Degree Name

Education Specialist (EdS)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Patricia R. Tucker-Ladd


The purpose of the study is to examine the alternatives by which small rural schools in the Indian Valley Conference could offer a broader education base for their students through cooperative education programs. Data was collected by personal interviews from the principals of the thirteen Indian Valley Conference high schools. The study focused on four areas, a) the factors necessary for effective cooperative education programs, b) the advantages of cooperative education programs, c) the disadvantages of cooperative education programs,d) and the desire for increased participation in cooperative education programs.

The survey results, relative to the cooperative education program needs of the schools of the Indian Valley Conference, are analyzed qualitatively for type of response and quantitatively by frequency.

The research reviewed revealed that the factors for effective cooperative education programs include district and community involvement, program accessibility, and academic need. Financial need played a very small role as a factor for effective cooperative education programs. The primary advantage is academic, with economic and district advantages as minor factors. The major disadvantages are travel and scheduling. Ten of the thirteen schools indicated a desire to increase participation in cooperative education programs.

The study concludes with recommendations to successfully increase cooperative education programs to help solve academic limitations of the Indian Valley Conference districts. One recommendation is that cooperative education programs be organized in clusters to minimize the travel disadvantages. Another recommendation is that the programs be organized in two-period exchanges at the beginning and end of the day to minimize scheduling and travel problems. A third recommendation is that districts increase participation in satellite education. A final recommendation is that districts provide inservice (to present the facts as to the need for and advantages of cooperative education programs) to increase commitment from the school board, administrators, faculty, students, and community.