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Dynamics of Implementing Continuing Professional Education Legislation

Title: The Dynamics of Implementing Continuing Professional Education Legislation: A Case Study of the Vocational Rehabilitation Comprehensive System of Personnel Development.
Name(s): Wesley, Marilyn Elaine, author
Easton, Peter B., professor directing dissertation
Sampson, James, university representative
Ebener, Deborah, committee member
Rutledge, Stacey, committee member
Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, degree granting department
Florida State University, degree granting institution
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2011
Publisher: Florida State University
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Florida
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: The state/federal Vocational Rehabilitation program assists eligible individuals with disabilities in entering or returning to employment. In 1998, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, was further amended to require vocational rehabilitation counselors in the state/federal program to upgrade their academic credentials in order to be "qualified" to serve their customers. This generally meant that counselors who did not have a graduate degree in rehabilitation counseling or a closely related field had to obtain one. There were a substantial number of counselors affected by the requirements of this Comprehensive System of Personnel Development (CSPD) section of the law. States have been working since then to comply with the requirement. Some have achieved full compliance while others continue to struggle. The purpose of this study was to examine the implementation strategies used by various states over the past twelve years in order to achieve compliance with the federal CSPD mandate, to investigate the lessons learned from their successes and failures, and to determine the role that adult and continuing education has played in the successful initiatives. This study operates within the framework of adult education and represents an instance of implementation research that is devoted to identifying policy solutions to a pressing social problem and to understanding better the training-related factors that underlie these solutions. This project used a case study approach to investigate, analyze, and compare the "implementation histories" of an elite sample of states and a key informant interview strategy to help interpret the data assembled in this way. Triangulation between the two sets of data was used to analyze the record of individual and collective experiences and to draw conclusions. Study findings included the following: while there were some differences in the implementation strategies employed by the states, none emerged as clear markers for implementation success or failure; high-compliance states shared some common economic and demographic characteristics including higher median household income, less diverse population, lower state agency turnover rate, and higher average counselor starting salary than low- and medium-compliance states; the proliferation of online Master's in Rehabilitation Counseling programs has substantially assisted state agencies in working toward compliance; compliance success is substantially hampered by the shortage of qualified personnel, and it appears that the shortage will continue and is likely to get worse. These findings suggest that it is unlikely that full compliance will be achieved under the current system and structure.
Identifier: FSU_migr_etd-1179 (IID)
Submitted Note: A Dissertation Submitted to the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Degree Awarded: Summer Semester, 2011.
Date of Defense: April 7, 2011.
Keywords: Vocational rehabilitation, Implementation, Continuing education, Adult learning, Comprehensive system of personnel development (CSP
Bibliography Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Advisory committee: Peter B. Easton, Professor Directing Dissertation; James Sampson, University Representative; Deborah Ebener, Committee Member; Stacey Rutledge, Committee Member.
Subject(s): Education
Persistent Link to This Record:
Owner Institution: FSU

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Wesley, M. E. (2011). The Dynamics of Implementing Continuing Professional Education Legislation: A Case Study of the Vocational Rehabilitation Comprehensive System of Personnel Development. Retrieved from