An investigation of the predictability of vocational preferences among college freshmen based on secondary school activity participation



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The purpose of this study was to determine the predictability of vocational preferences of selected college freshmen based on secondary school activity. Participation experiences and skills acquired through high school extra class participation. The variance in vocational preference predictability and skills acquired according to sub-population was ulso investigated. Procedures A specially designed educational instrument was developed to gather data for the study. The educational instrument was distributed to 1,021 freshmen students enrolled in freshmen English at six different colleges in the state of Texas. A total of 891 educational forms were returned by the respondents. All returned educational instruments which conformed to stated criteria were used, i.e. respondent must be a high school graduate from schools located in Harris or Brazoria counties, college freshmen and provide sufficient information on the educational instrument. Returned instruments from 328 respondents mere utilized in this research. The respondents represented school districts whose annual average daily attendance varied from 366 to 199,776 pupils. The freshmen students were graduates of 52 high schools, public and private located in 23 different school districts. Data from the 328 survey instruments were sorted and transferred to punched cards by the use of I. B. M. machine methods. The I. B. M. Cards were punched for each subject and a print of the data developed. The data deck was treated with a multilinear regression program. Zero-order correlation coefficients, multiple correlation coefficients and multilinear regression equations along with the means and standard deviations were produced to test the various hypotheses for statistical differences. Results 1. A slight relationship exists between the choice of occupations in the science, performing arts, mathematics, and the teaching occupational choices when the combination of participations in extra class activities are used as predictors. 2. When participation in athletics, performing arts, communication and departmental club activities were combined with work and social skills acquired through participation in the activities to predict the selection of vocational choice the selection of vocations from the general occupational categories of teaching and performing arts was found significant at the .05 level. 3. No differences exist among sub-populations which will aid the prediction of vocational choices based on school activity participation during high school years. 4. The sub-population group identified as Negro students tended to participate more frequently in extra class activities than the sub-population group identified as White students. The Negro male students reported acquisition of more work and social skills than his White male counterpart from participation in extra class activities. 5. The findings seem to raise serious doubts of the value of extra class participation as it relates to the preparation of students for a life vocation or aiding in the selection of a vocation. The tremendous value of extra class activity participation, according to former participants, seem to center around the work and social skills acquired through activity participation.