Title

A STUDY OF THE RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN ECONOMIC CONDITIONS AND PLACEMENT RATES OF GRADUATES OF SELECTED VOCATIONAL EDUCATION PROGRAMS IN CONNECTICUT 1970 THROUGH 1984

Date of Completion

January 1987

Keywords

Education, Vocational

Degree

Ph.D.

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine whether, and to what extent, fluctuations in the state's economic conditions had an effect upon the placement rates of graduates of seven selected vocational education programs over the 15-year period from 1970 through 1984. The study explored the relationships between placement and economic trends to provide a framework for evaluating placement as a measure of vocational program success.^ The following programs were chosen for study: Automotive Mechanics, Cosmetology, Carpentry, Electrical, Industrial Electronics, Machine Drafting and Machine Tool. Economic indicators which were the independent variables in the study were: Gross State Product, Real Per Capita Personal Income, Housing Starts, New Passenger Car Registrations, Industrial Production Index, Employment in Industries with Occupations Related to Training Programs, and Unemployment Rate. Data were obtained on all 14,278 graduates of the seven vocational programs who were classified as "available for employment." It was found that during the 15-year period, 9,788, or 68.6 percent, of the available graduates were placed in full-time jobs related to their training.^ Two-way analyses of variance determined that: (1) there were significant differences among the vocational education programs with respect to rates of placement of graduates in fields related to training; (2) there were no significant variations in program placement patterns with respect to the three time intervals chosen for study (1970-74, 1975-79 and 1980-84); (3) there was a modest interaction between the three time intervals and types of vocational programs.^ The Pearson product moment correlation coefficient revealed that training-related placement rates tended to follow the fluctuations of the economy. While few relationships between placement rates and economic indicators could be classified as highly correlated, moderate correlations indicating substantial relationships were noted among economic indicators and placement rates for graduates of five of the seven programs. The indicators which correlated most highly with placements were "Employment in Industry with Occupations Related to Field of Training" and "Unemployment Rate."^ Three of the programs differed markedly in their relationships with the economic indicators when numbers rather than rates of training-related graduate placements were examined. ^