Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Jennifer McLean


Currently, nonemployee students who take General Electric's (GE's) pollution control classes do not demonstrate consistent knowledge gains following training. The purpose of this project was to investigate whether the independent variables of level of education and choice in attending the class made a significant difference in the means of the dependent variables of anxiety and ability to focus. The project was influenced by the theory of andragogy, which explores the motivations and principles specific to the teaching of adults. The research questions for this study probed relationships between level of formal education among participants and their choice in whether to attend or not and potential anxiety towards training and their ability to focus on training. Data were collected from 756 adults who took a voluntary self-designed survey while registering for this class. A quantitative approach that included t tests and ANOVA tests revealed significant differences when comparing the adult behaviors of anxiety and ability to focus with the variables of choice in attendance of training and level of completed formal education. The results were used to inform a train-the-trainer program with the goal of mitigating discrepancies in knowledge transfer. As the impacts of pollution are understood, it is critical that those who are responsible for controlling pollution have the best training. Organizations that issue professional certifications need to be assured that those completing continuing education units deserve the awarded credits. Thus, any improvement to the consistency of knowledge transferred for GE's pollution control classes will support social change by enhancing the ability of students of the class to protect the earth's communities and climate and fulfill education obligations.