Vocational Student Organizations and Student Success

  • Chris ZirkleEmail author
  • Jeremy Jeffery
Reference work entry


A key part of any vocational education program at the middle school, high school, or postsecondary level in the United States is a vocational student organization (VSO). Funding nationally was first provided for these vocational student organizations with the passage of the Smith-Hughes Act of 1917. A vocational student organization is cocurricular and is meant to complement the curriculum of a particular vocational education content area. Vocational student organizations are offered in conjunction with business and industry and are aligned with business and industry standards. Vocational student organizations allow students to participate in realistic activities that are related to their chosen vocation. These activities can include campaigning and running for an elected office, skill competitions, service learning and community service, and activities that prepare them for college and a career. In the United States, despite the noted value of vocational student organization to the overall student experience, there has been intermittent and, at times, scarce research regarding the relationship of vocational student organizations to student success. This chapter will provide an overview of vocational student organizations, interspersed with relevant research.


Leadership Competitions Cocurricular Success Competency 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA
  2. 2.Bloomsburg University of PennsylvaniaBloomsburgUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Robert Palmer
    • 1
  1. 1.University of NottinghamStamfordUK

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