Date of Award

Winter 2009

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


STEM and Professional Studies


Occupational and Technical Studies

Committee Director

John M. Ritz

Committee Member

Edward Raspiller

Committee Member

Philip A. Reed


The intent of this dissertation was to determine if enrollment into a career and technical education dual enrollment program encouraged students to continue their education into postsecondary education and if workplace readiness skills were increased. This study completed a factorial analysis of student demographic and factorial data as associated with the enrollment of career and technical education dual enrollment in rural, southwest Virginia. Specifically, the study explored secondary students (N = 221) currently enrolled during the academic school year 2008-2009 within a Virginia approved career and technical education dual enrollment course. These students attended one of four career and technical centers contained within the service area of a Virginia community college. Student surveys were used to determine opinions regarding career and technical education dual enrollment factors concerning enrollment motivation, social and financial concerns, and workplace readiness skill development.

The study found the demographic description of a career and technical education student in rural, southwest Virginia to be almost evenly divided between male and female (there was a frequency difference of three), in the senior year with an average grade point average of 3.0-3.49, not receiving free or reduced lunch nor being a first-generation college student. Findings also revealed students felt they were treated as adults during their enrollment in demanding, high achieving courses with content pertaining to real-life goals. Analysis revealed four components labeled as (a) college/career awareness, (b) affordable challenging courses, (c) guidance assistance, and (d) student motivation that positively supported career and technical education dual enrollment programs were effective at increasing student participation to the postsecondary level.

Finally, student awareness of Virginia's 13 Workplace Readiness Skills was found to be accomplished through the enrollment into career and technical education dual enrollment courses. Students' responses supported the issuance that all 13 Workplace Readiness Skills were recognized and developed during course enrollment. Each of the skills returned as factors leading to the establishment of three components labeled as (a) workplace skill development, (b) skill/education need, and (c) desire to attend college, which supported increased student awareness of workplace readiness skills as well as the need for continued education or training beyond high school necessary to be successful and productive in today's workforce.