School-to-work transition: A case study of the Discovery Research model

Laura Maureen Cuddy, Fordham University


The School-to-Work Opportunities Act of 1994 created a great deal of activity and interest in getting schools involved in work-based learning activities. School to Work is intended for all students, whether they intend to go on for a baccalaureate degree or not. Teachers and administrators need, therefore, to get involved in related activities and instruction that is integrated within current school curriculum. Educators in New York State find themselves in a difficult balancing act of offering authentic learning opportunities for students within the context of Regents examination accountability. The purpose of this study was to investigate a paradigm shift: a paradigm that seeks to restructure the relationship of a high school, a hospital, and a university to the benefit of all partners that operate in a traditional high school setting in grade 9. The study examined the distinguishing characteristics of the Discovery Research model, factors motivated participation of the group in the partnership, and the Discovery Research model affect on student career awareness. In addition, the study investigated ways in which Discovery Research provided a workable school-to-work model, changes in the teaching-learning process, and the impact the Discovery Research model had on the three partners. The study utilized the principles of qualitative research. Interviewing, observation, and document analysis were the methods used. The study recommended 11 key elements for practitioners developing a collaborative school-business-university partnership. They are: (a) begin with volunteers from all partners for the planning team; (b) start with a small pilot program run by volunteers; (c) develop a shared goal/mission statement; (d) an atmosphere of trust, respect, and frequent communication must develop; (e) commitment from the top levels of all partners; (f) ongoing staff development; (g) secure financial support; (h) designate a program coordinator; (i) creative scheduling; (j) develop the partnership around a single school; and (k) develop an ongoing evaluation and modification process for review of model design.

Subject Area

School administration|Secondary education|Vocational education

Recommended Citation

Cuddy, Laura Maureen, "School-to-work transition: A case study of the Discovery Research model" (1998). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI9923429.