Dr. William Allan Kritsonis, Dissertation Chair for Frances Worthey, Dissertation Defense PPT.
1MIXED METHOD INVESTIGATION OF THERETENTION AND PLACEMENT OF WOMEN INNON-TRADITONAL FIELDS OF STUDYIN HIGHER EDUCATIONA Dissertation DefensebyFrances Craig WortheyMajor ProfessorWilliam Allan Kritsonis, PhDPhD Program in Educational Leadership
2Dissertation CommitteeWilliam Allan Kritsonis, PhDDissertation Chair David E. Herrington, PhDCommittee Member Wanda M. Johnson, PhDCommittee Member Donald R. Collins, PhDCommittee Member
3Defense FormatI. Statement of ProblemII. Purpose of the StudyIII. Research DesignIV. InstrumentationV. Subjects of the StudyVI. Pilot StudyVII. Research QuestionsVIII. Null HypothesesIX. Presentation of Data-Data AnalysisX. Findings of Study-QuantitativeXI. Conclusions -QuantitativeXII. Qualitative Findings/Interview Support/Related LiteratureXIII. ImplicationsXIV. Recommendations forFurther StudyXV. End Notes
4Statement of the ProblemLack of success among women in non-traditional careers could be attributed to anumber of factors, including age, maritaland family status, career choice andextracurricular involvement, and studentsupport services (Roe, 1994).
5Statement of the ProblemResearch focused on these factors inconjunction with motivations, barrierand classroom experiences of theidentified population (Sullivan, 1998).
6Purpose of the StudyThis study examined the factors thataffected the entry and retention ofwomen pursuing non-traditional fieldsof study in higher education and theirplacement in a non-traditionalworkforce. The results of this investigationwill help administrators provide leadership forwomen in non-traditional fields of study.
7Research DesignExplanatory Mixed Method DesignIn an explanatory design, the researcher firstcollects and analyzes quantitative data, andthen obtains qualitative data to follow up andrefine the quantitative findings (Fraenkel &Wallen, 2003).
8InstrumentationStructured SurveyInterview QuestionsSurvey and interview questions adapted from:Sullivan, Mary A. (1998). A Qualitative Inquiryof Women’s Experiences in a Male-Dominated Vocational Technical College,Pennsylvania State University.
9Subjects of the Study 187 Female Students Enrolled in DifferentMajors in Non-Traditional Fields of StudyResponded to the Survey 25 Female Students in Different Majorsin Non-Traditional Fields of Study fromDifferent Colleges Were Interviewed
10Subjects of the StudyCollege Majors 0f Respondentsin the Non- Traditional Fields of StudyCollege Major Frequency Percent (%)Computer-Related Courses 45 24.07Advertising Design & Print 23 12.30Pharmacy Courses 21 11.23Automotive/Auto Collision 17 9.09Environmental Health & Safety 15 8.02Media Communication & Info 13 6.95Engineering-Related Courses 13 6.95Culinary Industry 13 6.95Electrical/Electronics 12 6.42BioMed Technology 7 3.74Aircraft Pilot 4 2.14Landscape Design 4 2.14Total 187 100.00
11Subjects of the Study-Marital StatusMarital Status Frequency Percent (%)Married 53 28.3Single 107 57.2Divorced 25 13.4No Response 2 1.1Total 187 100.0
12Pilot Study Survey Given to 20 Females Majoringin Non-Traditional Fields of Study(Respondents Not Included inRegular Study) Test-Retest Yielded ReliabilityCoefficient of 0.80
13Research Questions1.What are the reasons why femaleschoose to enter non-traditional fieldsof study?2.What are the career choices thataffect the retention of femalesin non-traditional fields of study?
14Research Questions3.What are the personal elementsthat affect the retention of females innon-traditional fields of study?4.What are the institutional factorsthat affect the retention of females innon-traditional fields of study?
15Null HypothesesH01:There is no statistically significantdifference in the reasons that affect theentry of married versus single or divorcedfemales into non-traditional fields ofstudy.H02:There is no statistically significantdifference in career choice betweenmarried versus single or divorced femaleswho enter non-traditional fields of study.
16Null HypothesesH03:There is no statistically significant differencein personal elements between married versussingle or divorced females who enter non-traditional fields of study.H04:There is no statistically significant differencein the institutional factors between marriedversus single or divorced females in non-traditional fields of study.
17Presentation of Data - Data AnalysisTabular Presentation Categories Frequencies PercentagesStatistical Computations t-test for two (2) independent samples
18Findings of the StudyResearch Question No. 1 - Reason for Entering Non-Traditional Field of Study1.Non-traditional jobs afford women the opportunity to gainhigh-skilled employment.(17)Responses Frequency Percent (%)Disagree/Strongly Disagree 3 1.6Undecided 37 19.8Agree/Strongly Agree 143 76.5No Response 4 2.1Total 187 100.0Mean Scores:Married 4.10Single/Divorced 3.96t 1.08 * (*Not Significant)Significance 0.283Decision: Failed to Reject the Null Hypothesis
19Findings of the StudyResearch Question No.2- Career Choice AffectingRetention in Non-Traditional Field of Study2.What society thinks about women in non-traditionaloccupations can affect their career choices.(5b)Responses Frequency Percent (%)Disagree/Strongly Disagree 43 23.0Undecided 29 15.5Agree/Strongly Agree 110 58.8No Response 5 2.7Total 187 100.0Mean Scores:Married 3.46Single/Divorced 3.48t -0.11 * (*Not Significant)Significance 0.913Decision: Failed to Reject the Null Hypothesis
20Findings of the StudyResearch Question No.3- Personal ElementAffecting Retention in Non-Traditional Field of Study3.Women who pursue non-traditional occupations are consideredemotionally unstable by men and women who do not supportthe idea of changing occupational gender roles.(6)Responses Frequency Percent (%)Disagree/Strongly Disagree 96 51.3Undecided 40 21.4Agree/Strongly Agree 48 25.7No Response 3 1.6Total 187 100.0Mean Scores:Married 2.54Single/Divorced 2.63t -0.48 * (*Not Significant)Significance 0.630Decision: Failed to Reject the Null Hypothesis
21Findings of the StudyResearch Question No.4- Institutional FactorAffecting Retention in Non-Traditional Field of Study4.Women in non-traditional fields encounter more difficulties inthe classroom environment.(15)Responses Frequency Percent (%)Disagree/Strongly Disagree 72 38.5Undecided 43 23.0Agree/Strongly Agree 67 35.8No Response 5 2.7Total 187 100.0Mean Scores:Married 3.08Single/Divorced 3.00t 0.36 * (*Not Significant)Significance 0.717Decision: Failed to Reject the Null Hypothesis
22Conclusions- Quantitative1. Married, single and divorced women included in thestudy had the same standpoint that the main reasonto go into non-traditional education is to gainemployment.2. The aspect of career choice that the researcherconsidered was whether what society thinks aboutwomen in non-traditional occupations can affecttheir career choice. Both groups of women gavesimilar weight to what society had to say regardingnon-traditional education.
23Conclusions - Quantitative3. For personal element, the issue compared was whether womenwho pursue non-traditional occupations are consideredemotionally unstable by men and women who do not supportthe idea of changing occupational gender roles. People hadsimilar opinions regarding women regarding their personalelements, i.e., motivations and behaviors, regardless of theirmarital status.4. For the institutional factors, the issue considered was whethermarried women in non-traditional fields encountered moredifficulties compared to the single or divorced group.Regardless of marital status women may possibly encountersimilar level of difficulties.
24Findings - QualitativeFemales are usually advised by parents to choose traditionaloccupational courses (e.g. nursing, teaching, home economics,etc.).Responses Frequency Percent (%)Disagree/Strongly Disagree 53 28.3Undecided 19 10.2Agree/Strongly Agree 112 59.9No Response 3 1.6Total 187 100.0
25Interview SupportOne of the respondents who was inInstrumentation/Electrical Power Controlstated that: “I was most concerned with whatis best for me and my family…at firstconcerned about being the only female in theclass, then came the notion that I can do it”.
26Related LiteratureChoosing a non-traditional career path does have itsprice beyond pay alone. For women who tend to bedrawn toward work that is seen as fulfilling, thedrawback is less meaningful work. The laborinvolved is frequently more physical than mental;and outdated yet persistent perceptions about what’sappropriate for women still linger, influencing thechoices women make (Lowen, 2007).
27Findings - QualitativeEducation and training programs at an early age will encouragewomen to enter non-traditional fields of study.Responses Frequency Percent (%)Disagree/Strongly Disagree 29 15.5Undecided 35 18.7Agree/Strongly Agree 118 63.1No Response 5 2.7Total 187 100.0
28Related LiteratureThe classroom environment, retention, and placementcontinue to be the focus for improving non-traditionaloccupations. Acquisition and application of new skills isimportant to the learning process in both the classroomand work environment. Practice and use of these newskills at an early period will lend to addressing theconcerns of labor force productivity. All of theaforementioned myths set the stage early on for younggirls, who nurture these ‘untruths’ and later abort the ideaof seeking the non-traditional path which might havebeen directed toward fulfilling their dream (Kerka, 2001).
29Findings - QualitativeSkill shortages in the labor force can be met by the placement ofwomen pursuing non-traditional fields.Responses Frequency Percent (%)Disagree/Strongly Disagree 6 3.2Undecided 30 16.1Agree/Strongly Agree 147 78.6No Response 4 2.1Total 187 100.0
30Interview SupportA piece of advice given by a ComputerMaintenance major in order for a female tosucceed and fill up the labor shortage was:“Don’t stress too much, the knowledge willcome to you. Don’t give up, save your moneyand keep looking forward to complete yourgoal!”
31Related LiteratureEducation and training are paramount todeveloping strategies for aiding women togain access to non-traditional jobs.Developingstrategies for preparing women is troubling atthe national level. Despite 20 years of equitylegislation and programming, many barriersremain. (Kerka, 2001).
32Findings - QualitativeMentoring programs in the workplace can make a difference inthe retention and placement of females in non-traditionalfields.Responses Frequency Percent (%)Disagree/Strongly Disagree 4 2.2Undecided 24 12.8Agree/Strongly Agree 155 82.9No Response 4 2.1Total 187 100.0
33Interview SupportAnother female majoring in Electrical PowerControl and Instrumentation had thisexperience in her class: “The other students(male) started making me feel comfortable.Students and professors did not shut me out.They encouraged me”. Consequently she didnot even think of dropping out since the maleclassmates encouraged her and the boostkept her going.
34Findings - QualitativeWomen should be given equal opportunity with men forapprenticeship training in various trades (e.g. carpentry,welding, drafting, etc.).Responses Frequency Percent (%)Disagree/Strongly Disagree 35 18.7Undecided 25 13.4Agree/Strongly Agree 123 65.8No Response 4 2.1Total 187 100.0
35Interview SupportA female student in Automotive had thisreaction: “The school provides the requiredtraining. Job placement is good. Lots ofresources are there to help you. I want toachieve my ultimate goal of completing myeducation and have a healthy career”.
36Findings - QualitativeWomen who work in the non-traditional areas will encourageother women to enter into these programs.Responses Frequency Percent (%)Disagree/Strongly Disagree 5 2.7Undecided 10 5.3Agree/Strongly Agree 169 90.4No Response 3 1.6Total 187 100.0
37Interview SupportA female student enrolled in ComputerNetwork System because her motherand aunt were also in non-traditionaloccupations.
38Findings - QualitativeIn your opinion the physical facilities (laboratory space,classrooms, lighting, lounge, etc.) available at your institutionare adequate for women in non-traditional education courses.Responses Frequency Percent (%)Disagree/Strongly Disagree 2 1.1Undecided 10 5.4Agree/Strongly Agree 171 91.4No Response 4 2.1Total 187 100.0
39Interview SupportA Web Design major suggests open labs sinceshe can work in her own space. A MediaCommunication and Information Technologymajor said this: “Labs are quiet and verygood. I enjoy the work atmosphere”.
40Findings - QualitativeThe support services (teaching aides, library, Women’s ResourceCenter, daycare, etc.) available at your institution isappropriate for women in non-traditional education courses.Responses Frequency Percent (%)Disagree/Strongly Disagree 4 2.2Undecided 23 12.3Agree/Strongly Agree 156 83.4No Response 4 2.1Total 187 100.0
41Interview SupportA respondent with three kids, who was studyingComputer Network System as her major mentionedthis: “My age and being female along with havingbeen in the workforce for so long made me different.But the instructors and students were veryrespectful. Even the instructors called me ‘Miss’.They opened the door for me; started watching theirlanguage around me…somewhat of a strain on theregular way they do things with just men in theclass”.
43Related LiteratureCounselors, vocational educators, and case managerscontribute to females’ access to non-traditionalprograms and occupations. Since these helpingprofessionals are involved in providing guidance anddirection, their perceptions and attitudes caninfluence a students’ career decision in the selectionof a non-traditional occupation (Burge & Culver,1990).
44Findings - QualitativeLack of training is a barrier that impedes the process for womenentering non-traditional fields.Responses Frequency Percent (%)Disagree/Strongly Disagree 35 18.7Undecided 30 16.1Agree/Strongly Agree 116 62.0No Response 6 3.2Total 187 100.0
45Related LiteratureA major issue to be considered when addressingwomen joining the labor market is the lack of training.When women in non-traditional fields enter theworkforce and they have not been adequately trained,on the job programs will be essential to ensure theappropriate placement, retention and maintenance ofproductive workers. Preparation will enable morewomen to become more productive citizens andcontributors to society (Lowen, 2007).
46Related LiteratureBased on the increasing number of femalesentering the non-traditional workplace, it isimperative to address their training needs toensure retention and placement of femalespursuing non-traditional fields of study inhigher education. Possessing this abilityallows them to visualize the perfect job thenwork to develop the skills to acquire it(Wenniger, 1995).
47ImplicationsThe merging of an established environmentcomprised of technically-oriented males with anunenlightened female student population suggeststhe need to sensitize campus groups and individualsto a variety of specifics that include, but are notlimited to gender differences, social and classroombarriers, specified female needs as they relate tosingle-parent demands, and adult learning styles(Roe, 1994).
48ImplicationsActivities to promote student attainmentshould be incorporated in career andtechnical education curriculum on bothelementary and secondary levels. Takingthe first step is crucial to extending awelcome and changing the culture(Kossuth &Leger-Hornby, 2004).
49ImplicationsThose administrative leaders responsiblefor the retention and placement ofwomen in non-traditional fields of studyin higher education may consider thereasons, career choice, personalelements, and institutional factors thatlead to completion of this pursuit.
50Recommendations for Further Study A study should be conducted with morecolleges that offer non-traditional fields ofstudy for women, like across the wholecountry, to have more comprehensivecoverage. A study should be conducted to comparethe status of men versus women in thenon-traditional occupations.
51Recommendations for Further Study A study should be conducted to comparecurricula in several major non-traditionalfields of study for women (examples-automotive, computer-related courses, etc.)offered in several colleges. A study should be conducted to determinethe placement of female graduates fromcolleges that offer non-traditional fields ofstudy.
52Recommendations for Further Study A study should be conducted to compare thecareer paths of men versus women who getemployed after graduating from specificnon-traditional fields of study. A study should be conducted on howelementary, middle and high schools fosterentry awareness of female students intonon-traditional fields of study.
53Concluding RemarksTechnical education has played a tremendouspart in helping women change employment rolesin today’s society. In an effort to fine their nichesin life, women have expanded their minds andabilities to perform jobs that were once male-dominated. With that comes an increase in thenumber of women enrolling and completingstudies in non-traditional fields (Roe, 1994).
54Concluding RemarksAll students should be encouraged by societyto explore career options based on theirabilities and interest, not their gender. Takingthe first step is crucial to extending awelcome and changing the culture. (Kossuth& Leger-Hornby, 2004).
55Concluding Remarks“That which cannot change, will not survive.” My friend has hadthis plaque on display in her office. The plaque is a rock in whicha fossil was embedded. I have thought about this quote often andconcluded that as much as change is difficult and fearful at times,it is necessary and should be embraced. For me, graduation fromschool, starting a new degree at a new school, beginning a newjob, marriage and having children all represented major lifechanges. There are also numerous day-to-day changes in ourlives that can have significant effects on us. It is so important tobe able and willing to accept changes for the benefit of our innerpeace and our personal and professional success (Dever, 2002).