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Oklahoma's Career and Technology Center superintendents' perceptions on their preparation and the preparation of future superintendents

Howard, Myron Kim
Scope and Method of Study: The study surveyed all 29 of Oklahoma's Career and Technology (CareerTech) superintendents with a written questionnaire, and 22 of the 29 superintendents responded. Based on a specific and predetermined set of criteria, 6 of the 22 participants were selected to participate in a one-on-one interview. The data obtained from both the written questionnaires and the one-on-one interviews were analyzed using a mixed-method approach.
Findings and conclusions: The study found that a majority of current superintendents of Oklahoma's CareerTech centers perceive they were reasonably well prepared their first year on the job. However, these same superintendents perceive a strong need for specialized training for aspiring CareerTech superintendents. Superintendents also expressed much concern about their colleagues retiring over the next few years. The superintendents involved in the study perceive that the number of females assuming CareerTech superintendent positions will increase slightly over the next few years. The opinions of the CareerTech superintendents and the literature concerning training programs are not in total alignment. The participants in the study identified who should provide pre- and in-service training and suggested specific skills and topics.
The findings of this study led to the following conclusions: 1) The Oklahoma CareerTech superintendents are concerned about replacing the large number of retiring leaders with well-prepared new chief administrators; 2) The CareerTech superintendents strongly support specialized, targeted training programs at both pre-service and in-service; 3) The CareerTech superintendents have clear opinions about several specific topics and skills that should be included in training programs; 4) The CareerTech superintendents do not believe universities to be appropriate or successful as the sole providers of training for CareerTech administrators; and 5) There may be an element of support for, and ever protection of, the CareerTech network and tradition.