Thesis

A Comparative analysis of achievement characteristics for minority group students in a high school intervention program

This study explores the merits of using career oriented programs to enable minority group students to enter economic mainstream as professionals in greater numbers. The core of this study is the Career Opportunities for Youth Programme (C.O.Y.) which accepts participants from San Fernando, Verdugo, Sylmar and Kennedy High Schools which are located in California, and exposes them to various careers offered by Hughes Aircraft, IBM, KNBC, and in police science training. The students receive two and a half units of academic credit for their participation in the program and on-the-job training for possible future careers. As new students enter the C.O.Y. program each semester, new treatment and control groups are added to the study to further validate and expand the baseline of this panel research project. The treatment group is made up of minority students from San Fernando High school by and large who are participants in the C. 0. Y. Program. The subjects in the control group are selected at random from San Fernando High School and are representative of the high minority student population at the school. All of the subjects in control group number one (01) are tested for homogeneity with respect to certain socio-economic characteristics as compared to subjects from the treatment group. A group of upwardly mobile, high achieving students from a sociology class at Chatsworth High School were selected as subjects for control group number two (02). The purpose of this study was to investigate the interactional relationships encountered by exposing minority subjects to the treatment conditions in the Career Opportunities for Youth Program (C.O.Y.). The results obtained by varying the treatment conditions of the minority high school students in the experimental group was contrasted with students from the same school who were not aware that they were participating in the experimental design. Further analysis will be undertaken to determine if the treatment conditions as experienced by the subjects in the experimental group have any effect that would tend to raise their level of competence and motivation to a position where they can successfully complete high school, compete in college and obtain professional status commensurate with upwardly mobile Anglo students (control group two). I hypothesize that my research will demonstrate that the participants in the Career Opportunities for Youth Program (treatment group) will enter the economic mainstream with higher status jobs (professional) than will other minority children (control group 1) and will display greater economic and social mobility patterns which enable them to achieve high status positions in the community comparable to typically upward mobile Anglos (control group II). I further hypothesize that education can become the great social equalizer if educational institutions implement career programs of high quality such as the Career Opportunities for Youth Program.

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