Use of the Delphi technique to derive a common definition for work -related education
This study was designed to (a) test if work-related education conformed to O'Banion's six principles for the learning college and (b) if the principles could be supplemented with other components of work-related education. The central point was to further the knowledge of these relationships, which in total could be modeled to derive a common definition for work-related education at community colleges.
A three-round Delphi technique was conducted to seek levels of agreement and consensus on O'Banion's principles and seven components associated with work-related education. The Round 1 sample (n = 20) attrited by Round 3 (n = 15) to six CEOs and nine administrators from community colleges whose CEOs were represented on the League for Innovation's board of directors.
Content validity was essentially built-in by the development of the content of the scale matching the content domain, as conveyed by the participants' responses and what they considered to be the constructs of interest. Internal validity claims were met by following the established procedures for the Delphi technique to answer inferential questions about the scores and to develop well-founded conclusions from the data. A Duncan's multiple-range test confirmed significance between Round 1 and Round 3, which combined with the research procedures and study attributes, validated reaching a superior group view.
Review of the quantitative and qualitative data over the three rounds revealed levels of agreement and consensus on the principles and the components. Correlation coefficients were organized to facilitate comparisons between the principles and the components for significance. Significant correlations were found between the principles and six of the seven components. There was specific commonality found among the funding component and the coordination and planning component across the majority of the principles. The correlations were modeled to derive a common definition for work-related education.
Results of this study suggest that such a prototype model and further research could facilitate a consolidated position and common definition for work-related education. The study's conclusions have implications for why community college leaders and policymakers should pursue a common definition for work-related education within a national context to uphold the community colleges' role as “preparers of the nation's workforce.”
Polls & surveys
0514: School administration
0747: Vocational education