Leaders in vocational education, according to this book, combine the fundamentals of their subject with elements of organization theory and concepts of leadership. These "blended" principles of successful vocational education are examined in Part I. The ten components of the vocational education delivery system are analyzed in Part II in the light of principles developed in Part I. Academic institutions, public and private, from secondary schools to universities, are considered, as are industrial training and governmental manpower programs. The unique aspects of each kind of organization are analyzed qualitatively and quantitatively, in terms of student enrollments, graduates' careers, faculties, curriculums, governance, financing, and relations with the community.
Four developments in vocational education receive special attention. First is the universal college concept, which delays the specialized portion of a student's vocational training until he or she has accepted a specific job. Second is the dual delivery system, which gives as much emphasis to adult and continuing education as to the preparation of neophyte workers (funding via such revenue sharing devices as those of the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act of 1973 are important here.) Third is the shift in governance from state and local to regional units (a harbinger of this trend is the prime sponsor concept embodied n the CETA of 1973). Fourth is the growth of post-secondary vocational education, largely via area vocational schools and community junior colleges. Part III examines where vocational education is, advocates what it could be, and predicts what it likely will be in 1980 and beyond.
Dr. Gilli's ideal model starts with the identification of "clusterable" personal goals among students; employs personalized teaching to identified occupational families and their characteristics; and utilizes skill centers to impart contracted-for skills from both academic and vocational subject matter. His forecast is guardedly optimistic; foreseeing neither a boom nor a bust in vocational education, he recommends substantial changes as a hedge against inflated criticism.