Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Human Resource Education and Workforce Development

First Advisor

Joe W. Kotrlik


The objectives of this study were to: describe Cooperative Office Education (COE) coordinator's perceptions of their professional preparedness, determine COE coordinator's attitudes toward the value of occupational work experience, determine senior COE students' knowledge of employability skills, determine if relationships exists between the variables of COE students' knowledge, COE coordinator's number of hours and type of occupational work experience, the coordinator's perceived preparedness, the COE coordinator's attitude toward occupational work experience, and student and coordinator demographic variables, and determine which variables explain a significant proportion of the variability in the student's knowledge of employability skills. Two questionnaires were administered to the population of 72 COE coordinators in Louisiana. An employability skills knowledge test was given to their 1034 students. Findings indicated that over one-half of COE coordinators viewed themselves as "well prepared" or "very well prepared." The coordinators viewed occupational work experience as "valuable." The class mean knowledge of employability skills was 69% which was similar to findings in a previous study in other states. A low negative relationship existed between teachers' hours of occupational work experience and student's knowledge of employability skills. Students whose instructors had legal secretarial work experience scored highest on the test. Student's race was the best predictor of student's knowledge of employability skills. The researcher recommends that additional research be conducted to examine COE coordinator's attitudes toward the value of occupational work experience, to determine if there is an inverse relationship between hours of work experience and student's knowledge, to determine whether up-to-date work experience improves student's scores, to collect additional research regarding the various types of work experience. A recommendation for practice was made that COE coordinators' should improve their methods used in teaching Employability skills.