School Climate in Emerging Career-Oriented Programs: Students' Perspective

V. Hernandez-Gantes, L. A. Phelps, J. Jones, T. Holub

Dozens of educational reform theories and curricular models contend for prominence, but little attention has so far been paid to the clients of all this activity: students. These researchers did something new: they asked students themselves how the "new vocationalism" is doing. Students from five career-oriented programs pointed to a range of factors these authors call "school climate" as key to their learning. School climate includes a supportive atmosphere, a variety of curricular options, high expectations, and an environment that provides both safety and diversity. The authors outline the challenges new career-oriented programs face in meeting all students' needs in increasingly diverse populations. The many quotations in this article bring to life students' excitement about education and work opportunities they might have otherwise missed.

MDS-1068 / June 1996

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