Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

V.J. Christenson, Ronald Adams, Gene Farley, Claude Frady

Degree Program

Department of Educational Administration, Leadership and Research

Degree Type

Education Specialist


The purpose of this study was to identify some of the variables which may be factors in the decision of Kentucky public school superintendents to develop adult education programs in their school district.

A mail questionnaire was developed and submitted to ail of Kentucky's 189 public school superintendents. Two groups of superintendents were compared; the experimental group was comprised of ninety-three superintendents who elected to implement adult education programs; while the control group consisted of ninety-six superintendents who did not implement adult education programs. Returns were received from eighty-five of the superintendents in the experimental group and seventy-three of the superintendents in the control group. An 84 percent questionnaire return was achieved for this study.

Eleven null hypotheses were tested to determine differences between the experimental and control groups in regard to the following variables: (I) educational attainment level, experiences as an educator and age, (2) type of community served by the superintendent, and (3) superintendents' perceptions about adult education programs. Four of the eleven hypotheses were rejected at the .05 level of confidence.

The statistical techniques employed in the data analysis included the t-test and chi-square. The t-test was utilized to test for differences between the means for variables; while chi-square was used to test for differences between the distribution for variables.

For those variables related to the superintendents' professional preparation and experience, the findings indicated that: (I) superintendents who participate in adult education programs possess a significantly higher educational attainment level (Master's Degree plus 30 credits and beyond) than non-participating superintendents; (2) superintendents who decide to have adult education programs have significantly fewer years of experience as a principal than superintendents without programs; (3) there were significantly more program participating superintendents with assistant secondary principal and other types of prior leadership experiences than non-participating superintendents; and (4) the superintendents' type of prior teaching experience and age appeared not to be significant factors in their decision to have programs.

The findings indicated that the type of community served by the superintendent does not seem to be a factor in his decision to implement adult education programs.

For those variables related to the superintendents' perceptions, the results of this study indicated that: (I) the superintendents' perceptions regarding adult education programs in general, the Revised Adult Education

Act of 1966, and the Adult Education Unit's operation of adult education programs were not significant factors in their decision to develop adult education programs; and (2) the superintendents' perceptions of the need for adult education programs seemed to be significant factors in their decision to implement programs.

Although the superintendents' solicited comments and recommendations about to be significant factors adult education programs, adult education did not appear in their decision to develop most of the superintendents in both groups that responded: (1) felt that adult education programs (ABE/GED) have been successful and are important to adults, and (2) expressed a need for adult education programs to be implemented, expanded and made more comprehensive.


Adult and Continuing Education | Adult and Continuing Education Administration | Education | Educational Administration and Supervision | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Educational Leadership