Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Townsend, Lucy, 1944-

Degree Name

M.S. Ed. (Master of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Leadership and Educational Policy Studies


Vocational education--Illinois; Technical education--Illinois; Vocational education--Illinois--Planning; Vocational school students--Illinois


High school students are different in many ways but they share a common problem. Their schooling is lacking in two important ways: they are being tracked into different and unequal curriculums and they are not learning how to connect knowledge gained in one subject area to other subject areas and life situations. An innovative federally funded program called Tech Prep is designed to overcome both of these problems. Tech Prep is a "new approach to what has sometimes been called vocational education." This paper explores how vocational education became a low status "dumping ground" for underachievers rather than an important feature of every student's high school experience. It also explores tracking and how it relates to vocational education's low status. Third, it discusses isolation of subject areas. Fourth, this paper explores Tech Prep. What is it? Where did it come from? Are there any schools using it? And finally, will it help all students in our high schools find purpose, meaning, and a relationship between what they learn in school and their lives outside of school?


Includes bibliographical references (pages [50]-55)


viii, 55 pages




Northern Illinois University

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