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Journal of Vocational and Technical Education

Editor:
Kirk Swortzel:   kswortzel@ais.msstate.edu

Volume 14, Number 1
Fall 1997

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NOTES FROM THE EDITOR

With Volume 14, number 1 of The Journal of Vocational and Technical Education, both our paper Journal and our electronic Journal are beginning to mature. This fall, 1997 issue (14-1) marks the twenty-seventh issue of JVTE in print and the fifth issue currently online. The printed journal is mailed to members and other subscribers around the world and is indexed in ERIC. The electronic journal is available worldwide on the Internet and can be accessed at the following (case sensitive) location:

http://scholar.lib.vt.edu/ejournals/JVTE/

Establishing JVTE as an electronic journal was my primary goal on assuming the duties of Editor of the Journal two years ago. I am firmly convinced that, in the long term, the development of e-JVTE will give Omicron Tau Theta the same kind of added visibility and boost in prestige that resulted from the original development of the printed version of the Journal. I am delighted to have been given the opportunity to be involved in the development of both the printed and electronic versions of JVTE. It has been a pleasure serving in this capacity; yet, I am pleased that my term is nearing its end. I look forward to having more time for my own writing.

Editing a major professional journal is both a challenge and a reward. During the past two years, I have received 47 manuscripts for review. During that same period, we have published 22 articles and currently have five manuscripts under review. I received enough accepted manuscripts for one complete issue from my predecessor, Dr. Ron Stadt of Southern Illinois University. I am passing on to the new Editor, Dr. Betty Heath-Camp, enough accepted manuscripts for one issue. The circulation of the Journal is approximately 600 and our financial condition is sound. To the extent that my term as Editor of the Journal has been successful, that success was not through my own efforts, but through the combined efforts of many people. We have an outstanding Editorial Board Chair, Dr. Cliff Smith, of the University of Georgia. We have a superb Editorial Board consisting of twelve leaders and scholars in vocational and technical education. We have an excellent Publisher, Dr. Mary Jean Lush, of Delta State University. And we have a host of superb and dedicated reviewers. In the final analysis though, the success of any journal is most dependent on the scholars who struggle w ith already demanding schedules to conduct research of all kinds; draft and repeatedly revise manuscripts; endure the rigors, sometimes almost the abuse of the review process; and persevere to the printed page.

One article in this issue deserves some explanation. Last December, I received a manuscript from Dr. Nevin R. Frantz. On initial review, I found the subject of the manuscript was obviously an important one, as one might expect from a person of Dr. Frantz's stature, and that the paper met the other criteria for formal review by JVTE. I submitted the manuscript to three eminent scholars in vocational and technical education. Split decisions are not uncommon in the blind review process, and in this case, the reviewers' decision, although split, was to ask for significant revisions and resubmission. Sadly, Dr. Frantz was terminally ill and was unable to complete the requested revisions before his death early this summer. I had received Dr. Frantz's permission only a couple of weeks before his death to make rather extensive editorial changes; but could not, in good conscience, address the reviewers' substantive questions. The Editorial decision thus became to accept or reject the article, basically in its present form. I hope that you will find Dr. Frantz's last publication to be worthy of the investment of your time in reading it. Nevin Frantz was a good man, a dedicated member of the vocational and technical education family, and a loyal member of Omicron Tau Theta. He will be missed.

In this issue:

  1. An article by Nevin R. Frantz reports the results of an important effort by the University Council for Vocational Education (UCVE). UCVE is a consortium of major university vocational education programs. Several years ago, UCVE The University Council for Vocational Education (UCVE) funded this study to identify significant trends and issues of national importance for workforce preparation and determine their implications for vocational teacher preparation. This article presents the results of that study and provides an annotated bibliography of the most influential books, reports, and monographs impacting on vocational education in this country. If you have not seen these documents, get them and read them. This article should become required reading for doctoral graduates in vocational and technical education for the next five to ten years.
  2. Clifton R. Smith, retiring Chair of the JVTE Editorial Board and incoming President of Omicron Tau Theta, reports the results of a study designed to assess the implementation of the initial youth apprenticeship programs funded in the state of Georgia and to provide data relevant to the development of these program on a larger scale. Dr. Smith takes a critical look at a very innovative program that has been touted as an important part of the solution to the perceived problems of public education in this country. This article is an important one for anybody with an interest in youth apprenticeship programs as a part of vocational education.
  3. Linda W. Miller conducted a national study of vocational teacher educators to determine the degree to which the are currently integrating computer technology in their undergraduate vocational teacher preparation courses. She went further to determine the faculty members' own use of computers in conducting their instructional programs and professional activities. Perhaps her comparisons among vocational service areas will help motivate some of us to consider expanding our repertoire of computer skills.
  4. Jay W. Rojewski's article was particularly interesting to me, because he used the NELS-88 data set in a very creative way. He analyzed data from the third follow-up of the National Education Longitudinal Study to examine participation in secondary vocational education, work experiences, and postsecondary aspirations of high school seniors (in 1992) on the basis of their reported disadvantaged status. In these days of limited funding for vocational education research, more of us need to use these large-scale data bases to address questions which we will otherwise be unable to address.
  5. Myra N. Womble, Helen C. Hall, and Jeff P. Turner provided the last article in this issue. Their study sought to determine how aware middle school teachers are of "at-risk" learners. Surprisingly, the found that teachers are more knowledgeable of what puts students "at risk." This study is particularly encouraging to me because, as a former middle school teacher, I felt very ill-prepared in this area and am pleased to learn that conditions may be better today in the area of working with those students who need our help the most.

As usual, this issue of JVTE presents our readers with a look at some of the excellent research that is "leading the way" toward a bright future for our profession.

This next task is one I undertake with uneasiness -- I am certain I will leave off a name, misspell a name, and provide an incorrect affiliation. Please accept in advance my apology for the errors. According to my records, the following persons served as reviewers for manuscripts considered for this Volume of the Journal of Vocational and Technical Education, many reviewing multiple manuscripts.

Good Reading,

Bill Camp, Editor, September, 1997


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