Date of Award

Winter 2014

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


STEM Education & Professional Studies


Occupational and Technical Studies

Committee Director

John M. Ritz

Committee Member

Petros Katsioloudis

Committee Member

Daniel Dickerson


This research explores whether a student completing a two course sequence in engineering/technology education is more successful on the Georgia High School Graduation Test (GHSGT) assessments in mathematics, science, social studies, and English/language arts. The findings provide additional insight into whether the current focus on STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) could also improve student achievement in core academic areas. Student data were provided through the Georgia Department of Education database, from all public high schools in Georgia where engineering/technology education courses are taught. The school sizes ranged from the largest schools in the state (student population greater than 3000) to schools with less than 300 students in grades 9-12. The studied populations consisted of those students who had completed two courses in engineering/technology education, and those students who had taken no career, technical, agricultural education (CTAE) courses during their high school years before taking the GHSGT.

A quasi-experimental, post-test only design method was selected as the optimum approach for data analysis, as the two populations could not be randomly assigned and only the pre-existing results of the Georgia High School Graduation Tests (GHSGT) were utilized for data. The GHSGT data for all 2012 graduating classes in the four testing areas, English, mathematics, science, and social studies, were the dependent variables while participation or non-participation in engineering/technology education classes were the independent variables.

Multiple paired t-tests demonstrated a significant difference between students completing a two-course sequence in engineering/technology education and GHSGT scores in English, science, and social studies. Although a difference was indicated in mathematics, it was not statistically significant.


In Copyright. URI: This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).