Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Loretta Quigley, Ed.D.

Second Supervisor

Cathleen Dotterer, Ed.D.


The purpose of this qualitative, descriptive phenomenological research study was to examine the factors that influenced school counselors’ beliefs in career and technical education (CTE) programs and how their beliefs influenced their recommendation of CTE enrollment to students in Grades 7–12. Using semi-structured, in-depth interviews, this study examined the lived experiences and beliefs of six Grade 7–12 school counselors that influenced their CTE program recommendations. The results of this qualitative research study indicated that contrary to the literature review, most of the participants recognized the importance of CTE and saw CTE positively, indicating the need for career awareness for students to begin before the seventh grade. The findings also revealed that lived experiences significantly influenced the counselors’ positive or negative attitude toward CTE. However, the study’s findings indicated that the counselors’ personal CTE experiences had no discernible effect on their positive or negative impressions of CTE. No significant influence was found between the counselors’ lived experiences and their beliefs in the benefit of CTE programs and their enrollment recommendations. The themes that emerged from the qualitative data include uncomfortable challenges, “what was I thinking,” creating a master plan, and a new perspective. The recommendation of CTE for students could be the key to reducing the predicted shortage of skilled workers, and the findings could be used to guide professional development for school counselors, which may improve CTE recommendations and enrollment strategies and address future needs for a skilled workforce.

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