A follow-up of Wharton County Junior College office occupations students (Fall, 1966 - Spring, 1978)

Date

1981

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Abstract

This study was a follow-up of former Wharton County Junior College office occupations students (graduates and nongraduates) to determine: (1) how important in their occupational experiences were the knowledges and skills provided by the office occupations courses and (2) how well prepared they had become by taking these courses. Data were gathered by means of questionnaires which were mailed to 704 former students of the twelve-year period, 416 of which were used in this study. The questionnaire consisted of a list of office tasks encompassing the knowledges and skills learned in the office occupations courses at WCJC. This list was secured from teachers of the courses, as well as from similar studies, and grouped in ten task categories: typewriting, shorthand and transcription, filing, telephoning/ communication, mailing, general clerical, office machines, data gathering, mathematics, and financial/recordkeeping. The data gleaned from the questionnaires were presented in two-year intervals to conserve space in reporting. Using the responses for the beginning years of 1967-68 as the base figure and the responses for the final years of 1977-78 as the present figure, the difference between those figures was determined and divided by the base figure to find the percentage of change in importance on the job for each task. The same formula was followed to determine the percentage of change in the adequacy of preparation at Wharton County Junior College, as perceived by the respondents. The mean percentage of change was computed on the ten office task categories. The overall mean trends are as follows: Overall, there was a negative trend with the typewriting tasks, both as to importance on the job and adequacy of preparation. There was a very large negative trend within the shorthand and transcription category, both as to importance on the job and adequacy of preparation. The filing tasks indicated a slight positive trend as to importance on the job, but there was a negative trend as to adequacy of preparation. The telephoning/communicating tasks, overall, indicated negative trends, both as to importance on the job and as to adequacy of preparation. Within the mailing tasks category, a larger negative trend was indicated, both in importance on the job and in adequacy of preparation. Among, the general clerical tasks, there was a very slight negative trend as to importance on the job and adequacy of preparation. The office machines category indicated a robust positive trend as to importance on the job as well as to adequacy of preparation. Within the data gathering tasks, there was a slight negative trend as to importance on the job, but there was a positive trend as to adequacy of preparation. The mathematics tasks category indicated positive trends, both as to importance on the job and adequacy of preparation. The financial/recordkeeping tasks indicated a negative trend as to importance on the job, but there was a positive trend as to adequacy of preparation. It was recommended that since there are a significant number of students who do not complete a two-year program, it would be advisable to develop a sequential program of competencies that would permit students to exit at various educational levels and still be able to adequately perform on the job. It was further recommended that personnel at WCJC replicate this study each five years to collect data on which to base curriculum decisions.

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Keywords

Business education, Community colleges--Curricula

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