Austin, Margaret

 

Evaluation of a Criminal Justice Career Program Implemented Within a Community College

This applied dissertation was designed to evaluate a program providing academic and career development for high school students attending Grades 11 and 12. The program was based upon the career pathways concept and delivered within a local community college. The program was established for the purpose of increasing the knowledge of high school students surrounding careers in public safety professions. The problem of interest was that an evaluation of the program had not been conducted to provide data indicative of whether the program had effectively accomplished stated goals.

An evaluation tool was developed to assess program effectiveness. The expected outcomes of the career program were compared to the expected outcomes of best practices for career programs involving high school students. The expected outcomes of best practices were developed from a review of related literature and surveys administered to stakeholders associated with the criminal justice career program implemented at the community college serving as the study site.

The evaluation of the career program under study indicated that the program was effective overall in meeting the career needs of students. The evaluation also identified 3 gaps between expected outcomes of the current program and expected outcomes for best practices of a career program. Thirteen recommendations are presented toward modification of the program to increase the effectiveness of career-based curriculum at the community college level.