Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Idonia Owens


This study investigated the urban high school student’s perspective regarding access to a career and technical education (CTE) curriculum. The study employed a qualitative approach via the use of two focus groups composed of ninth and 10th grade students attending a large urban school district. The research revealed that the participants were largely unaware, other than that of attending college, of their options following high school and that most students were not aware of the CTE options in their high schools. The research also revealed that although 100% of the students planned to attend college, 89% were interested in training for a career while still in high school. The students indicated they received most of their information from after-school clubs and programs, and 50% of the students said they did not have many opportunities to meet with their school counselors. Recommendations include reeducating school personnel, parents, and counselors to the realities of the current job market and readjusting the curriculum to meet the demands of the fastest-growing occupations. These stakeholders must adjust to a new model in preparing youth for job placement and a productive future. Further research is recommended for district-wide and nationwide quantitative studies be conducted in urban high schools in order to obtain a broader sample that is reflective of urban high schools nationwide. Furthermore, it is imperative to commence a national longitudinal study tracking CTE completers versus non CTE completers to determine the effectiveness of current CTE enrollment on graduation rates, career readiness, and job placement.

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