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UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

A follow-up evaluation of business education career preparation programs in Vancouver secondary schools Good, Dianne E.

Abstract

Career Preparation programs have been offered in British Columbia since 1980. However, in that time very little formal evaluation has been conducted to determine if Career Preparation programs are achieving the stated objectives. This study, based on Business Education Career Preparation programs in Vancouver secondary schools, surveyed Career Preparation students one, two, and three years after graduation. Schools which had started Business Education Career Preparation programs in September 1982 or earlier were selected. Graduates of these schools who completed a Business Education Career Preparation program in 1984, 1985, or 1986, were surveyed to determine their employment and post-secondary education experiences, whether their post-secondary education or employment was related to their Career Preparation specialties, and their perceptions of the program. The purpose of the study was to determine the strengths and weaknesses of the Business Education Career Preparation programs offered in Vancouver Secondary Schools in order to make recommendations for program improvements. The results show that 94% of respondents held at least one job since graduating from secondary school; 77% of respondents continue their education at a post-secondary institution; 67% of post-secondary programs enrolled in by respondents were at least somewhat related to their Career Preparation specialty; and 67% of jobs held since graduating from secondary school were at least somewhat related to their Career Preparation specialty. The Career Preparation program was rated at least somewhat helpful in facilitating progress in post-secondary education by 81% of respondents; 93% of respondents rated Career Preparation at least somewhat helpful in making career choices; 91% rated it at least somewhat helpful in providing employable skills; 85% rated it at least somewhat helpful in providing job search skills; and 68% rated it at least somewhat helpful in providing employment contacts. Overall, the Business Education Career Preparation program offered in Vancouver was judged as meeting the program objectives of the provincial curriculum. Recommendations are made for the program, including: matching students more carefully to work experience placements which meet their interests, career goals and specialty; more careful monitoring of work experience sites to ensure that appropriate tasks are being assigned; offering programs which will interest both males and females; coordinating employment opportunities for graduates; improving articulation with post-secondary programs; and structuring Career Preparation programs to allow for flexibility in course requirements and work experience.

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