Term of Award

Spring 2008

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Education Administration (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Department

Department of Leadership, Technology, and Human Development

Committee Chair

Arthur, Linda M.

Committee Member 1

Rosemarie Stallworth-Clark

Committee Member 2

S. Neil Aspinwall

Abstract

Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs have been an element of the American high school experience and are still an integral part of an overall high school curriculum (Silverberg, 2004). An academic foundation, combined with work and life skills, is essential for preparing a student for the 21st Century workplace (Wonacott, 2003). Employers require well trained employees possessing the skills and capabilities taught in CTE programs. However, employers also report difficulty recruiting when attempting to hire well trained, qualified people. The purpose of this study was to better understand the implementation process of a high school CTE curriculum in Southeast Georgia high schools. This was a qualitative case study using focus groups: Career and Technical Education Coordinators representing the linkage between secondary and postsecondary education; high school counselors whose responsibilities include student curriculum selection; and, parents who represent the pivotal role of specific curriculum selection for their children. Each group served a vital role in providing data that were assessed and analyzed to fulfill the overall purpose of the study. Study results showed that CTE coordinators and counselors were familiar with the concept of an implementation process, but stated concern that no formal, consistent process existed that outlined CTE curriculums for parents and students. Parents were much less aware of any implementation process and vigorously stated that one should exist and that CTE curriculums should be explained and promoted. The researcher found that factors such as career goals, parent and teacher influence, and peer opinions were involved when students selected CTE curriculums. The researcher also found that CTE curriculum selection influence came from a variety of sources such as parents, peers, career opportunities, potential job salaries, and overall information about future careers as related to specific businesses and industries.

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