High School Counselors' Perceptions of Career and Technical Education
Type of DegreePhD Dissertation
Curriculum and Teaching
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This study sought to determine if a relationship exists among high school counselors’ specific demographics, the educational experiences (i.e., professional development, training, and other coursework) of public high school counselors, the factors that influence public high school counselors to advise college-bound students to enroll in career and technical education; the factors that influence public high school counselors to advise career-bound students to enroll in career and technical education, and their perceptions of career and technical education. High school counselors in the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia were surveyed for this study. Data were analyzed using Descriptive Statistics, One-Way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA), Simple Regression, and Wilcoxon Signed-Rank Tests. A total of 5,572 surveys were distributed via email; 281 responded (N = 281). Most respondents were Caucasian (75.38%), female (86.36%), with an average age of 44.56 (SD = 10.762). Over half of the respondents reported holding a master’s degree (56.39%). Most of the respondents (67.97%) indicated they had previously been a core academic teacher (i.e., English Language Arts, Social Studies, Math, Science); only 7.29% reported previously teaching career and technical education. No statistical significance was presented regarding counselors’ educational experiences (i.e., professional development, training, and other coursework) and their perceptions of career and technical education. When analyzing certain factors that might be influential in advising students to enroll in career and technical education, varying results were yielded depending upon the factor under investigation. Factors revealing statistical significance included GPA, grades in core academic courses, career plans, gender, and participation in extracurricular activities. Most respondents (76.47%) strongly agreed that career-bound students should take career and technical education courses in high school, but only 46.64% strongly agreed that college-bound students should enroll in career and technical education. Even though the investigation indicated that counselors advise career-bound students (75.49%) more frequently than college-bound students (61.11%) into career and technical education courses, overall, high school counselors indicated a positive perception of career and technical education. The researcher determined that this study should be repeated in other states.