Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Industrial Education and Technology


This study examined determinants of curriculum choice and is, by its very nature, about occupational expectations and decisions. The general concern of the study was to investigate how various factors are instrumental in student's decision to enroll in a vocational or nonvocational training program;The problem of the study was to identify differences in motivation determinants as a means to developing programs of instruction. The end result of the study becomes a point of reference in the educational institutions;Data were collected from 320 students who represented the vocational and nonvocational students in selected high schools, community college and a university in the State of Iowa. Diversities in courses offered in these schools were among the criteria for selecting the schools for the study;Three major null hypotheses tested the relationships between the independent variables and curriculum choices of students. Data were subjected to an analysis of variance, chi-square, probit and Duncan statistical analysis;No correlation was found between the educational attainment of fathers and mothers and students' curriculum choice. Students in vocational and nonvocational curricula areas differed in their interest and achievement in school subjects, job expectations and needs. Interest in physical science and social science subjects correlated with the curriculum choice of students in the high schools. It was also found that what individuals expected as their first full-time job was a significant factor in their curriculum decisions;It was concluded that students in vocational curricula tended to be more inclined towards becoming "self-employed" when it comes to a choice of lifetime occupation. Distinct variables in human needs and reinforcement differentiated the vocational and nonvocational students. Reinforcement and preparation to deal with problems which others recognize as difficult had low influence in the curriculum decisions of vocational students who participated in the study. The findings confirm the developmental processes as students progress from the high school through community college and ultimately to the university.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Benedict Chinedo Ogwezi



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210 pages