Date of Award

Spring 5-2012

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Economic and Workforce Development

Committee Chair

Dr. Heather Annulis

Committee Chair Department

Economic and Workforce Development

Committee Member 2

Dr. Cyndi Gaudet

Committee Member 2 Department

Economic and Workforce Development

Committee Member 3

Dr. Patricia Phillips

Committee Member 3 Department

Economic and Workforce Development

Committee Member 4

Dr. Brian Richard

Committee Member 4 Department

Economic and Workforce Development

Abstract

A worldwide concern exists that undergraduate programs are not producing graduates with the kind of lifelong learning and professional skills needed for workplace success. Numerous research studies indicate new employees lack needed employability skills such as teamwork, decision-making, and communication.

Similarly, recent national and state findings suggest that graduates of Mississippi‟s manufacturing-related degree programs may not be fully prepared to meet the needs of manufacturers in the state. Hence, this research proposes to determine the degree to which Mississippi‟s four-year manufacturing-related degree programs address employability.

To answer this question, the present study utilizes descriptive non-experimental research to assess the perception of senior students and faculty in four key areas: 1) the level of importance attached to employability skills; 2) the integration of employability skills in the classroom; 3) students‟ possession of identified employability skills; and 4) strategies used by faculty to integrate employability skills into academic courses.