Evaluation of a Career Readiness Indicator
Type of DegreePhD Dissertation
Education Foundation, Leadership, and Technology
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Today’s high school graduates are entering a world that demands greater in-depth knowledge, higher-order thinking skills, and the ability to adapt to a workplace with ever-changing technologies. American employers need a workforce that is skilled, adaptive, and creative. Education and training are the key to success for individuals, and critical for businesses in the U.S. to be competitive in the global economy. High-quality Career and Technical Education programs (CTE), which lead to high-quality credentials are a critical and essential option to meeting these challenges. There is a lack of accurate reliable data and third-party validation of the quality of CTE programs as well as the quality of the credentials earned through these programs. The purpose of this study was to examine a Career Readiness Indicator – which is a credential that students can earn – within the Alabama High School CTE program. An exploratory sequential mixed-methods approach was used to collect evidence-based data. Participants were technical education program directors or electronics instructors from five counties within the state of Alabama. The Career Readiness Indicator Evaluation Instrument (Tucker, Kaminsky, & Witte, 2016) was created and field-tested for this study. The instrument provides a rating of one to five for six key features identified as necessary for an effective-high quality Career and Technical Education program, and high-quality credentials. The findings from this study produced a development level for the CTE programs in each of the five counties for the key features of Industry Engagement; Governance; Occupational Standards; Qualification Framework; Program Quality; Delivery and Assessment.