Date of Award
College of Education
Type of Degree
Dr. Dennis Anderson, Committee Chairperson
Dr. Charles Bethel
Dr. Edna Meisel
The purpose of this study is to examine the effectiveness of Smart Start Career Pathway as a method of supporting student success on the ACT WorkKeys assessment. Since the 1970s, the skills gap has been a national concern as workforce demand has outpaced supply. As a means of connecting individuals to the workforce, Mississippi adopted ACT WorkKeys and the National Career Ready Certificate (NCRC). As a result, programs such as Smart Start have been developed and deployed to support success in achievement in ACT WorkKeys and NCRC.
This causal comparative study was conducted utilizing a convenience sample of 1,001 participants from a program located in central Mississippi. The participant level data consisted of existing ACT WorkKeys scores and NCRC credential attainment. The study investigated if differences exist in student performance on ACT WorkKeys when participating in Smart Start Career Pathway. Specifically, the relationship in performance on ACT WorkKeys when a participant completes the Smart Start Career Pathway career-ready curriculum. Additionally, the study assessed if there is any influence between gender and race. The study did not find significant difference in frequencies of participant bronze, silver, gold and platinum level scores from the ACT WorkKeys National Career Readiness Assessment for those who participated in the Smart Start training compared to those who did not participate in the Smart Start training or significance as it relates to the influence, if any, of gender and race status on overall test scores of ACT WorkKeys National Career Readiness Assessment for those who participated in the Smart Start training compared to those who did not participate in the Smart Start training.
Vocational education -- Mississippi.
Prediction of scholastic success -- Mississippi.
Academic achievement -- Mississippi.
Educational accountability -- Mississippi.
Pickering, Steven Wayne, "Filling the Middle Skills Gap: Increasing Silver-Level Career Readiness Certificate Attainment in Mississippi" (2021). Theses, Dissertations and Capstones. 1409.