Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Donald Poplau


At a southeast United States high school career center, career and technology education (CTE) programs failed to meet the state career and college readiness benchmarks. Meeting these benchmarks is necessary for students who transition from high school to the workplace or a postsecondary education program. Bandura's social learning theory served as the conceptual framework for this study. The purpose of this bounded, qualitative case study was to explore students' perspectives of their career and college readiness or nonreadiness after completing a CTE program. Purposeful sampling was used to identify 10 participants who had completed a vocational technical center (VTC) CTE program. Data were collected using semi-structured interviews composed of open-ended questions. Interview data were analyzed thematically using open coding. Participants stated that CTE diversity and leadership training did not prepare them for a career or a college degree. They determined they would benefit from project-based learning, collaborative work groups, on-site work experiences, technology integration, creating and developing ideas and products, and interpersonal skills in CTE programs. Based on the findings of this study, a 9-week CTE curriculum was designed to increase career and college readiness outcomes grounded on the Secretary's Commission on Acquiring Necessary Skills (SCANS) framework. This endeavor may contribute to positive social change by assisting administrators and teachers in the decision-making process for CTE courses and programs; ultimately, improving career and college readiness for CTE program completers.