Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Higher Education Administration PhD

First Advisor

Bernard M. Lall

Second Advisor

Edward A. Streeter

Third Advisor

Paul S. Brantley


Problem. In Colombia and Venezuela the number of students demanding higher education commonly surpasses the capacity of their educational systems. Furthermore, the academic programs may not match the occupational needs of the region. When academic planning occurs without systematic needs assessment, resources are wasted and graduates are ill prepared tor the labor market.

The Subjects. The subjects included senior high-school students attending SDA institutions, teachers serving those schools, the students’ parents/representatives, school and church administrators, and SDA members within Colombia and Venezuela.

The Method. A design for needs assessment was developed upon the implementation of a Data Flow Diagram (DFD) as used in systems analysis to design pertinent computer programs. Using this design, information was secured from a variety of sources to provide approaches for academic planning in the Colombia-Venezuela Union.


1. Occupation preferences of sample SDA respondents matched the preferences of each country's larger population; differences in preferences were observed between the two countries.

2. Significant positive correlations were observed in the occupational preferences of adult groups-parents, teachers, and administrators.

3. Occupational preferences of adult groups, failed to match career preparation provided for in the master plan of Corporacion Universitaria Adventista.

4. Occupation preferences of students and adult groups were only partially compatible with the officially documented needs of the labor market.

5. In both countries students tended to prefer careers related to technology. Preferences for social areas were more prevalent in Venezuela, artistic areas in Colombia, but neither was strong.

6. Occupational preferences of students failed to realistically consider their financial capacity to participate in career-preparation programs.


1. The Colombia-Venezuela Union of Seventh-day Adventists should examine its Educational program offering to address the needs and opportunities of the labor market.

2. Students’ occupational preferences matched the traditional and frequently irrelevant preferences of their adult counterparts.

3. CUA Academic Master Plan needs to be re-designed to reflect current and future demands of the labor market.

4. Administrative involvement is crucial in securing institutional commitment to the needs-assessment process.

Implications. The Educational system of the Colombia-Venezuela Union should be revised to reduce mismatch between traditional offerings and the growing demands of a developing society. Needs assessment may assist in reducing the gap between academic training and the labor market.

Subject Area

Vocational interests--South America, Education, Higher--South America.


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