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Participation in Skills USA and perceived student value: A case study

Lackey, Darin R.

The purpose of this study was to explain the role that involvement in SkillsUSA played in overall perceived value of a student's educational experience at a large, Midwestern, Career and Technology Education Center. The study population was a purposive sample comprised of students at a large Career and Technology Education center in a Midwestern institution. The study population consisted of secondary and post-secondary students who ranged in age from 18 to 60 years old. The study areas took place within the classroom setting and also consisted of sites where study participants were engaged in miscellaneous student organization activities. The findings from this study indicate that those who become involved in SkillsUSA have a very positive overall sense of value in their educational experience. Findings indicated that the more SkillsUSA activities the participants chose to get involved in, greater value was associated with the educational experience. This study could be conducted on a larger scale. It would help the applicability of this study to be done among several CTE school districts that would include more diversity in demographics and observe the manifestations that occur in a much larger sample population. This study could also benefit from opening up the participant population to include secondary students. This would allow the researcher to observe possible similarities or differences between secondary and post-secondary SkillsUSA members to observe the perceived value participation in SkillsUSA provides in their experience. Finally, there could be possible benefit from taking a mixed methods approach to this study.