Vocational Education:

2-Year Colleges Improve Programs, Maintain Access for Special Populations

HEHS-95-163: Published: Jul 26, 1995. Publicly Released: Jul 26, 1995.

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Pursuant to a legislative requirement, GAO compared student participation and changes in vocational education programs between the 1991 and 1994 school years, focusing on: (1) the extent to which 2-year colleges have enhanced the quality of vocational education programs; and (2) special population groups' participation in vocational education programs and access to support services.

GAO found that: (1) many 2-year colleges have enhanced their vocational education programs to reflect many of the priorities in the Perkins Act amendments; (2) these colleges have moved aggressively to increase their use of performance measures, such as placement rates, program completion rates, and results of licensing exams, in program assessments; (3) nearly all colleges surveyed are developing tech-prep programs; (4) some desired changes in vocational education are developing slowly, such as integrating academic and vocational education; (5) the percentage of special population students enrolled in 2-year colleges and their participation in vocational education programs remained unchanged, despite the removal of the set-aside requirement; and (6) most colleges maintained or increased the availability of support services for special population students.

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