Date of Award

Fall 12-15-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.


College of Education



First Advisor

Gerald Gabbard, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Ron Dexter, Ed.D.

Third Advisor

Carrie Kondor, Ed.D.


The goal of this qualitative, narrative inquiry study was to explore the voices of community college students who have taken Career and Technical Education (CTE) while in high school, investigate if they perceived value from their high school CTE classes, and determine how those experiences impacted their high school and college educations (cf. Association for Career and Technical Education, 2016; American Institutes for Research, 2013; Southern Regional Education Board, 2008). The central research question for the dissertation was: What value do local community college students believe their high school Career and Technical Education program participation provided? The screening survey had 13 participants that identified as possible candidates. A total of eight community college students were interviewed for this study. There was one exceptional case, Robs’ vignette, where CTE played an important role in defining Robs’ transformative learning experience. The overall outcomes of the study found positive lived experiences from taking CTE while in high school that included employable skills, collaborative learning, and personal behavioral skill building. The study discovered that taking CTE classes while in high school provided value for postsecondary learning and valuable training for the entry-level workforce. This analysis showed that CTE helped participants with personal and work skills to become career ready for an entry-level position and entry in to postsecondary learning. The themes found in this qualitative narrative study were: 1) Why did you take Career and Technical Education? 2) Community college students placed value in taking Career and Technical Education while in high school. 3) What was the best and worst of a Career and Technical Education program? 4) College credit was earned while in high school. 5) Career and Technical Education classes were underrepresented in schools. 6) Career and Technical Education is a valuable asset in high school. 7) Career and Technical Education offered real world hands-on learning experiences. 8) The importance of quality education.