A follow-up study of the 1973 and 1974 business education graduates of Triton Community College
Caeti, Joanne Marie
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The problem of this study was to secure information from business education graduates from Triton Community College for the years 1973 and 1974 which would be useful in evaluation of the curriculum. An attempt was made to answer the following specific questions: 1. What was the current occupational status of graduates? 2. What methods were used by graduates to obtain their present positions? 3. What types of employment tests were given to them? 4. What types of business machines and office equipment were being used in offices by graduates? 5. In which skills did the students feel that they had received adequate training? 6. In which skills did students feel that they were not adequately prepared? 7. Which courses have benefitted the student on his present job and which courses have not? 8. Which courses would the students add to the curriculum? A letter and questionnaire were used as a means of gathering data for this study. The final result of two mailings brought responses from 56 of the 71 one-year certificate and two-year degree students that were surveyed, a 78.9 percent response. An analysis of the data provided the following major findings: Fifty (89.3 percent) of the graduates surveyed are currently employed full time in office-related business occupations with the majority classified as secretaries. The majority of the graduates (76 percent) are still employed in their first full-time job. Most jobs were obtained through sources at Triton, through a private employment agency, or by using classified newspaper advertisements. Ninety-eight percent of the graduates had to either complete written applications, participate in personal interviews, or both for their first full-time job. In addition, some had to take employment tests—usually typewriting or shorthand. The five machines used most frequently by .graduates on their first full-time job were: electric typewriters, copiers, 10-key adding machines, transcribing machines, and electronic calculators. Training had been adequate at Triton for the majority of graduates. Graduates indicated that few used the following machines: bookkeeping machine, rotary calculator, shorthand machine, keypunch machine, and word processing equipment. Seventy percent or more of Triton's graduates felt prepared in all seventeen competencies on the questionnaire. Courses listed as having the greatest value on the job were the Shorthand I-II combination; Shorthand I, II, III, and IV; the Shorthand III-IV combination; and Typewriting III. The hypotheses that there is no significant difference in the frequency of use of business machines used on the job and the frequency with which students learned them at the community college and there is no significant difference in the percentage of graduates rating the value of business courses as great value, some value, or little value were rejected at the .05 level of confidence. The first hypotheses was rejected for all machines except for manual typewriters, electric typewriters, the sorter, and mailing equipment. A significantly greater percentage of graduates rated Typewriting I, II, and III; Secretarial Accounting I, II; Business Correspondence; and Shorthand I, II, III, and IV as having great and some value as compared to the percentage of those who rate them as having little value. Based on the findings of the study, it can be concluded that the business education department at Triton Community College is meeting the needs of the graduates in preparing them for initial employment. Business considers graduates of Triton Community College highly employable as evidenced by the number of students employed in secretarial or office-related jobs.