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Effects of Cooperative Education on Community College Employment Outcomes at the School to Work Transition

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The major purpose of cooperative education is to prepare students for the workplace by combining academic education with practical experience to develop employment competencies. This research compared employment outcomes and employment earnings for graduates from cooperative education programs with graduates from non-cooperative programs at a large comprehensive community college. Two major sources of data were used in the analysis. Four years of data from an annual survey of recent graduates were merged with institutional data on the characteristics of respondents. After descriptive statistics suggested there were differences between the two groups of graduates, regression techniques were employed to isolate the effects of other possible explanatory variables. Findings indicated that recent cooperative program graduates were more likely to be employed, to be employed in positions related to their education, and to have somewhat higher earnings than non-cooperative program graduates. This suggests cooperative education may signal to the employing community that cooperative education program graduates bring enhanced human capital to the job.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2009

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  • Since 1993, the Journal of Applied Research in the Community College (JARCC) has served the institutional research and planning professionals in community colleges. JARCC is a semi-annual peer-reviewed journal that features articles relating to the integration of research and theory to practice in community colleges. The journal provides an intellectual space to communicate innovative practices in applied research that supports educational and administrative decision-making at the institutional, state, and national levels. JARCC is published by the San Diego State University's EdD program in Community College Leadership and Community College Leadership Alumni Chapter
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