing, or basic education. Results show that by calculating a mean for all responding institutions, the transfer or college parallel area and occupational, technical, or career areas were quite similar with 37% (SD=21.5) and 41% (SD=20.3), respectively. A smaller percentage of students were enrolled in adult, continuing, or basic education (22%; SD=19.4). These results suggest that, on average, institutions enrolled roughly the same number of students in transfer and occupational-technical curricula, accounting for nearly 80% of their total student enrollments.

Overall Scope of Work-Based Learning

An important focus of this study was to determine the scope of work-based learning conducted by U.S. two-year colleges in terms of the types of programs and student enrollments. This goal included determining what percentage of the overall education mission of colleges included work-based learning. To provide a focus for what was meant by work-based learning, the beginning section of the questionnaire prominently displayed the following definition:

By work-based learning (WBL) programs, we mean instructional programs that deliberately use the workplace as a site for student learning. WBL programs are formal, structured, and strategically organized by instructional staff, employers, and sometimes other groups to link learning in the workplace to students' college-based learning experiences. WBL programs have formal instructional plans that directly relate students' WBL activities to their career goals. These WBL experiences are usually but not always college-credit generating. Instructional programs that involve youth apprenticeships, clinical experiences, school-based enterprises, and formal registered apprenticeships are examples of WBL programs we are seeking to learn more about in this study.

Question two of the survey asked respondents to estimate both the numbers of students (by head-count) in predominant curriculum areas and the number of students who were in work-based learning programs within each of the curriculum areas (see Table 3). In the survey, the major curriculum areas were defined as follows:

In addition, respondents could indicate other major curriculum areas and provide enrollment figures similar to those reported for the previous categories.

Table 3
Head-Count Enrollment and Work-Based Learning Enrollment in
Major Curriculum Areas (FY93)

Head-Count
Enrollment
Number of Students
in WBL
Major Curriculum
Area
n Mean SD n Mean SD Percent of Students
in WBL

Occupational-
Technical
346 4,695 6,662 346 826 1,485 17.6%
Transfer &
Liberal Arts
84 6,346 11,048 84 499 1,936 7.9
Developmental &
Basic Studies
32 3,688 6,633 32 470 1,046 12.7
Community &
Continuing
Education
60 5,018 18,061 60 1,409 5,112 11.0
Customized or
Contracted Training
107 1,596 2,724 107 877 1,809 54.9

Note: This table contains only the cases where both head-count enrollment and work-based learning enrollment were provided for major curriculum areas. The difference between the number of cases in this table and the total sample of 454 cases is attributable to respondents' indicating zero (0) enrollments in the major curriculum areas (including work-based learning enrollments) as well as unknown or missing information.

Results in Table 3 show the head-count enrollment and number and percentage of students in work-based learning for each major curriculum area. Results are reported for only those cases where both the head-count enrollment and number of students in work-based learning were provided by respondents. Therefore, this table represents the scope of work-based learning by major curriculum area only where colleges also reported having some level of work-based learning. If zero (0) students were reported to be in a major curriculum area and/or none were reported to be in work-based learning, or if either of these estimates was unknown or missing, the cases were dropped. Consequently, findings reported in Table 3 should not be generalized for all respondents, only those who were known to have some level of work-based learning within the specified curriculum areas. Interestingly, this exercise revealed that a potentially large percentage of institutions had no students involved in work-based learning, had no measure of student involvement, or simply could not provide data for some unidentified reason. Consequently, it was not possible to provide information regarding "scope" of work-based learning across various major curriculum areas for the entire population of U.S. two-year colleges.

Given that, evident from Table 3 is the preponderance of work-based learning in career-related curriculum areas. Slightly over 75% of respondents provided data regarding student head-count enrollment and work-based learning enrollment for the curriculum area of occupational-technical (vocational) education. Results suggest that for responding institutions, an average of 18% of vocational students were enrolled in work-based learning in FY93. Although this percentage is not particularly high, these results confirm the National Assessment of Vocational Education (NAVE) (1994b) finding that work-based learning is occurring fairly regularly at some level within the vast majority of two-year colleges in the United States. NAVE (1994b) described two-year colleges as providing "a variety of options in the delivery of job-related instruction" (p. 143) and actively engaged in various partnerships with local employers. When examining co-op programs, NAVE reported that 69% of public two-year postsecondary schools had co-op programs serving 81,000 students (2% of all students at those institutions). When assessing apprenticeship, NAVE reported that 25% of public two-year postsecondary institutions had registered apprenticeship programs with a median enrollment of 48 students. Far fewer had youth apprenticeship programs: only 26 two-year institutions in the nation reported having such programs, and only one-half of these programs reported having students enrolled.

Beyond the major curriculum area of occupational-technical education, only a small proportion of responding colleges provided both head-count enrollments as well as estimates of the number of students in work-based learning in any of the remaining major curriculum areas. Based on responses from only 25% of the two-year colleges responding to the survey, a curriculum area with a high percentage of students in work-based learning is customized or contract training with an average of 55% of students reportedly involved. Finding such a high percentage of students in contract training who were also participating in work-based learning is notable because this type of education has been neglected by current policy on school-to-work or vocational education. Rather, the federal legislation concentrates on assisting youth not bound for four-year college to transition into other postsecondary education or workforce opportunities. Adult training or retraining via contracts with local business and industry appears to be an area growing in importance for many of the nation's two-year colleges that needs to be addressed by new federal legislation on school-to-work or vocational education (Jacobs & Bragg, 1994).

Still fewer colleges provided data on head-count enrollment and work-based learning student participation for the major curriculum areas of transfer and liberal arts, developmental and basic studies, or community and continuing education. Although the exact percentage is unknown, results indicate that at least some of the responding institutions did not provide work-based learning for students in any of these major curriculum areas. Of those that did, only 8% of students in transfer programs were reported to be in work-based learning. In addition, less than 13% of students in developmental and basic studies and 11% of students in community and continuing education were reportedly enrolled in work-based learning in responding institutions. These figures project a rather limited use of work-based learning among curriculum areas outside of the traditional career-oriented areas of two-year colleges, a finding that is not particularly surprising given the focus of many of these units on the academic preparation of students for further postsecondary education.

To summarize, probably most importantly, results indicate that many two-year colleges are not accustomed to classifying and counting students based on their involvement in work-based learning. This is evident because many responding institutions were unable to provide information on the incidence of student involvement in work-based learning, particularly in curriculum areas outside of vocational education. If two-year colleges were to expand the notion of work-based learning throughout the entire curriculum, it is apparent that the parts with some foothold are in the occupational-technical education and customized training areas. Involving more vocational program areas would be a logical extension of what has already occurred in many two-year colleges. The extent to which other curriculum areas such as transfer developmental, or continuing education would have interest or expertise to expand work-based learning is unclear. Although, as the next section will indicate, sometimes work-based learning is mandated in an academic discipline in a particular two-year college, suggesting expansion of the concept into transfer or other curriculum areas is feasible.

Programs Requiring Work-Based Learning

Question three sought to discover which programs in two-year colleges require work-based learning for students. Table 4 shows program areas as well as average enrollments for the 418 colleges responding to this particular question. Note that the question limited responses to program areas that require work-based learning, not just those providing a work-based learning option or advocating such experiences. Therefore, these responses should not be viewed as indicative of general student participation rates for the specified program areas. Rather, they provide an indication of the incidence in which specific curriculum areas mandate student participation in work-based learning and the average enrollment for such programs.

Table 4 shows the number of colleges indicating that student majors are required to participate in a work-based learning component in 58 selected program/discipline areas (listed in alphabetical order). For each program, Table 4 also displays a mean enrollment and standard deviation. (Note that most of the standard deviations are high, indicating a wide range in the number of students in the selected programs at responding colleges.)

Overall, of all the respondents to this particular question, only a small percentage reported requiring students to participate in work-based learning in any of the selected program areas outside of nursing and nursing-related occupations. In this area, however, 63% of the responding institutions indicated they offer nursing and nursing-related occupations that require work-based learning. (It is presumed that most of the other 36% of responding institutions do not offer nursing or nursing-related programs since work-based learning is mandated by professional licensing boards for nursing occupations.) In addition, the average enrollments of nursing and nursing-related occupations are quite large in relationship to most other program/discipline areas. Nursing and nursing-related programs had an average enrollment of 344 students, indicating that a large number of students were participating, at least among responding institutions.

Table 4
Frequency of Selected Programs Requiring Work-Based Learning and Enrollments by Program Area (FY93)

Enrollment Enrollment
n Program Area Mean SD n Program Area Mean SD
48 Accounting 129 145 12 Interior design 52 37
23 Agribusiness & management 55 35 57 Law enforcement 176 165
12 Architectural design & technololgy 72 58 8 Lifesciences 434 477
63 Automotive mechanics 80 88 49 Marketing 68 87
8 Aviation & space technology 94 58 10 Mechnical design technology 53 28
13 Banking & finance 36 23 14 Media & graphic arts 88 88
52 Business administration & management 283 403 14 Metalworking 58 46
10 Biotechnology 46 31 15 Microcomputers 95 78
8 Brick, block, & stonemasonry 33 20 9 Natural resources & environmental sciences 55 71
25 Carpentry 58 75 262 Nursing & nursing-related occupations 344 447
106 Child care & development 126 133 29 Occupational therapy 112 118
10 Communications 41 29 54 Office management 126 133
21 Computer-aided design & drafting 72 73 4 Personnel management 27 17
7 Computer integrated manufacturing 34 26 11 Photography 42 36
33 Computer technology 154 196 38 Physical therapy 77 86
22 Construction 67 72 16 Plumbing 94 108
16 Corrections 107 107 9 Printing 64 36
47 Dental hygiene 62 56 1 Public utilities management 5 0
30 Education 159 187 7 Quality control, management, & improvement 46 23
40 Electronics & electronic technology 110 121 81 Radiologic technology 80 100
76 Emergency medical technology 122 161 15 Realestate 54 54
29 Fashion merchandising 34 30 76 Respiratory therapy 59 67
22 Firefighting 137 166 18 Retailing 57 53
33 Food production 95 92 52 Social work/social services 169 147
7 Forestry 43 20 2 Statistical process control 22 12
18 Heating, air condition, & refrigerator 63 77 6 Telecommunications technology 24 14
13 Humanities 247 224 9 Tool& die making 117 114
19 Horticulture 79 72 27 Welding, brazing, & soldering 35 34
43 Hotel/motel management 73 63 111 Other: 83 134
25 Information processing 241 319

n = 418

Not surprisingly, other program areas with the highest incidence of required work-based learning are programs that link a mandatory workplace learning experience to occupational credentialling. Therefore, other program areas that require work-based learning are child care and development (including early childhood education) and other health occupations. Table 5 presents the findings by rank order of incidence in responding institutions of the top twenty program/discipline areas that require work-based learning. Note that besides nursing and nursing-related occupations, child care and development programs requiring work-based learning were reported to occur in approximately 25% of responding institutions. All other program/discipline areas were reported less frequently.

Note that four of the top five programs are health-care related and five of the top fifteen are related to business occupations. Generally, enrollments in some of these areas were quite large in comparison to other program areas. For example, the average enrollment in nursing, law enforcement, business administration and management, social work/social services, and computer technologies was greater than 150 students. On average, the program areas of child care and development, emergency medical technician, office management, accounting, and electronics and electrical technician all enrolled more than 100 students, on average.

In addition to the twenty program/discipline areas shown in Table 5, some program areas that rarely require work-based learning have relatively large average enrollments (again, see Table 4). For example, although only eight institutions reported requiring work-based learning for students enrolled in life sciences programs, the average enrollment for these programs was 434. Similarly, an average of 247 students were reported to be enrolled in humanities programs that require work-based learning in thirteen responding institutions. These results provide evidence that work-based learning has been applied to curriculum areas outside of career-related areas. In these cases, the number of transfer or liberal studies students was quite large. Other program areas with average enrollments over 100 students were corrections, education, firefighting, information processing, occupational therapy, and tool and die making. Although these programs appear less frequently in responding institutions, where present, they enroll a sizable number of students in work-based learning opportunities.

Table 5
Top Program Areas Requiring Work-Based Learning Based on Frequency of Occurrence in Two-Year Colleges (FY93)


Program Number WBL Enrollment
(Mean)

Nursing & nursing-related occupations 262 344
Child care & development 106 126
Radiologic technology 81 80
Respiratory therapy 76 59
Emergency medical technology 76 122
Automotive mechanics 63 80
Law enforcement 57 176
Office management 55 126
Business administration & management 52 283
Social work/social services 52 169
Marketing 49 68
Carpentry,bricklaying, plumbing
(Traditional apprenticeships)
49 67
Accounting 48 129
Retailing & fashion merchandising 47 43
Dental hygiene 47 62
Hotel management 43 73
Electronics & electronics technology 40 110
Physical therapy 38 77
Computer technology 33 154
Food production 33 95

n = 418

Given these results, the two areas of health-care (e.g., nursing, radiologic technology, respiratory therapy) and business curriculum (e.g., office management, business administration, marketing) appear to be the most predominant program/discipline areas requiring students to participate in work-based learning. Other curricula may encourage or offer such experiences as well; however, this study focused on the incidence and scope of required work-based learning occurring in 58 program/discipline areas. Beyond the specific area of nursing and nursing-related occupations, the predominant program area requiring work-based learning was child care and development. Other programs that were reported to require work-based learning by a more modest number of responding institutions included automotive mechanics; law enforcement; traditional apprenticeship areas such as carpentry, bricklaying, and plumbing; hotel management; electronics; computer technology; and food production.

Also of note is what is not in the top listing of programs requiring work-based learning. Few programs related to manufacturing such as metal working, mechanical design, and tool and die making were reported to require students to participate in work-based learning. Of further interest was the relatively low incidence with which high tech programs were reported to require student majors to have work-based learning experiences. For example, computer-aided design and drafting, computer integrated manufacturing, and telecommunications were identified by 21 or fewer institutions as requiring student majors to have work-based learning activities. The reasons for the low incidence of such programs in responding institutions is unknown; however, the authors speculate there could be a number of factors related to the phenomenon. For example, the nation's slow economic climate throughout the past decade may have limited or stifled student opportunities in work-based learning. In addition, other changes in the ways particular businesses and industries operate may have precluded their participation in educational programs such as these. Further, competing priorities within two-year institutions may have limited work-based learning in various curriculum areas. Certainly, the situation is complex and no simple conclusion can be drawn from these results. More research is needed to fully understand the nature of work-based learning that is either required or encouraged across the various program areas of U.S. two-year colleges.

Health and Nonhealth Work Based Learning Programs

Parts Two and Three of the survey delved into selected program areas that utilize work-based learning within the two-year college. In Part Two, the instrument contained questions concerning health curriculum areas that involve work-based learning. In Part Three, the same request was made regarding a nonhealth program area. In both parts, respondents were asked to choose the program that best met the following criteria:

Of all responding institutions, 399 nominated a health work-based learning program. Based on classifying open-ended responses utilizing DOT codes, the health program nominated most often was the area of nursing, including licensed practical nurse (LPN), registered nurse (RN), and associate degree nurse (ADN). Table 6 shows that 220 institutions nominated nursing as the program that best fulfilled the criteria provided in the survey. The area of nursing assistant was the program area with the second highest number of nominations. Taken together, the two program areas of nursing and nursing assistant accounted for approximately 76% of the nominations in the area of health work-based learning. Other health program areas that were nominated were radiologic technology (22 institutions), respiratory therapy technician (14 institutions), and medical laboratory technician (13 institutions). None of the other health programs was nominated by more than 10 institutions.

When asked to nominate programs outside of the health fields according to the four criteria specified in the questionnaire, 322 respondents complied. A wide range of program areas was provided by respondents, with the general category of business and office technology topping the list of nominated programs. A total of 41 institutions nominatedprograms that fit into this particular category (based on DOT codes). The second largest category of "other" work-based learning programs was that of automotive technology with 34 nominations. Engineering technologies was next with 24 nominations. Programs labeled "cooperative education" or "cooperative work experience" were specified by 21 institutions and agricultural-related occupations by 20 institutions. All other categories received fewer than 20 nominations. These program areas were very wide ranging, including such areas as traditional adult apprenticeships (e.g., carpentry, electrical), human services, business administration, law enforcement, child care, horticulture, travel and tourism, and contract training.

Table 6
Frequency of Health Programs Nominated as "Best" by Two-Year Colleges

Health ProgramNumber of Colleges

Nursing (LPN, RN, ADN)220
Nursing assistant82
Radiologic technology22
Respiratory therapy technology14
Medical lab technology13
Physical therapy technology9
Dental assistant6
Allied health4
Digital medical sonography technology4
Unknown (program area unspecified or unclear)4
Dental laboratory technology3
Emergency medical technology3
Medical records technology3
Surgical technology3
Veterinarian assistant2
Dietetic assistant1
Electroencephalography1
Medical secretary1
Nursing home assistant1
Opthalmic dispenser1
Otho/Prosthetic technology1
Pharmacy assistant1

n = 399

In the case of either the health or nonhealth programs, respondents were asked to describe the qualities that led them to select the particular program as one of their institutions "best" work-based learning programs. The length and content of the written explanations for selecting particular programs were diverse, but fell into four general groups. First, a small percentage of respondents indicated that the nominated program was the "only WBL program" offered and said so in a sentence or less. A second group stated that the program selected met the criteria specified in the questionnaire; some briefly restated the criteria in their own words, explaining generally how they applied to the nominated program. A third and much larger group substantiated that at least one of the criterion was particularly applicable to the nominated program, providing specific examples (e.g., "proven track record" evidenced by transfer rates, job placement rates, and so on) Finally, a fourth group gave extensive explanations for their nominations, indicating how the selected program fit each of the criteria. Some of these descriptions included the following: curricular plans, contractual agreements between the workplace and college, performance measurements, and formal articulation agreements. It was interesting to note that of all the explanations given for selecting a particular program (health or nonhealth), two rationale were stated repeatedly as the basis for a program's worthiness as a "best" work-based learning program. They were the existence of "strong college and employer linkages" and evidence of a "proven track record."

Table 7
Frequency of Other Programs Nominated as "Best" by Two-Year Colleges

Other Program Number of Colleges

Business & office technology (including secretarial, data processing, & information technology)
41
Automotive technology (including mechanics, service management)34
Engineering technologies (including aviation, biomedical, electronics, mechanics, telecommunications)
24
Cooperative education & cooperative work experience 21
Agricultural-related occupations (e.g., agribusiness, swine management, fisheries technology, farm management)
20
Early childhood education, general education, & special education18
Carpentry, electrical, masonry, & plumbing (including traditional apprentices) 17
Business, business management, management, & business administration 15
Human services (including social work)14
Culinary arts & chef apprenticeship12
Hospitality, hotel, restaurant management, & food marketing management 11
Unknown--program area unspecified or unclear11
Criminal justice & law enforcement10
Accounting, banking, & finance 9
Retail, merchandising, & marketing9
Child care & child development8
Health-related occupations classied as "other" (e.g., veterinary technology, mortuary science, mental health, chemical dependency)
7
Manufacturing & industrial occupations (including traditional apprentices) 7
Horticulture6
Legal assistant6
Radio, TV, video/media communications, & applied graphics design technology 5
Adult basic literacy & workplace literacy4
Travel & tourism4
Contract training with business3
Interior design2
Cosmetology1
Grocery checker1
Pulp & paper technology1
Real estate1

n = 322

Characteristics of Nominated Work-Based Learning Programs

Once a particular program area was nominated for Part Two (health) and Part Three (nonhealth) of the questionnaire, respondents were asked to provide more detailed information. One question asked respondents to indicate the first year the program was implemented. Results indicate that few nominated programs in either the health or other (nonhealth) areas were implemented prior to 196l, although health programs tended to be implemented before the nonhealth programs. Nearly one-third of all nominated health programs were first implemented between 1961 and 1969. In contrast, only about 16% of other work-based learning programs were implemented in 1969 or earlier. Few health programs had been started since 1990, whereas 18% of nonhealth programs had been implemented since that time. Overall, these results suggest other programs are newer, less mature programs; however, the vast majority of all programs nominated, whether health or other, were implemented prior to 1990; in fact, many were started prior to 1980.

Table 8
Year of Implementation of Nominated Health and
Other Work-Based Learning Programs


Year
Health WBL Program
Percent of Colleges
Other WBL Program
Percent of Colleges

Prior to 1961 4.8% 5.6%
1961 to 196931.3 9.5
1970 to 197937.731.7
1980 to 198919.835.3
1990 to Present 6.418.0

For health programs n=374; for other programs n=306.

Continuing with questions that focused on the characteristics of nominated programs, respondents were asked to provide data to a sequence of questions:

1. How many students enrolled in the program during FY93?
2. How many full- and part-time faculty were directly involved in the program in FY93?
3. How many hours would a student have spent in the worksite by the completion of the program?

Results of these questions help to provide a clearer picture of the size and scope of nominated programs. For example, on average, the nominated health programs enrolled 144 students in FY93 (SD=175.5). However, enrollment varied widely, ranging from 10 to 1,292 students, excluding an outlying case where 4,113 students were said to be enrolled in a health work-based learning program. The nominated nonhealth programs had a slightly larger number of students enrolled in FY93, averaging 163 (SD=291.3). The number of students in other (nonhealth) programs ranged from 1 to 2,423.

Whereas the average student enrollment for the nominated health and nonhealth programs was similar, the number of faculty differed. For health programs, an average of 7.16 (SD=6.45) full-time faculty and 7.20 (SD=8.82) part-time faculty were reported to be directly involved. The number of full-time faculty ranged from 1 to 50 (excluding an outlying case of 90) and part-time faculty ranged from 1 to 60 (excluding an outlying case of 204). In regard to other programs, an average of 2.98 full-time faculty (SD=3.23) and 5.71 part-time faculty (SD=8.37) were reported to be directly involved. The number of full-time faculty ranged from one (1) to 25; part-time ranged from 1 to 80.

These results indicate that the nominated health programs had over twice the full-time faculty as other (nonhealth) programs. Part-time faculty were also more prevalent in health than other programs. In fact, when examining other programs, part-time faculty were more prevalent than full-time. This information is particularly interesting in light of the average number of hours reported for students in the workplace upon their completion of work-based learning. On average, health students were reported to have spent 741.0 hours in the workplace (SD=431.2; minimum of 8 hours and maximum of 3,000) and other nonhealth students were shown to have spent 769.6 hours (SD=1,346.1; minimum of 10 hours and maximum of 8,000). These findings suggest that, on average, students in nonhealth programs spend more time in work-based learning than students in health programs and these experiences are accomplished with fewer faculty. However, it is important to point out the wide variability of responses concerning other nonhealth programs. Sixty percent of respondents indicated students' work-based learning experiences accumulated to approximately 400 hours by completion. Only 20 respondents (7.3%) indicated nonhealth work-based learning experiences were 2,000 hours or greater. Consequently, the disparity between faculty involvement in health and nonhealth programs may not be as extreme as it appears on initial examination. However, faculty capacity to support work-based learning, especially in nonhealth program areas remains a concern.

Another question asked respondents to indicate the size of employers that participated in the nominated work-based learning programs in FY93. Respondents were asked to indicate the percentage of companies that were small (fewer than 100 employees), medium-sized (100-500 employees), or large (over 500 employees). Table 9 provides a comparison of results for health and other nominated programs. For employer groups participating with health work-based learning programs, the largest percentage (44%) were reported to be of medium-sized firms. The remainder of responses were fairly evenly split between small and large companies. For nonhealth nominated programs, the greatest percentage of respondents indicated employers were small (63%). The remaining responses were roughly divided between medium-sized and large companies. Overall, these results indicate that the vast majority of health and nonhealth programs place students in work-based learning experiences with small to medium-sized firms of less than 500 employees. Nonhealth work-based learning programs predominantly use small companies (fewer than 100 employees) for student placements.

Table 9
Size of Employers with Nominated Health
and Other Work-Based Learning Programs

Employer Size Health WBL Program
Percent of Colleges
(Mean)

Other WBL Program
Percent of Colleges
(Mean)

Small companies (fewer than 100 employees) 27.6% 63.4%
Medium-sized companies (100 - 500 employees) 43.8 19.0
Large companies (over 500 employees) 29.2 14.7

See the Appendix for the number of cases per cell.

Work-Based Learning Models and Components

Another key question asked respondents to choose from the five general models of work-based learning provided in the questionnaire the one that best fit their nominated program. Respondents could also write in a response under the "other" category if none of the models seemed appropriate. The general model categories were clinical experience, cooperative education, school-based enterprise, traditional apprenticeship, and youth apprenticeship. They were defined as follows:

Almost all of the health work-based learning programs were identified by respondents as using the general model of clinical experience (97%). Cooperative education was chosen in approximately 2% of respondents' health work-based learning programs. Another 1% chose the "other" category, typically describing a mix of more than one model (e.g., internship and clinical experience). No respondents identified the health programs as based on the traditional apprenticeship, school-based enterprise, or youth apprenticeship models.

In contrast, nonhealth work-based learning programs typically utilized the cooperative education (co-op) model. Nearly two-thirds of all of the other programs were described as using that particular model. Another 13% of nonhealth programs reported using the clinical experience model, similar to health programs. About an equal percentage (12.7%) reported using an "other" model besides the five models given in the questionnaire for other work-based learning programs. Often this "other" model was described as an internship experience. Very few respondents indicated that traditional formal apprenticeship, school-based enterprise, or youth apprenticeship were the general model that fit their nominated nonhealth program. In attempting to understand why these particular models were prevalent in nominated programs, it is important to recall the criteria provided in the questionnaire. Respondents were directed to select only those programs that were fully operational (i.e., with formal commitments from faculty, local employers, and supporting organizations) and that had a formal structure and proven track record. Consequently, programs based on the more contemporary youth apprenticeship or the school-based enterprise models may not have been perceived to meet these criteria. The more traditional approaches of clinical experience and co-op were the overwhelming choices when respondents nominated either health or nonhealth programs.

Table 10
Percent of Nominated Health and Nonhealth Programs
by Work-Based Learning Model


Model Health WBL Program
Percent of Colleges
Other WBL Program
Percent of Colleges

Clinical experiences 97.2% 13.0%
Cooperative education 1.8 63.6
Traditional formal apprenticeship 0.0 6.6
School-based enterprise 0.0 2.2
Youth apprenticeship 0.0 1.9
Other 1.0 12.7

For health programs n=393; for other programs n=316.

To create a better understanding of how various components are implemented in association with health and other work-based learning programs, respondents were asked to indicate whether 29 components were a formal part of the nominated work-based learning programs during FY93. Respondents could also write in up to three "other" components; however, few components were listed in the returned surveys. By including these components in the Fall 1993 questionnaire, we (the authors) attempted to determine how key elements of the then anticipated federal School-To-Work Opportunities (STWO) law might relate to existing two-year college work-based learning programs and models. Subsequent developments have shown that indeed most of these elements have become a part of the federal STWO law, and the school-based, work-based, and school-to-work connecting components, in particular. Consequently, this particular part of the study has provided a glimpse into how existing "best" work-based learning programs may fit the new STWO legislation.

Overall, of the 29 school-to-work components presented in the questionnaire, 50% or more of the respondents indicated that 19 were implemented as a formal part of health work-based learning programs. By comparison, 18 components were indicated to be a formal part of nonhealth work-based learning programs according to 50% or more of the respondents. The actual rankings by percentage of respondents for all 29 components for both health and other work-based learning programs is provided in Table 11 (based on the percentage of respondents affirming the components for health work-based learning programs.)

Table 11
Frequency Colleges Report Components as a Formal Part of Nominated Health and Nonhealth Work-Based Learning Program


Component Health WBL
Percent of
Colleges
Other WBL
Percent of
Colleges

Periodic evaluation of student progress 99.7 100.0
Coordinated classroom and workplace learning 99.7 96.5
Formal contracts or co-op agreements with institutional partners 96.4 73.2
Formal assessment, certification of skills based on individual standards 95.9 75.3
Recognized credentials of academics, occupational mastery for completers 94.6 77.2
Integrated occupational-technical & academic instruction 93.8 57.3
Formal program of career awareness, orientation, & guidance 90.3 85.0
Governing/advisory board composed of institutional partners 88.4 84.5
Rotatio of students through different jobs 87.8 62.2
Preparatory or remedial services to enable students to enter WBL 83.0 80.5
Regular consultation between workplace mentors & college faculty 82.4 82.2
Transitional services for special needs populations/at-risk students 73.5 66.5
Mentors or coaches for students in the workplace 69.7 74.8
Marketing and/or promotion of WBL programs 66.5 76.9
Donations of funding & equipment by business 64.0 57.3
Job placement for WBL graduates 61.6 77.1
Training of college faculty & staff in the workplace 60.0 39.5
Individualized student training plans 57.4 77.6
Inservice of college faculty & staff in WBL concepts 50.7 42.1
Workplace (employer-based) training centers used for WBL 48.8 42.7
Recruitment of targeted student groups 48.0 59.0
Training and credentialling of workplace mentors or coaches 47.0 30.8
Training of college faculty and staff conducted by business 35.3 34.4
Formal articulation agreements with secondary school WBL programs 22.6 32.8
Incentives to increase WBL participation by businesses, trade organizations, unions, & community-based organizations 19.2 33.5
Guaranteed hiring of qualified graduates by particiating employers 13.1 15.4
Funded Tech Prep program 12.7 17.4
Wages and stipends for students 5.1 69.3
Entrepreneurship or small business training for students 4.0 41.9

See the Appendix for cases per cell. Responses are rank ordered according to the percentage of components implemented as a formal part of the nominated health programs.

Over 90% of respondents indicated some components to be a formal part of health work-based learning programs (that were also overwhelmingly based on the clinical experience model) such as periodic evaluation; coordinated classroom and workplace learning; formal contracts or cooperative agreements with partners; formal assessment and certification of skills based on industry standards; integrated occupational-technical academic instruction; and formal programs of career awareness, orientation, and guidance. By comparison, only two components were indicated by over 90% of respondents as a formal part of nonhealth work-based learning programs (that were also primarily based on the cooperative education model). These two components were periodic evaluation of student progress and coordinated classroom and workplace learning.

Since a majority of components were a formal part of health and nonhealth work-based learning programs, it is interesting to examine the components that were not selected for each type of work-based learning program. In regard to health work-based learning programs, entrepreneurship or small business training and student wages or stipends were rarely provided. In addition, guaranteed hiring was reported by few respondents in regard to either health or other work-based learning programs. Incentives to increase participation in work-based learning were reported by slightly less than 20% of respondents regarding health programs and by only about one-third of respondents regarding other programs.

In addition, few respondents reported that either health or other work-based learning programs were receiving Tech Prep funds. Since Tech Prep funding is a relatively recent phenomenon and the vast majority of programs were first implemented earlier than 1990 (many programs were implemented prior to 1980, in fact), it is not particularly surprising that few programs were receiving Tech Prep funds. This finding may suggest, however, that there may be opportunities to connect the Tech Prep concept (and funding) to two-year college work-based learning programs or to modify or create new programs that better fit that particular approach. Respondents indicated that a fairly small number of health programs (23%) and about one-third of nonhealth programs were formally articulated with secondary schools. Where these articulation agreements were already in existence but Tech Prep curriculum was not fully developed, as prior research suggests is commonplace (Bragg, et al., 1994; NAVE, 1994b), there may be opportunity to implement the Tech Prep concept more fully.

Other components reported to be implemented by less than 50% of health or other work-based learning programs in FY93 were training and credentialling of workplace mentors, training of college faculty and staff by employers, and use of workplace training centers of local employers. In addition, only 42% of other work-based learning programs reported having a component of inservice of college faculty and staff in work-based learning concepts. All of these components deal with the human resources side of the innovation. Their limited presence in either health or other programs could be detrimental to using the various work-based learning models on a wider scale.

Finally, in regard to formal implementation of components, there were substantial differences in the frequency with which several components were implemented between health and other work-based learning programs. For instance, integration of occupational-technical and academic instruction was reported to be a formal part of 95% of health work-based learning programs but only 57% of other work-based learning programs. The three components of formal contracts or cooperative agreements with partners, formal assessments and certification based on industry standards, and recognized credentials of mastery for completers were all reported by about 95% or more of health programs compared to approximately 75% of other programs. In addition, the rotation of students through different jobs occurred with 88% of health programs but only 62% of other programs. Similarly, the training of college faculty and staff in the workplace was a part of 60% of health programs but only 40% of other programs.

In contrast, nearly 70% of other work-based learning programs reported offering wages and stipends for students, whereas only 5% of health programs provided them. Entrepreneurship or small business training for students was reported by nearly 42% of other work-based learning programs in comparison to only 4% of health programs. Other work-based learning programs were also more likely than health programs to have individualized student training plans, 78% and 57% respectively. Other programs were also somewhat more likely to have marketing and/or promotion (77%) than health programs (67%), and slightly more likely to have mentors or coaches for students in the workplace (75%) than health programs (70%). Many of these differences may be attributable, at least in part, to the use of the clinical experience model for the health programs. However, more in-depth study is needed to ascertain the nature of differences between the types of two-year college programs (health and other) as well as the various models used for work-based learning.

Results presented in this section are helpful in comparing and contrasting how particular components fit the health and nonhealth work-based learning programs. Implicit within these findings is the fact that nearly all the health programs were reported to be based on a clinical experience model and the majority of nonhealth programs were said to be based on a cooperative education model. However, this comparison of models is incomplete without delineating the nonhealth programs according to the various models selected by respondents. Table 12 presents seven different model types along with the frequency with which respondents reported each of 22 selected components to be a formal part of the programs associated with these models. (Caution is suggested in interpreting results for the school-based enterprise and youth apprenticeship models where the number of cases is extremely low.) By examining the relationships between models and components in this manner, it is possible to begin to identify patterns of pedogogical, programmatic, and administrative activity associated with each particular type of model. It is also possible to begin to examine how particular models are likely to fit selected components of the new STWO legislation.

Evident in Table 12 are several components implemented by nearly all programs no matter the type of model. For instance, coordinated classroom and workplace learning, integrated occupational-technical and academic curriculum, and periodic evaluation of students were reported to be a formal part of over 80% of all the models. In contrast, some components were implemented in low frequency regardless of the model. Components where 50% or fewer respondents indicated their implementation as a formal part of a nominated work-based learning program were Tech Prep funding, training and credentialling of mentors or coaches, inservice of college faculty and staff, and formal articulation agreements with secondary schools, with the exception being the youth apprenticeship model where approximately 83% of respondents utilizing that model indicated this particular component to be a formal part of the model.

Table 12
Percentage of Respondents Indicating Selected Components as a
Formal Part of Work-Based Learning Models


Component Clinical
Health
(n=382)
Clinical
Other
(n-41)
Co-op
(n=200)
School-
Based Ent
(n=7)
Trad.
Apprent.
(n=21)
Youth
Apprent
(n=6)
Other
(n=36)

Coordinated classroom and workplace learning 99.5% 100.0% 95.0% 100.0% 95.2% 83.3% 92.5%
Integrated occupational-technical and academic instruction 91.6 95.1 82.5 100.0 85.7 100.0 92.5
Individualized student training plans 49.5 80.5 75.0 85.7 61.9 50.0 72.5
Rotation of students through different jobs 83.7 61.0 53.5 85.7 71.4 66.7 55.0
Wages or stipends for students participating in WBL 3.9 14.6 72.5 28.6 95.2 83.3 45.0
Periodic evaluation of student progress 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0
Formal program of career awareness, orientation, and guidance 87.2 87.8 80.5 71.4 76.2 100.0 67.5
Formal assessment, certification of skills based on individual standards 94.2 82.9 63.5 71.4 95.2 83.3 72.5
Recognized credentials of academic occupational mastery for completers 88.7 78.0 65.8 71.4 100.0 66.7 72.5
Recruitment of targeted student groups 47.1 63.4 59.0 57.1 52.4 100.0 55.0
Preparatory or remedial services to enable students to enter WBL 76.7 78.0 74.5 71.4 85.7 66.7 72.5
Transitional services for special needs populations/at-risk students 65.7 61.0 61.5 71.4 55.0 50.0 37.5
Job placement for WBL graduates 56.5 53.7 75.0 100.0 76.2 66.7 52.5
Formal articulation agreements with secondary school WBL programs 19.4 34.1 26.5 28.6 28.6 83.3 30.0
Funded Tech Prep program 10.7 4.9 18.5 14.3 4.8 16.7 17.5
Mentors or coaches for students in the workplace 66.2 70.7 71.5 57.1 85.7 66.7 70.0
Training and credentialling of workplace mentors or coaches 41.9 26.8 21.0 42.9 47.6 50.0 37.5
Inservice of college faculty and staff in WBL concepts 44.9 36.6 43.0 42.9 42.9 33.3 22.5
Incentives to increase WBL participation by businesses, trade organizations, unions, community-based organizations 14.4 14.6 26.5 16.7 61.9 66.7 32.5
Formal contracts or coop agreements with institutional partners 95.3 61.0 75.0 16.7 90.5 50.0 60.0
Governing/advisory board composed of institutional partners 86.1 80.5 83.3 100.0 90.5 83.3 77.5
Marketing and/or promotion of WBL programs 57.3 53.7 76.4 57.1 81.0 66.7 70.0
Average percentage for all components 62.8 60.9 63.6 63.2 72.0 69.7 59.3

Finally, to obtain an overall picture of how the models related to the selected components, the unweighted percentages for the 22 selected components were averaged for each model (shown in the bottom line of Table 12). By comparing the average percentages, it appears that the models were fairly comparable in addressing the school-to-work concept as operationalized via the 22 selected components. All seven models showed an average of between 72% for traditional apprenticeship and 59% for "other." However, some variation was noted. Over 80% of respondents indicated that the model with the highest average percentage--traditional apprenticeship (72%)--had 11 components as a formal part of work-based learning programs. These components included student wages or stipends, formal assessment and certification of skills based on industry standards, recognized credentials of occupational and academic mastery for completers, mentors or coaches for students in the workplace, formal contracts, governing boards, and marketing. Incentives to increase participation by business, labor, and others was also reported by a high percent of respondents relative to most other models. In contrast, few respondents indicated that traditional apprenticeship employed formal articulation agreements with secondary schools (29%) or Tech Prep funds (5%).

Similarly to the traditional apprenticeship model, student wages or stipends and formal assessment and certification of skills based on industry standards were a part of the vast majority of programs claiming the youth apprenticeship model, with the model showing an average percentage of 70% of the 22 components. In addition, recruitment of targeted student groups, along with incentives to increase business, labor, and others' participation and training and credentialling of workplace mentors were identified by a high percentage of respondents relative to most of the other models. However, in contrast to the traditional apprenticeship model and several of the other models, formal articulation agreements with secondary schools (83%) and Tech Prep funding (17%) were reported in greater percentage for the youth apprenticeship model.

Whereas these two models were shown to formally employ the greatest percentage of the selected components, it is important to note that these models were identified by very few responding colleges. Together, programs utilizing the two models accounted for less than four percent of all nominations related to both health and nonhealth work-based learning. If these two models are to be utilized more extensively by two-year colleges, thereby leading to programs that institutions would nominate as their "best," information about these models needs to be disseminated more widely. Although data from this study does not fully address the scope of availability of these models, it is clear that few respondents identified these models as the basis for either health or nonhealth programs that addressed the four criteria for selecting "best" work-based learning programs. However, when they were nominated, they seemed to address the selected components quite well in relation to the other models, although evidence of their quality was not available.

The remaining five models shown in Table 12 all had an average percentage on the 22 selected components of between 64% for cooperative education and 59% for "other." Clinical-health (i.e., the clinical model associated with programs) and school-based enterprise both had an average percentage of 63% and clinical-other (i.e., the clinical model associated with nonhealth programs) had an average percentage of 61%. All five models were similar in that a high percentage of respondents indicated coordinated classroom and workplace learning, integrated occupational-technical and academic education, periodic evaluation, and governing boards to be a formal part. All of these models employed components such as formal articulation agreements with secondary schools; Tech Prep; training and credentialling of workplace mentors; inservice of college faculty; and incentives to increase business, labor, and others' involvement to a more limited extent than other models. Beyond these similarities among the five models, however, each model tended to employ one or a few components to a greater extent than the other models.

Over 80% of respondents identifying the clinical-health model indicated that rotation of students through different jobs, a formal program of career awareness, formal assessment and certification, formal contracts, and governing boards were components. The school-based enterprise model was shown to employ rotation of students through different jobs, job placement, and individualized student training plans to a greater extent than several other models. (However, due to the very low number of cases of this particular model, similarly to the youth apprenticeship model, readers are asked to interpret the findings cautiously.) Co-op employed student wages or stipends, Tech Prep funding, and marketing to a greater extent than many of the other models. The clinical-other model utilized individualized student training plans and recruitment of targeted student groups more than most other models. Finally, the "other" model, primarily reported to be internships, did not employ any of the components in a particularly frequent way in comparison to the other models except for Tech Prep funds which were reported by 17.5% of respondents, second only to co-op where 18.5% of respondents indicated Tech Prep funds were used.

These results suggest that there is variation in the way the models fit the school-to-work components and no one model has all the components. Models such as traditional apprenticeship and youth apprenticeship tended to have components such as student wages or stipends and incentives for business, labor, and others to participate in work-based learning to a greater extent than other models. In contrast, the clinical-health, clinical-other, co-op, and school-based enterprise models often employed components such as individualized student training plans and job rotation more than the other models. Overall, the two models of traditional apprenticeship (72%) and youth apprenticeship (70%) showed the highest average percentage on the 22 selected components but, interestingly, few programs utilizing these models were nominated. However, the remaining five models were not far behind with a range of average percentage from co-op (64%) to "other" (59%).

Location of Primary Responsibility for Components

A final area pertaining to Parts Two and Three of the survey centered on the party or parties with whom primary responsibility for 21 specific work-based learning components rested. Respondents were asked to indicate the location of primary responsibility for the selected health and other (nonhealth) work-based learning programs. The choices of primary location were as follows:

Respondents could also select NA if the component was thought to "not apply" to the nominated health or other work-based learning programs. A complete listing of components is presented in Table 13 as well as the frequency of colleges' responses to each particular item.

Table 13
Location of Primary Responsibility for Selected Work-Based Learning Components of
Nominated Health and Other Nonhealth Programs


Health WBL Program Other WBL Program
Component College Work-
place
Other
Agency
Formal/
Shared
NA College Work-
place
Other
Agency
Formal/
Shared
NA

Delivery of instruction primarily the responsibility of 94.2% 0.5% 0.0% 5.0% 0.3% 82.9% 3.1% 0.3% 12.8% 0.9%
Curriculum development primarily the responsibility of 93.0% 0.0% 0.8% 6.0% 0.3% 80.1% 2.2% 0.6% 15.9% 1.2%
Student selection primarily the responsibility of 94.0% 0.8% 0.0% 4.3% 1.0% 60.7% 14.3% 1.9% 19.9% 3.1%
WBL experiences take place primarily at 4.0% 74.6% 4.0% 15.6% 1.8% 3.1% 81.7% 1.2% 12.7% 1.2%
Supervision of students primarily the responsibility of 72.9% 5.3% 0.0% 21.1% 0.8% 25.8% 25.5% 1.6% 45.7% 1.6%
Evaluation of students primarily the responsibility of 72.7% 2.3% 0.0% 24.6% 0.5% 33.0% 10.6% 0.3% 54.5% 1.6%
Organizing help for students having difficulty in WBL primarily the responsibility of 87.0% 1.0% 0.0% 10.8% 1.3% 70.5% 3.1% 1.6% 22.4% 2.5%
Student wage rates primarily determined by 0.3% 8.8% 1.0% 0.8% 89.2% 0.9% 61.5% 3.4% 5.0% 29.2%
Assessment and certification of student skill mastery at program completion primarily the responsibility of 76.6% 0.5% 7.0% 14.8% 1.0% 51.9% 7.8% 3.1% 29.8% 7.5%
Awardingof recognized credentials of mastery primarily the responsibility of 68.9% 0.3% 22.1% 3.0% 5.8% 64.0% 3.1% 6.5% 11.2% 15.2%
Selection and assignment of workplace mentors or coaches primarily the responsibility of 41.2% 13.6% 0.0% 22.6% 22.6% 25.5% 36.0% 2.2% 18.6% 17.7%
Training and credentialling of mentors or coaches primarily the responsibility of 38.9% 13.3% 2.3% 14.1% 31.4% 23.0% 25.2% 4.0% 10.2% 37.6%
Final negotation of contractual agreements among institutional partners primarily the responsibility of 50.9% 0.0% 0.0% 46.1% 3.0% 41.0% 0.9% 1.2% 36.6% 20.2%
Instructor/student ratios primarily determined by 53.6% 4.0% 26.8% 14.0% 1.5% 76.7% 5.0% 3.1% 10.2% 5.0%
Lengthof training & related instruction is primarily determined by 68.9% 0.0% 18.8% 9.5% 2.8% 74.5% 1.9% 6.2% 16.5% 0.9%
Placement of students in permanent full-time jobs primarily the responsibility of 31.2% 12.1% 3.3% 7.5% 46.0% 36.0% 14.3% 4.7% 13.0% 32.0%
Transporting students primarily the responsibility of 7.8% 0.3% 0.5% 1.0% 90.5% 3.4% 1.9% 2.8% 1.9% 90.0%
Student work permits primarily the responsibility of 8.5% 1.3% 4.3% 1.0% 84.9% 7.5% 6.2% 2.2% 1.2% 82.9%
Student insurance or liability primarily the responsibility of 75.9% 1.8% 1.0% 4.8% 16.5% 29.6% 24.6% 2.5% 9.0% 34.3%
Compliance with state or federal child labor laws primarily the responsibility of 29.3% 5.3% 1.3% 11.3% 52.9% 15.5% 25.2% 2.8% 10.2% 46.3%
Compliancewith state and federal laws governing health and safety is primarily the responsibility of 33.8% 8.0% 0.8% 54.1% 3.3% 17.1% 43.6% 2.2% 30.5% 6.5%

When associated with health work-based learning programs, 12 components were reported by 50% or more of the respondents to be the primary responsibility of the college. More than 90% of respondents indicated that delivery of instruction, curriculum development, and student selection were the primary responsibility of the college. More than 70% of respondents indicated that for health programs the college also had primary responsibility for organizing help for students, assessment and certification of skill mastery at program completion, student insurance or liability, and supervision and evaluation of students. More than 50% of respondents indicated that the college was also primarily responsible for awarding credentials of mastery, final negotiation of contractual agreements, instructor/student ratios, and determination of the length of instruction. In fact, in only the area of providing the site was the workplace taking primary responsibility for health work-based learning programs. Few of the components were seen as having formal/shared responsibilities or involving other agencies as the primary party taking responsibility. Only in the case of final negotiation of contractual agreements among institutional partners was the primary responsibility viewed as formal/shared by nearly one-half of the respondents. Finally, in the case of only three components did an "other" agency, presumably a professional licensing organization, play any significant role in health work-based learning programs. These three components were awarding of recognized credentials, establishing instructor/student ratios, and specifying the length of training and related instruction.

Many similarities and some important differences were evident in the way various organizations took responsibility for work-based learning associated with nonhealth programs, the majority of which followed a co-op model. Similarly to health programs, although sometimes not to the same degree, colleges reported having the primary responsibility for delivery of instruction, curriculum development, student selection, organizing help for students, assessment and certification of skill mastery, awarding of recognized credentials, instructor/student ratios, and determining the length of training. Employers were reported by the majority of respondents to have primary responsibility for only two components: (1) providing sites for work-based learning and (2) determining student wage rates. Of note, however, was the finding that approximately 50% of respondents indicated that supervision and evaluation of students were formal/shared responsibilities of the college and other organizations. There was little evidence of other agency involvement in any of the components of nonhealth work-based learning programs.

In regard to both health and other work-based learning programs, it is interesting to note that nearly all respondents indicated that the components of transporting students and securing student work permits were "not applicable." Nearly one-half of the respondents indicated that compliance with state or federal child labor laws was "not applicable." These responses are likely to be associated with the fact that nearly all students in two-year colleges are over the age of 18. According to a 1986 national survey conducted by the Center for the Study of Community Colleges, the mean age of persons enrolled in community colleges was 29 (Cohen & Brawer, 1989). Consequently, some of the issues associated with providing youth under the age of 18 with work-based learning opportunities may not be perceived to be as serious a concern for two-year college students, leading respondents to view some components as "not applicable" to their efforts to offer work-based learning opportunities. Nevertheless, issues related to safety and liability remain important no matter the age of students, and these results indicate that colleges rather than employers have primary responsibility for such concerns.

Besides these components, it is important to note that placement of students in permanent full-time jobs was viewed as "not applicable" by 46% of responses pertaining to health programs and 32% of responses associated with other programs. In addition, 89% of respondents indicated that determination of student wage rates was "not applicable" for health programs and, as was previously reported, rarely were wages reported to be provided to students in health-related work-based learning. In addition, the selection, assignment, training, and credentialling of mentors was also viewed as "not applicable" to a fairly large percentage of respondents. Of course, as previous results indicate, these particular components were not typically associated with health programs. It should be noted, however, that these particular components are specifically cited in the federal STWO legislation as exemplifying means to accomplish a work-based or school-to-work connecting component of a school-to-work program.

These findings suggest that two-year colleges have a great deal of responsibility for work-based learning when it comes to either health or nonhealth programs. Nearly every facet of health programs was reported to be the primary responsibility of the college, including selecting, instructing, mentoring, assessing, and certifying students. Except for the areas of supervising and evaluating students, the components of nonhealth programs were similarly undertaken predominantly by the colleges. These results suggest that although a part of the learning process may take place at the workplace, often it remains the responsibility of two-year colleges rather than employers to carry out the essential elements of the programs. Even within the workplace, it appears that individuals may be seen primarily as "students," as is evidenced by the lack of wages paid for work conducted there. Of course, that arrangement may have advantages, particularly where students could become involved in work that is not particularly educational or challenging. Without pay, students may also be more able to rotate through various types of work situations or be removed when a worksite proves to be problematic. Nevertheless, these findings portray the heavy responsibility placed on educational institutions, in this case two-year colleges, to coordinate and deliver what are perceived to be the essential elements of work-based learning.

Work-Based Learning Support and Barriers

Results pertaining to respondents' perceptions of the support for and obstacles to work-based learning are presented and discussed in this section.

Level of Support for Work-Based Learning

Colleges that have established and operated work-based learning programs have done so with the involvement of many groups. Predictably, a number of factors may have influenced these relationships, resulting in varying levels of support from groups that have a potential stake in work-based learning, that is, stakeholder groups. The survey sought to identify the level of support from groups within and outside of two-year colleges for work-based learning (see Table 14).

Table 14 lists fourteen stakeholder groups that could have a vested interest in work-based learning programs. The remaining columns in the table show the percentages of "levels of support" as reported by the colleges. Findings are listed in the order of the groups' mean ratings, with the highest ratings at the top of the list and the lowest at the bottom. Evident from the data is the perceived high level of support for work-based learning from 11 of the 14 groups, as evidenced by mean ratings of 3.0 or higher. Local advisory committees/boards and college administrators were viewed as particularly supportive with mean ratings of 3.45 and 3.37, respectively.

Table14
Level of Support for Work-Based Learning by Stakeholder Group

Level of Support
Mean
Group Poor Fair Good Excellent NA (SD)

Local advisory committees/boards 0.7% 8.1% 31.1% 49.8% 9.0% 3.45 (.69)
College administrators 1.6 10.5 33.3 47.5 7.1 3.37 (.75)
State licensing agencies 2.9 7.5 26.7 31.9 29.7 3.27 (.82)
College trustees 2.9 8.8 30.4 33.0 23.6 3.25 (.81)
Business/industry representatives 1.8 12.1 39.6 36.8 8.4 3.23 (.75)
College students 2.0 12.3 42.6 33.7 9.4 3.19 (.75)
College faculty 3.6 15.2 37.6 36.5 7.2 3.15 (.83)
State education agencies 3.5 14.1 32.4 32.4 16.3 3.14 (.85)
Professional associations 3.3 9.7 33.9 26.9 24.4 3.14 (.81)
College counselors 4.0 17.4 35.9 33.0 9.6 3.08 (.85)
Community-based organizations 2.6 13.4 33.7 18.7 30.0 3.00 (.79)
Parents 4.2 10.1 21.1 15.9 46.9 2.95 (.91)
Labor union representatives 4.8 17.4 15.9 7.9 52.6 2.58 (.90)
Four-year colleges/universities 20.7 19.2 15.6 7.0 36.1 2.14 (1.01)

n = 448
The support groups are rank ordered according to mean ratings based on scaled responses of 1 to 4 for poor to excellent starting with the highest rated group at the top of the list and proceeding to the lowest rated group at the bottom.

Groups at the bottom of the list of work-based learning supporters were four-year colleges and universities, labor union representatives, and parents. Interestingly, a fairly high percentage of these three groups was viewed as "not applicable" when respondents were asked to assess their level of support, indicating at least some respondents may have thought their support was irrelevant to work-based learning programs. Nevertheless, those responding to the items indicated relatively poor support from all of these groups, especially organized labor and four-year colleges and universities. Although there may be many reasons for this lack of support, it is likely that organized labor is perceived to view work-based learning as competitive with its own traditional adult apprenticeship programs. In the case of four-year colleges, one concern may be a weakening of academic standards of feeder institutions (e.g., high schools and community colleges) when nontraditional teaching and learning processes such as work-based learning are employed. Interestingly, findings regarding poor support for work-based learning from parents and four-year colleges closely parallel results obtained from a national study of barriers to Tech Prep (Bragg et al., 1994). One can speculate that parents' concerns may be linked to some of the same issues regarding academic preparation. For instance, they may be concerned that work-based learning is preparing their child for a technical (and "blue-collar") job and be disappointed in their child's participation in curriculum not primarily focused on preparation for traditional four-year college education. Together, these results suggest one or more interrelated, pervasive issues surrounding work-oriented education in relation to more traditional, academic-oriented approaches to education.

Generally, these results suggest that stakeholder groups which may have the most potential to benefit from work-based learning are also the most supportive of it. Advisory boards and business/industry representatives, generally composed of individuals from a specific occupational-technical field, can benefit because they receive trainees and later program completers. College administrators, staff, and faculty can benefit when programs are successful and there are close relationships established between the institution and businesses in the community. Finally, students can benefit by having the opportunity to test out their work competencies prior to entering the adult labor market. Groups that may view work-based learning as a poor alternative to traditional college curricula or even as a threat to their own goals (i.e., parents, labor, four-year schools) appear to be the least supportive of the concept, suggesting areas that need attention if the work-based learning concept is to be disseminated within the nation's two-year colleges.

Barriers to Work-Based Learning

The survey also provided an opportunity for responding colleges to report barriers to the growth of work-based learning within their institutions. For each of the 20 barriers presented in the questionnaire, respondents were asked to indicate the level of impact it would have on further development of work-based learning in the college (see Table 15). Column one lists the barriers and columns two through seven present the percentage of respondents indicating the impact as being none through very major. Column eight presents the mean ratings for each barrier based on the groups' ratings on the 1 to 6 scale.

Results shown in Table 15 reveal that of the 20 barriers only a few were perceived to have a major or very major impact on the growth of work-based learning according to the majority of respondents. Only the two barriers of lack of staff, time, and money dedicated to work-based learning and too little funding for work-based learning were rated as having a major or very major level of impact by more than 50% of respondents. Both of these barriers were rated well over 4.0 by the respondents. Two other barriers, too little time in curriculum for students to participate in work-based learning and lack of career orientation for students participating in work-based learning were rated at approximately 3.5, indicating a moderate level of impact on the growth of work-based learning. Interestingly, three of these barriers relate to the level of resources (people, time, money) needed to influence the growth of work-based learning. These results may be related, at least in part, to the enrollment growth and downward trends in funding highlighted in an earlier section of this report.

Five additional barriers were rated by respondents at approximately the 3.3 level, indicating a minor to moderate level of impact. These were lack of active involvement by business and industry, lack of interest from business and industry, lack of formal policy to support work-based learning, lack of general awareness about work-based learning, and lack of interest in work-based learning. These barriers were perceived to be of a moderate to very major impact level by 45% or more of the respondents. Together, these barriers point to a lack of awareness about work-based learning and an absence of a key part of the formal structure (governmental or private-sector) necessary to sustain it. These factors seem crucial if the concept of work-based learning is to be expanded to more areas of two-year college curriculum or to more of the nation's two-year postsecondary institutions.

Table 15
Ratings of Twenty Barriers Impacting the Growth of Work-Based Learning


Barrier Impact on Growth of WBL
Very Very
None Minor Minor Moderate Major Major

Mean
(SD)

Lack of staff, time, & money dedicated to WBL 7.5% 3.3% 9.7% 23.8% 37.2% 17.2% 4.33
(1.37)
Too little funding for WBL 10.1 6.2 9.5 19.2 34.6 19.2 4.21
(1.54)
Too little time in curriculum for students to participate in WBL 15.2 8.8 15.0 25.6 25.1 9.0 3.56
(1.55)
Lack of career orientation of students prior to entering college 13.2 11.8 20.3 27.0 20.5 7.1 3.51
(1.40)
Lack of active involvement by business & industry 15.2 14.7 19.9 26.3 15.8 8.0 3.37
(1.50)
Lack of interest from business & industry 16.1 15.0 23.4 24.1 13.4 8.0 3.34
(1.57)
Lack of formal public policy to support WBL 19.8 10.8 16.7 25.8 18.5 7.0 3.33
(1.28)
Lack of general awareness about WBL 12.5 11.2 25.7 34.9 12.8 2.9 3.33
(1.28)
Lack of interest in WBL 11.9 13.9 27.1 30.4 13.6 3.1 3.30
(1.29)
Lack of inservice available for personnel associated with WBL 17.0 15.0 21.4 26.4 15.9 3.1 3.19
(1.41)
Lack of focus on careers during college study 16.4 16.8 22.0 27.4 13.9 3.6 3.16
(1.40)
Lack of focus on integrated occupational education & academic 18.7 15.4 20.5 29.3 11.9 2.6 3.08
(1.39)
Negative attitudes toward occupational (vocational) education 20.9 18.9 20.9 21.6 13.0 3.3 2.97
(1.45)
Lack of knowledge and skills among faculty in WBL 20.7 16.1 21.8 24.2 13.9 2.0 3.00
(1.41)
Lack of authority of local personnel to make changes needed to implement WBL 22.5 17.4 22.9 18.9 11.9 4.8 2.95
(1.49)
Lack of cooperation among institutional partners 23.5 23.5 27.1 14.1 7.6 4.3 2.72
(1.39)
Lack of cooperation by labor groups 29.5 21.0 20.6 14.5 7.8 6.5 2.70
(1.53)
Conflict with other curriculum reform movements 25.1 18.7 28.2 17.6 6.8 2.0 2.68
(1.32)
Looking at WBL as another name for traditional occupational (vocational) programs 28.6 17.8 22.0 21.4 6.8 1.8 2.65
(1.37)
Battles between faculty groups concerning WBL 34.6 19.6 24.4 12.3 5.5 2.0 2.40
(1.33)

n=448

The barriers are rank ordered according to mean rating based on the scale of 1 to 6 for none to very major starting with the highest rated barrier at the top of the list and proceeding to the lowest rated barrier.

Five of the barriers were given a mean rating of between 2.95 and 3.20 by respondents. Many of these barriers were considered to have a minor or moderate level of impact by the majority of respondents. Included among these barriers were issues related to a lack of interest, awareness, and knowledge and skills among faculty in work-based learning concepts as well as a lack of inservice on work-based learning. Several of the barriers were also associated with the focus of curriculum including a lack of focus on careers, a lack of focus on integrated occupational and academic education, negative attitudes toward occupational (vocational) education, and a lack of authority of local personnel to make changes needed to implement work-based learning. Two additional barriers related to the lack of cooperation for work-based learning from institutional partners (mean=2.71) and labor groups (mean=2.70) were rated just below those discussed previously. Interestingly, approximately 50% of the respondents indicated that these barriers had no or very minor impact on the growth of work-based learning.

Three barriers received mean ratings below 2.70, indicating respondents viewed them as having a minor or even lesser impact on the growth of work-based learning. These barriers were conflict with other curriculum reforms, work-based learning as another name for vocational programs, and battles between faculty groups concerning work-based learning. At least 25% of the respondents indicated that these barriers had no impact on the growth of work-based learning, and approximately 50% indicated these barriers had no or very minor impact.

In summary, it appears that too few resources (time, people, and funding), too little awareness about this particular learning mode, and too little interest, especially from business and industry, were perceived to be the most serious barriers to the growth of work-based learning. A mix of barriers was perceived to have a minor or moderate level of impact, including faculty-related interest and knowledge about work-based learning, curriculum-related issues, and cooperation with labor and other institutional partners. Three disparate barriers (i.e., conflict with other reforms, looking at work-based learning as another name for vocational programs, and faculty battles) were perceived to have very little or no impact on the growth of work-based learning.

Work-Based Learning Policy Recommendations of Respondents

The final section of the questionnaire sought recommendations from respondents concerning either new policy or modifications of existing policy. Part Six indicated "A goal of this survey is to provide ideas for new government policies regulating WBL. To address this goal, we invite you to provide one or more recommendations for how local, state, or federal governments could encourage the growth of work-based learning programs in two-year colleges." A total of 191 individuals wrote recommendations. As expected, a few issues and concerns were repeated frequently by respondents. The following summaries are in order of the frequency of incidence.

Financial Assistance for Two-Year College Work-Based Learning

The most frequent concern centered on a belief that two-year colleges have been under-resourced for the creation and operation of work-based learning programs. Nearly 60 individuals commented about this problem. Their recommendations were for increased funding to colleges to support a variety of activities connected with work-based learning. Individuals suggested that funding should address curriculum development and faculty/staff development needs and that real change in programs would not happen to any significant degree until this happened. Several respondents supported the idea that funding should be related to costs; expensive programs should receive more than less expensive programs. The largest number of specific comments dealt with the belief that cooperative (co-op) education should receive more support. It was argued that co-op was a proven success that needed more federal support.

A variety of comments addressed student need for assistance with the predominant thought supporting the payment of student wages during the work-based learning experience. There was a single comment warning that unpaid students would be taken advantage of as being a "cheap source of labor." Several recommendations sought more aid to students in the manner of transportation, child care, and clothing allowances.

Most of these arguments might be summarized by a call for less prescriptive funding with awards being made in the nature of "block grants" allowing two-year colleges to use the money where the need is greatest. Several individuals called for noncompetitive funding which would allow the college to count on assistance for a longer period of time. In summary, there was a very clear and strong call for increased resource assistance for colleges.

Incentives for Businesses

The second most frequent set of recommendations was for incentives to promote greater business involvement with work-based learning. Forty individuals encouraged some sort of aid to business with the greatest number suggesting tax incentives as a way to interest businesses in partnerships. Two individuals urged some sort of state or federal recognition program whereby businesses would be awarded for work-based learning participation.

There was also a recognition that businesses are generally not prepared to enter into work-based learning programs due to a general lack of knowledge about the programs and confusion concerning their role in presenting structured learning experiences in-plant. A recommendation for colleges to offer awareness and training experiences for businesses to prepare them for a work-based learning partnership was reoccuring in the respondents' comments. Finally, several individuals recommended that employer concerns about the legal liabilities of having students working at their plants be addressed with law or policy providing alternative protection for students. One additional and similar recommendation sought to reduce the "non-safety rules and regulations" to make it easier to host students. Presumably, these were personnel policies.

Education, Awareness, and Promotion Concerning Work-Based Learning

There were a dozen calls for the creation of a clear and widely accepted definition of work-based learning which would aid in the general public's understanding and acceptance of the concept. This was followed by similar requests for the dissemination of successful models of work-based learning to be available to colleges who are considering programs. Several people recommended that an unspecified organization launch a national media campaign to accomplish the increased awareness of work-based learning. Others sought a national-level work-based learning association to lead colleges in program development and promotion.

Several recommendations dealt with the larger issue of the poor image surrounding technical jobs and vocational education, suggesting that work-based learning is negatively affected by that image. Specific suggestions were for promotional and awareness programs aimed directly at both business and the parents of students. The argument seemed to be that until parents believe that work-based learning and technical education are good alternatives for their children, there will always be difficulty in convincing students to join programs. In summary, the most recommendations focused on promotion programs for businesses to convince them to enter partnerships with colleges.

Support from Stakeholders and the Need for Standards

Following the recommendations for promotion was a call for assistance from state and federal agencies in the form of creating standards/guidelines for programs. These were in addition to calls for professional associations and agencies to assist in accrediting, credentialling, and licensing work-based learning experiences to provide more credibility. The belief is that the more organizations that recognize work-based learning as legitimate the more it will gain credibility within the education and business community. It was noted, for example, that the Veterans Administration does not recognize work-based learning as an approved method of training and, therefore, does not fund it. Organized labor unions were also identified as not being very supportive of work-based learning and recommendations sought greater involvement from unions. In summary, a variety of recommendations sought greater involvement of noncollege organizations who are either stakeholders in the workforce development system or who accredit and control the system.

Blending of State and Federal Programs

Six respondents advocated more fiscal support for work-based learning from appropriate state and federal grant programs. Initiatives funded by the Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA), the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Applied Technology Education Act, and the Tech Prep Education Act were named specifically as sources for work-based learning support. Where these efforts are isolated, respondents anticipated uncoordinated and/or competing workforce development efforts. If conceptualized in a more systematic manner, the opportunity to offer more coherent and meaningful work-based learning seems to be a viable option for more students.

To summarize, the 191 individuals who took the time to write policy change proposals primarily recommended more support for work-based learning overall. The five main issues were more resources for two-year colleges, more incentives for business to join work-based learning partnerships, increased promotion of work-based learning to the business world and to parents, and organizational and funding support from professional associations and state/federal agencies.


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