Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Daniel Jackson (Director), Mark Doggett, Bryan Reaka

Degree Program

Department of Architectural and Manufacturing Sciences

Degree Type

Master of Science


Technology is a critical component of modern-day success. Advancements in technology have improved communication between individuals and companies. Technological advancements have allowed students to earn college degrees online. People who habitually use technology expect a high level of performance and support. As new technologies are implemented, such as complex web services or new operating systems, the dependence for information technology (IT) support grows in demand. Even learning curves can be cumbersome without proper assistance from IT professionals. Companies and institutions must accommodate user needs by implementing fast, efficient, and friendly support. In order to offer optimal customer support, representatives must be knowledgeable of the products and services that are supported. At Western Kentucky University’s (WKU) IT Helpdesk, a training program called Consultant Accelerated Development and Education in Technology (CADET) focuses on software, hardware, customer service, and procedures mandated by the IT Division. Prior to CADET, the Student Certification program was used to train student consultants. The Student Certification program was developed to satisfy training needs that allowed consultants to support end-user technical issues. CADET was developed in 2008 to replace the Student Certification program. This study explored the question if CADET training is more effective in preparing consultants to do their jobs than the Student Certification program. The study investigated the effectiveness of CADET training compared to the Student Certification program by surveying IT Helpdesk student consultants. The survey results indicated which program was more adequate. Both programs contained the same training content, but training delivery methods differed. A t-test was used to compare both programs and determine the outcome of the study’s hypotheses. The Student Certification program did not accommodate different learning styles. The teaching methods only included traditional classroom-style delivery. CADET training did accommodate different learning styles, delivering training through a wide variety of formats including video, audio, assessment, assignment, and face-to-face training. The research focused on the importance of addressing different learning behaviors. The study suggested that CADET is more adequate in preparing students to do their job duties. When both Student Certification survey and the CADET survey were compared, CADET training is more adequate in 26 out of the 27 training sessions. The results suggested that learning style accommodation is directly related in the success in the CADET training program over the Student Certification program.


Computer Sciences | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Educational Methods | Higher Education | Industrial Technology