This research was designed to measure the effectiveness of a youth apprenticeship program in British Columbia. The program, known as the Accelerated Credit Enrolment in Industry Training (ACE IT) program, has been operational since 2004, yet there is a dearth of research surrounding this program and vocational education within British Columbia. This dissertation addressed two basic questions:
1) Did the ACE IT program improve the value of high school in the eyes of stakeholders?
2) Did the ACE IT program have other positive impacts?
This study was situated within the pragmatic paradigm with a constructivist orientation and utilized a mixed-methods design that included questionnaires and interviews. Key findings of the study were the following: 1) the program was highly successful in the eyes of all stakeholders, 2) the program improved high school graduation rates, 3) the program was best delivered at the college, 4) cooperative learning strategies were beneficial to ACE IT learning, and 5) students of the program benefited by getting a head start on their career path.
This research will be of interest to multiple stakeholders such as the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Advanced Education, school district administrators, and others involved in educational curriculum and policy design, nationally and internationally. This work also provides recommendations and data that other researchers may wish to capitalize upon for future research.
Keywords: Apprenticeship, Vocational Education, Dual Credit, Youth Apprenticeship, High School Graduation