Magazine article Vocational Education Journal

Attracting and Keeping HOE Teachers

Magazine article Vocational Education Journal

Attracting and Keeping HOE Teachers

Article excerpt

The ability of school districts to attract and retain health occupations education teachers tends to be difficult because most of the teachers are certified in a specific health occupation where job opportunities are generally very good. Thus, HOE teachers have considerably more job options than others who enter the field from traditional teacher education programs.

The turnover for North Carolina HOE teachers in 1988-89 was 12.7 percent, compared with 7.6 percent for all teachers. The numbers indicate that school districts must be able to identify the factors that lead to overall career satisfaction--and then improve working conditions--or risk losing HOE teachers to the health care industry.

With this purpose in mind, health occupations educators at North Carolina State University in Raleigh conducted a study of all HOE teachers in Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee. A questionnaire, cover letter and postpaid envelope were mailed to 348 teachers, 61 percent of whom returned usable responses.

Teachers were asked to rate the extent to which certain variables were important to job satisfaction. Using a model developed by C.J. Mottaz, four extrinsic variables (general working conditions, supervisory assistance, co-workers and salary) and three intrinsic variables (task autonomy, task significance and task involvement) were measured.

RESULTS

The respondents were 99 percent female, with a mean age of 45. They had an average eight years in their current positions and 10 years of total teaching experience. The mean number of HOE students per teacher was 75.

Forty-two percent of the respondents were initially certified with provisional status, 26 percent received initial certification from a non-degree program and 21 percent took the bachelor's degree route.

Only three of the seven variables were significant predictors of work satisfaction: general working conditions, salary and task involvement, which was the most important factor. Questions relating to task involvement attempted to measure the degree to which teaching was considered interesting and rewarding in itself.

These findings are similar to those of other researchers, such as Mottaz, who in 1985 found that intrinsic rewards were valued more highly among teachers in five occupational groups. For the HOE teachers, however, the difference between the two areas was slight. This may be attributed to relative exclusion of vocational education teachers from previous studies and also to the origin of most HOE teachers--the health care industry, where competition for employees usually creates a higher salary level and better opportunities for promotion. …

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