Date of Award

Winter 2009

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


STEM and Professional Studies


Occupational and Technical Studies

Committee Director

Philip A. Reed

Committee Member

William A. Owings

Committee Member

George D. Haber

Committee Member

Patrick M. Konopnicki


The United States faces a skills shortage that goes beyond academic and technical skills. Employers report entry-level workers lack the necessary "soft" skills, also referred to as workplace readiness skills, needed for success in the workforce; thus, calling on educational institutions to make improvements in high school curriculum in order to address the skills gap. The intent of this dissertation was to examine high school marketing education teachers' knowledge of workplace readiness skills and whether that knowledge had an impact on student workplace readiness skill achievement. Further, this study examined the usage of Virginia's 13 Workplace Readiness Skills curriculum and identified the teaching methods and instructional strategies used to disseminate the skills to students.

Three sets of data were used for this study: teacher workplace readiness skills data, teacher survey data, and student workplace readiness skills post-test data. Pearson's correlation was used to determine whether teacher knowledge of workplace readiness skills had an impact on student attainment of the same. The results showed that while overall teacher scores did not show a statistical significance on overall student scores, there were four individual skill areas in which there was a relationship between teacher and student scores.

Recommendations to practitioners focused on increased professional development for teachers on identifying workplace readiness skills, training on how to teach the skills using research-based teaching methods and instructional strategies, training on using on-going assessments to adjust instruction for student achievement, and implementing workplace readiness skills into career and technical education curriculum to provide a better prepared workforce.