Career development and workforce preparation for non -college -bound high school students

Alton Christopher Strange, University of Pennsylvania


This qualitative research study examined how two Philadelphia area urban, comprehensive high schools prepared their non-college bound, students with the skills and attitudes needed to be competitive in the job market upon leaving high school, regardless of whether these students left by graduation or by dropping out. Using the Workforce Training Center (WTC) at High School at High School 312 as a potential model of future school-to-work programs and High School 414, I learned how non-college bound, students were being prepared through the courses they completed toward graduation and the advice they received from WTC staff, teachers, guidance counselors, and mentors concerning career development and workforce demands. Finally, I examined how the school-to-career philosophies of both schools were similar and different. The study examined two primary questions. First, while in high school, what role did the teacher and curriculum have (a) in helping non-college bound students learn about workforce demands, and (b) in the planning of the students' future careers. Second, did non-college bound students in a special program learn the workforce and skills and attitudes to be competitive in the job market? In this study, non-college-bound students were defined as students who were leaving high school, with no plans of applying or attending post secondary education programs for at least two years. Case Study methods were used to determine whether non-college bound, students at both schools were learning workforce preparation skills. Additionally, the study examined the relationship between High School 312 administrators, teachers and WTC staff, including how they cooperated to provide support for the future work prospects of the students. High school students, as knowledgeable informants, were observed and interviewed. Lastly, teachers and WTC staff were also observed and interviewed about the career development and preparation of non-college bound students in their schools.

Subject Area

Vocational education|Academic guidance counseling

Recommended Citation

Strange, Alton Christopher, "Career development and workforce preparation for non -college -bound high school students" (2002). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI3043961.