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The case study research activities for this statewide evaluation were divided into two parts: CORE how to write my paper and PLUS.
The CORE study aimed to gather and analyze comparable data from a diverse set of LPs on STC activities and participants (e.
In contrast, the help on writing a paper PLUS evaluation activities focused specifically on the following research question: How has STC participation affected student preparation for postsecondary education and career entry? Thirteen LPs (out of 15 that applied for funding) conducted CORE case studies. However, LPs could not apply for PLUS funding alone. As the statewide evaluation team, WestEd and MPR Associates designed a common framework for the local evaluations and had oversight responsibility for key aspects of their evaluation work. LPs were responsible for collecting specific data to inform the overall statewide evaluation study of STC, but could also shape their studies to address some of their own local purposes and needs. The decision to focus on LP case studies in the statewide evaluation of STC in California was driven by several considerations. First, STC is distinguished from other education and workforce development reform initiatives through its overarching goal of system building. Recent research at the national and state levels has determined that the complicated nature of systems building represents a unique challenge of STC implementation.
The resulting variety of local STC efforts requires a systematic and careful examination of selected local examples in order to determine the necessary conditions for and the common obstacles to STC implementation as well as to identify what it takes to mold and sustain STC efforts under varying circumstances. Finally, although the timeframe to gather national or state data on the impact of STC has been somewhat limited by the recent sunsetting of STWOA, several studies have attempted to identify effective practices. Although the primary focus of this final report is on the LP case studies, the findings of other key components of the statewide evaluation effort are incorporated into this report as well (see Table 1). Among others, these study components include the statewide survey of California employers and labor organizations and interviews with LP directors across the state (i. It strives to answer four research questions of interest posed at the onset of this study: 5.
What is the status of STC implementation in California?
How has STC affected student preparation for postsecondary education and career entry? To what degree and in what ways has STC contributed to systemic change? Have STC principles penetrated the community deeply enough to be sustainable? How THE Report is Organized The remainder of this report contains the 7 chapters described briefly below. Methodology Describes the methodology for the overall evaluation design.
Presents the rationale for the various evaluation methodologies, including how they supplement and complement each other and how they address the research questions of interest. Career Development Activities and Programs Examines the degree to which schools are offering — and students are participating in — various types of career development activities and programs, including career awareness activities, work-based learning opportunities, and career-focused curricula. Structural and Programmatic Aspects of STC Implementation Describes findings related to key structural and programmatic aspects of STC that support implementation of career development activities and programs. Student Outcomes Focuses on the relationship between STC and student outcomes, presenting major findings from analyses of data from both the CORE and PLUS case studies.
The survey was designed to gather information about employers and labor organizations that participated in STC activities and those who were inyited to participa,te but did not. The latter group was included to help us understand why some employers have decided not to participate in STC activities.
Telephone interviews of LP directors who were not participating in case study research (non- case study LP directors) were conducted in fall 2001. In the original evaluation design, WestEd and MPR Associates planned to develop and administer a survey to all LP directors throughout the state.
While surveys are typically a cost-effective and efficient data collection strategy, the usefulness of the resulting data depends on achieving an adequate response rate. The interview focused on anticipated changes in LP funding, structure, and implementation after STWOA sunsets.
Three sources of data for this aspect of the study included the National School-to-Work Progress Measures Survey, narrative quarterly reports completed by LPs for the State, and evaluation reports conducted by LPs not participating in case study research. CORE Case Studies As part of the competitive application process, LPs and their evaluators prepared a list of all high schools in their LP. With the permission of interviewees, interviews were recorded and transcribed. Data were then analyzed using Atlas-TI, a program used to analyze qualitative data.
However, contrary to expectations, that survey was not administered in fall 2000. Instead, the National School-to- Work Office requested that more extensive data be collected from state-level School-to-Work directors and a small sample of Local Partnerships.