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Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Graduate School

First Advisor

Michael B. Gilbert

First Committee Member

Robert R. Hopkins

Second Committee Member

Mari G. Irvin

Third Committee Member

William McKelley

Fourth Committee Member

William Darling


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine the degree of influence from various factors on a student's decision to enroll in a food service-related course and whether these factors were affected by post high school graduation plans.

Procedure: Sixty-nine percent of the Regional Occupational Centers/ Programs teachers and one section of students instructed by each teacher completed the survey instruments. The questionnaire items queried the respondents concerning demographic information as well as the degree of influence of various person- and job-related factors.

Findings and Conclusions: Results of this investigation revealed that the responding student population had a strong interest in pursuing higher education. The major obstacle to enrollment for the non-college bound population was not discovered. Grade point average, course requirements and money were found to be perceived as not limiting their college enrollment.

The teacher population rated the influence of various factors differently for six of 19 items and generally higher than the student group. The two populations were generally congruent with respect to the relative order placement of the factors. White and minority populations evaluated the importance of most factors differently from one another . The two gender groups noted some of the influencing factors differently. White and male populations indicated the greatest propensity toward higher education.

Most vocational students intend to seek employment in the food service field. The teacher population tended to view students as being primarily job oriented. Vocational program students need to be informed about and, if appropriate, encouraged to pursue higher education. Vocational programs often enroll a disproportionate share of females and minority populations. Attainment of higher education by these group may serve as a vehicle for upward mobility. Students perceive satisfaction with the decision to enroll and with school in general if they note the applicability and relevance of the material they study.

Recommendations: 1) Replicate the study using various vocation program students and nationwide to determine the consistency and generalizability of these results. 2) Conduct a follow-up study to determine the rate of actualization of college and job seeking plans. 3) Investigate the discrepancies between teacher and student populations relative to influencing factors and post-graduation plans to determine the sources of these differences.



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