Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Family and Consumer Sciences Education and Studies


The purpose of this study was to experimentally evaluate the implementation of a unit exploring entrepreneurship as a career option in secondary vocational home economics programs. The study was conducted in three phases which included: (1) research on home economics related small businesses and their owners, (2) pilot test of the career exploration unit on entrepreneurship, and (3) field test of the unit in twelve secondary vocational home economics classes;A survey was conducted to determine characteristics of home economics related small businesses and their owners in Iowa. Ninety-five women and 84 men, 56% of the invited sample, completed the questionnaire in 1979. Chi square values were computed to identify significant differences between male and female owners;Female small-business owners earned less money, started with less capital, and had lower gross receipts than male small-business owners. Men had more managerial experience prior to business ownership, yet women were older than men when starting their first business;The pilot test of the career exploration unit in three classes indicated that entrepreneurship was a viable topic for vocational home economics classes. High school students were able to understand entrepreneurial concepts and classroom teachers were enthusiastic about the topic;A nonequivalent control group design was used to experimentally evaluate the implementation of the unit for the field test. Two types of vocational home economics programs were used: (1) consumer and homemaking and (2) occupational programs;Achievement test data were analyzed by class mean scores in an analysis of covariance (ANACOVA) design. Significant differences were found with the experimental group having higher mean scores than the control group. Type of home economics program did not produce significantly different mean scores. The attitude device was analyzed using class means for individual items in an ANACOVA design. Some significant differences were found, but overall impact on student attitudes was not tremendous;Teacher and student evaluation instruments were assessed by content analysis. Teacher believed career exploration of entrepreneurship was appropriate in both consumer and homemaking and occupational classes. Students enjoyed reviewing entrepreneurial concepts and exploring entrepreneurship as a career.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Cheryl Wilson Compton



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172 pages