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Title

Perceptions Of Entry-Level Competencies Needed By Staff Members In The Boy Scouts Of America And Young Men'S Christian Association

Date of Award

1980

Document Type

Dissertation

Abstract

Problem. The Young Men's Christian Association and Boy Scouts of America have been in operation for 125 and 70 years respectively. As society has changed and become more complex, the roles of staff members have changed. There is not now general agreement on what competencies an entry-level professional should possess in order to be effective. This and other factors have lead to staff turnover approaching 70% by the end of a four-year period, a factor which is of concern to agencies which derive their financial support from the community through donated dollars. Identification of entry-level competencies was an area of study requested by the Regional Directors of the two agencies as a way to improve the selection process, inform prospective employees and aid in the development of pre-employment training programs. The effects of differences in perception by agency respondent, local agency size, sex and job classification were identified as a variable which need to be analyzed for possible differences. Purpose. The purpose of this study was to identify the competencies needed for effectiveness in an entry-level position with the Boy Scouts of America and Young Men's Christian Association. Procedure. A survey questionnaire was used as the data gathering instrument. Twenty percent of the staff members of the two organizations in the western United States were the sample which was stratified by local agency size, sex and job categories. Of 120 competency statements, the "most" and "least" important were identified by item median responses. The Chi-Square test of independence across groups and item response categories was made using the subprogram CROSSTABS of the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences to test the hypothesis of independence between. The Pearson product moment correlation between item medians for groups, agency size, sex and job category were computed to determine overall similarity of the responses to all items collectively. Respondents listed competencies which would be important in the next decade for entry-level success. Findings. It was found that a common list of needed competencies, as seen by professionals, could be developed. Organization grouping, local agency size, sex and job category were not found to alter the rankings of the competency statements. There was no relationship between the rankings given to the eleven general competency categories by staff members of the two agencies. Respondents identified fiscal management, fund raising, business management skills, personnel management, working with volunteers in more creative ways and the use of computers as skills which would be even more important in the next decade. Recommendation. (1) Further study of this kind be conducted in other regional areas of the United States by these two organizations to test the validity of the findings on a national scale. (2) That other youth and human service organizations undertake study of this type to define commonalities and differences for entry-level effectiveness between agencies. (3) That the perceptions of entry-level staff and female staff members in these two organizations be studied further. (4) Study be undertaken to better define ways in which the competencies identified can be provided by academic institutions and agency in-service training opportunities.

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