Mississippi's Tech Prep Initiative: Perceptions of high school and community college instructors
The purpose of this study was to determine if instructors at secondary and post-secondary levels of education have differences in their perceptions of Mississippi's Tech Prep Initiative. A survey instrument was developed by the researcher and completed by 285 instructors whose institutions were among three Southern Tech Prep Consortiums in the state of Mississippi. Of the respondents, 119 were secondary faculty, and 166 were post-secondary. This study examined the differences in high school and college instructor perceptions of Mississippi's Tech Prep Initiative. Additionally, this study determined if differences were related to the independent variables of instructor gender, age, teaching experience, and teaching style. Mississippi's Tech Prep Initiative is a relatively new educational concept that prepares high school students for technical careers by linking secondary studies with post-secondary course work. Most Mississippi educators agree that Tech Prep is the most practical method of developing a technologically advanced or skilled work force for Mississippi. Mississippi's Tech Prep Initiative is in place and currently adopted by every school district and community/junior college within the state. The findings of this study suggest community college instructors were not adequately trained in Mississippi's Tech Prep Initiative. Most instructors knew of the initiative but did perceive an important roll in it. It was recommended that effective staff development training, at the community college level, be implemented within Mississippi's Tech Prep Consortiums. With proper knowledge and training, community college instructors will develop curriculums that target Tech Prep high school seniors for recruitment into their programs.