Date of Conferral
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
Current enrollment in Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs in the United States and in the state of Kansas is lagging behind the future demand for skilled workers. With millions of skilled labor positions unfilled and the pending retirement of the baby boomer generation, the United States is at a critical juncture to compete in the global marketplace. High school career counselors are the primary resource for CTE program recruitment. The purpose of this study was to examine whether high school career counselors' educational backgrounds, knowledge levels of CTE initiatives and programs in Kansas, and available counseling time were associated with their perceptions of CTE. The study was based on the constructivist learning theory that suggests individuals tend to learn from their past experiences and utilize those experiences to create meaning for the future. A cross-sectional survey design was used for this study to collect data on the knowledge levels, education, counseling time, and perceptions of CTE initiatives and programs held by high school career counselors (N = 485) in the state of Kansas. Chi square analyses of the associations among variables revealed that knowledge levels and counseling time were related to counselors' perceptions of CTE. However, no significant association was found between counselor educational background and perceptions of CTE. This study is significant to educational institutions and the economy in Kansas because the findings may be used to target CTE recruitment training for high school counselors. This training may improve recruiting strategies for CTE students and address Kansas' future needs for a skilled workforce.