Differences in selected characteristics between students enrolled in occupational curriculums and students enrolled in baccalaureate curriculums at Thornton Community College
The problem of the study was to determine the nature and extent of differences of selected characteristics of students enrolled in occupationally oriented curriculums and students enrolling in baccalaureate oriented curriculums at Thornton Community College in Harvey, Illinois, for the fall of the 1969-1970 school year.To obtain measures relative to selected characteristics of students, The ACT Guidance Profile: Two Year College Edition and the SRA Junior Colleqe Placement Battery were administered to 106 prospective occupational students and 194 prospective baccalaureate students who participated in orientation activities during May and June of 1969. The ACT Guidance Profile provided data relative to student interests, self-reported potentials, self-reported competencies, self-estimates of abilities, and satisfaction with field of study. From the SRA Junior Colleqe Placement Battery, measures of intelligence and aptitude relative to English, reading, and mathematics were obtained for each subject. The high school class rank of each participant was obtained from admission records. The curriculum in which each subject enrolled was determined from registration data.Seven hypotheses were developed for the study. To test the hypotheses, the mean scores of variables obtained group were statistically compared with the male baccalaureate group. Similarly, the mean scores of the variables tested of the female occupational group were statistically compared with the characteristics of the female baccalaureate group.The Spearman Rank order technique was applied to "actual" interest profiles obtained from the test instruments and "ideal" obtained from occupational choices. The t-test of significance was applied to the resulting mean coefficients of correlations of interest profile congruency, and the mean scores obtained for all other variables included.Findinqs and ConclusionsIt can be generalized that there is a great deal of similarity between and among male students selecting occupationally oriented curriculums and male students selecting baccalaureate oriented curriculums as well as female students selecting the two separately identifiable instructional programs. Baccalaureate oriented students, however, generally scored higher on tests of academic ability, experienced a higher level of success relative to academic pursuits in high school, reported a greater involvement in and competency relative to selected activities associated with the types of experiences encountered in academic from responses to the instruments of the male occupational pursuits, and possessed higher self-estimates of abilities in a number of traits essential to academic success. The distinctions between female baccalaureate students and female occupational students was not as great as the differences between the males of the two groups.The baccalaureate oriented and occupational oriented male groups reflected comparable patterns of relationship between measured interests and stated occupational choice. Although the two groups of females also indicated comparable patterns of relationship between interests and occupational choice, the interests of the female groups correlated with occupational choice at a higher level than did the interests of the two groups of males. The four subgroups of the study expressed satisfaction with educational plans.