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Title:Determining necessary world-class skills and proficiencies for non-college-bound students
Author(s):Helton, Linda Lee
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Kazanas, Hercules C.
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Secondary
Education, Curriculum and Instruction
Education, Vocational
Abstract:The Secretary of Labor's Commission (SCANS), made up of business, labor, and education leaders, was charged with the mission of producing national competency guidelines for workers that reflect work readiness for world-class companies. This challenge will require an improved communication system between business and education, a clear-cut set of standards for students, along with the needed assessment of work-place readiness.
The purpose of this study was to identify the most important dimensions of world-class workers' capabilities for secretaries, and to determine the threshold levels of proficiency of these capabilities.
An instrument, the SCANS Job Analysis Form, was used to determine the job performance requirements. This instrument was administered to the 51 participating small service companies at a workshop held at the Lake County High Schools Technology Campus. The instruments from 26 world-class companies were compared with 25 traditional companies to identify the most important skills.
The threshold levels (scores) of proficiency for these skills were determined using Behaviorally Anchored Rating Scales (BARS). This instrument gathered critical incidents which formulated examples of behavior of world-class secretaries. The data were numerically anchored on BARS scales. The scales of the world-class companies were compared with the traditional companies scales for agreement on the behavioral anchors and placement on the scales.
Analysis of the gathered data found that world-class companies tend to require higher minimum threshold levels than traditional work organizations. Analysis of variance was used to test the hypotheses for the study and found significant differences ($\alpha$ =.05) in the BARS scores. No significant differences were found among the two groups in identifying the most important skills and competencies.
The study concluded that world-class companies have higher expectation levels of performance for their workers supported by a greater degree of resources to accomplish this end. It further concluded that traditional work organizations attributed the ability to demand those levels of expectations to the financial resources of world-class companies.
Recommendations were made for implementation of these conclusions into school to work programs at the secondary high school level, and suggestions for further research presented.
Issue Date:1995
Rights Information:Copyright 1995 Helton, Linda Lee
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9522118
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9522118

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