An evaluation of the Technical Preparation Program in the Tennessee public school system

Susan A Hardin, Tennessee State University


A key American educational reform designed to meet the needs of at-risk students and students who are not planning to attend college is the Technical Preparation Program. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the Tech Prep Program in Tennessee public high schools since its introduction in 1993. The research was of casual-comparative design and included both quantitative and qualitative components. For the quantitative assessment, null hypotheses were formulated and statistical analyses performed to evaluate several measures of program effectiveness based on Tennessee Department of Education databases and samples of either 84 or 70 school systems from a total population of 132 Tennessee public high school systems. The results indicate no statistically significant difference for current attendance and dropout rates compared to the rates at the time of program initiation, but suspension and expulsion rates have increased substantially over this period. For the qualitative assessment, responses from surveys administered to high school vocational directors, principals, counselors, and teachers in the South Central Tennessee area were analyzed to evaluate program effectiveness as judged by local school officials. These results, based on 363 responses from 26 schools, reveal that local school officials have a relatively high awareness level of key program elements (curriculum development, articulation agreements, staff development, and program initiatives) and an overall positive opinion of the Tech Prep Program implementation and administration efforts at their schools. The study findings contribute to the understanding of the Tech Prep Program effectiveness in Tennessee schools and to the identification of needed program improvements.

Subject Area

Academic guidance counseling|School administration|Vocational education

Recommended Citation

Susan A Hardin, "An evaluation of the Technical Preparation Program in the Tennessee public school system" (2003). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI3116149.