Date of Award

Summer 2012

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


STEM Education & Professional Studies


Occupational and Technical Studies

Committee Director

John Ritz

Committee Member

William A. Owings

Committee Member

Petros Katsioloudis


As education has changed to meet the needs of society and has been shaped by the enactment of new laws, various aspects included under the massive umbrella of education have also changed to maintain momentum One such educational program is career and technical education (CTE). Changes to CTE have been made to continually meet the needs of all involved. The purpose of this study was to identify components needed for the design of a sustainable career and technical education program. The study will provide readers with factors, which in turn will allow them to design programs which will meet the needs of education and business and industry. Information was gathered from 106 out of 115 (92.17%) career and technical education directors in North Carolina using survey research methods. Statistical analyses were used to determine the most significant factors involved in sustaining CTE programs.

Research Objective 1, to determine the factors that support the implementation of a career and technical education program, showed the most significant factors were teachers holding appropriate degrees and/or licenses for the courses taught (M=4.55), technical assessments have been established and are used within the district (M=4.42), a set sequence of rigorous courses that are relevant to the 16 national career clusters have been established (M=4.30), and career and technical education student organizations were established and active (M=4.23).

Research Objective 2, to determine factors that facilitate the growth of career and technical education programs, analyzed the most significant factors to be a district having a local and state articulation agreement with community colleges and/or universities for courses offered (M=4.40), collaboration with local community colleges and universities having been established (M=4.37), students have access to industry credentialing exams (M=4.33), and workforce readiness skills were identified and incorporated into career and technical education course offerings (M=4.24).

Research Objective 3. to determine factors necessary to sustain an effective career and technical education program, identified the most significant factors were instructors are provided opportunities for continued professional development (M=4.47) and teachers have the equipment and technology recommended to support teaching of career and technical education courses (M=4.36).

Based on this study, the researcher was able to provide benefits of an effective career and technical education program which could be used to justify the importance of such programs not just to students, but to all stakeholders involved. More specifically, the research provided this information in the form of factors necessary to design and sustain an effective career and technical education program.


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