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STAKEHOLDER PERCEPTIONS OF THE VIABILITY OF A FULLY REMOTE APPRENTICESHIP DELIVERY SYSTEM PRE-COVID-19 WITH UPDATES MID-PANDEMIC—A QUALITATIVE EXPLORATORY STUDY
thesisposted on 15.12.2020, 21:02 by Terri Sue Krause
This study explores the perceptions of critical stakeholders as to the viability of a fully remote apprenticeship delivery system (FRADS), as well as its ability to serve as a functionally equivalent path of inclusion for access-limited populations. One of the first recorded pedagogical models, apprenticeship was also one of the first to be regulated. The effectiveness of the method of training a novice to enter the adult world of work through apprenticeship is undisputed, when it is conducted in a manner approximate to that from which it derived: a process that occurs over time, with continuous interaction between novice and expert. Despite millennia of practice, and a few emerging programs called Virtual Apprenticeships, the critical real-time skills-based mentoring component (on the job instruction/training, or OJI/OJT) of the modern apprenticeship is still only carried out fully in face-to-face programs. With the move to work-from-home (WFH) resulting from the global COVID-19 pandemic of 2020, assessing the viability of a FRADS is timely. This qualitative exploratory study is a first step in the discussion. Bounded by the parameters of the U.S. Certified Apprenticeship Guidelines for Registered Apprenticeships and the constructs of viability and functional equivalence, participants of three critical stakeholder groups—policy makers, service managers, and front-line service workers—offer their pre-pandemic perceptions of the construct of a FRADS. Guided by the work of Jahoda, et al., (1957), Northrop (1949,1959), and Swedberg (2018), this qualitative exploratory methodology identified perceptual data points that are then compared against a framework of viability derived from IEG’s Service Delivery Evaluation Framework (Caceres, et al., 2016). And, because this represents a large systems change (LSC), I included aspects of Weiner’s (2009) Organizational Readiness for Change—valance and efficacy—as additional indicators of potential viability. Stakeholders examined key components of IEG’s evaluative criteria applied to a face-to-face apprenticeship as a functionally equivalent, technology-mediated apprenticeship delivery system. Additional stakeholder perceptions, mid-pandemic, along with a review of scholarly articles, media reports, and Department of Labor statistics concerning the impact of the WFH mandates foreground the gap a purposeful FRADS might fill. Analysis of some of the findings are represented in a preliminary process map.