Efficacy of an information technology life skills career development model for young adults
Beverley Pickering-Reyna, The University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee, United States
The University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee . Awarded
This two-stage mixed-method study assessed efficacy of the Information Technology Life Skills Career Development (IT-LSCD) model for young adults from the perspective of their experiences with the learning method. The sample size of 472 comprised sixty-two percent (62%) of a pool of 758 mostly urban public school males and females. These young adults experienced the model for at least one semester from June 2000 through April 2003. Stage I administered surveys to subjects via mail and telephone contact that collected quantitative data through rating scales and qualitative data through 14 open-ended questions. Stage II contrasted subjects' test scores before and after training to detect differential test scores used to assess aptitude changes. Combining and comparing results from both series of data analyses provided a unique evaluation of model efficacy to answer three research questions: (1) "Did the Information Technology Life Skills Career Development model help bridge the digital divide?" (2) "Did the Information Technology Life Skills Career Development model make a difference with respect to improving digital literacy?" (3) "Did the Information Technology Life Skills Career Development model make a difference with respect to generating new employment?"
More than ninety-six percent (96%) or 453 subjects confirmed the model afforded them critical computer education access that helped bridge the digital divide for them. Ninety percent (90%) or more subjects improved their digital literacy through increased computer skills. Eighty-eight percent (88%) or 416 subjects affirmed model career development helped them attain job readiness skills that improved their occupational literacy, though only sixteen percent (16%) or 77 actually had jobs. Unemployed subjects attributed that condition to social inequalities rather than the model. The approach needed further investigation because of emergent issues in subjects' responses and the jobless factor described in the qualitative data. Subjects identified a few model weaknesses and recommended ways to strengthen them. Still, they supported model replication to assist other individuals with traits similar to their own.
Pickering-Reyna, B. Efficacy of an information technology life skills career development model for young adults. Ph.D. thesis, The University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee.
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