Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Human Resource Education and Workforce Development

First Advisor

James W. Trott, Jr


The Carl D. Perkins Act of 1984 provides significant financial support for the enhancement and expansion of secondary and post-secondary vocational education programs in the United States. Individual states are required to develop a State Plan for the use of Carl D. Perkins vocational funds. The formulation of this State Plan requires the development of Local Plans on the part of local education agencies who wish to participate in this program. These Local Plans are then compiled to form the State Plan which then is presented to the Department of Education for review. The annual Local Plan development process is complex and the possibilities for errors in the formulation of the plan are always present. Expert Systems are specialized computer programs which provide a means for the storage and retrieval of knowledge. These systems have been developed to perform a variety of different tasks in business and industry. Expert Systems contain a Knowledge Base, Inference Engine, and User Interface. The Knowledge Base contains the knowledge relative to the particular area of application. The Inference Engine provide a means of access to this information, and the User Interface provides a method of two-way communication between the user and the Expert System. Expert System Shell programs are used to develop Expert Systems by individuals who may lack a background in computer programming. 1st Class Fusion is such a program, and was used in this study to develop a prototype Expert System to assist local vocational educators in the development of the Local Plan for the Application of Carl D. Perkins Funds. The program is divided into two parts, the Legislative Advisor and Local Plan Advisor. The Legislative Advisor is designed to access information by Title and subtopic within the Carl D. Perkins Act. The Local Plan Advisor contains the procedural guidelines for the development of the Local Plan, as well as a section to assist in the calculation of demographic and financial data associated with the Local Plan.