Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.


College of Education



First Advisor

Brianna Parsons, Ed.D.

Second Advisor

Michael J. Self, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Okema Branch, Ed.D.


Postsecondary vocational education in the United States has become an important part of training in the current knowledge-based economy. In this present economy, jobs that require this type of technical training seem to be some of the highest paying (Mupinga & Livesay, 2004). One such program of study is Natural Gas Compression. This industry requires highly trained individuals who maintain and repair the natural gas engines and compressors that gather, process, and distribute natural gas throughout the United States. This qualitative case study addressed two questions. First, how do graduates of a career and technical education (CTE) program perceive and describe how a technical curriculum prepared them for the transition from school to work? Secondly, how do CTE industry partners relate their understanding of how a technical curriculum prepared their employees for on-the-job demands? This study intended to provide valuable insight on the efficacy of the curriculum of a Natural Gas Compression program (NGC) on providing the skills and training needed for a smooth school-to-work transition. Through semistructured interviews, graduate participants of this study believed that the NGC program curriculum gave them the skills and training necessary to smoothly transition from school to the workplace. In addition, industry partner participants felt that NGC graduates make excellent employees and admire their maturity and skill sets. All participants believed that there was a need for more “hands on” training and that the lack of this training may have caused them to have some problems initially. The implications and recommendations for further research based on the findings from this study are discussed.

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