This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

An Examination of Gender and Occupational Training on Grade Point Averages of Postsecondary Career Technical Education Graduates in Alabama




McCall, Teresa

Type of Degree



Education Foundation, Leadership, and Technology


Career technical education programs are viewed as an essential resource to addressing the economic and workforce development needs in the State of Alabama. The primary impetus for this study is to determine whether students attending postsecondary career technical education programs in Alabama were adequately trained to secure employment in specialized occupational areas. A review of the literature revealed that a significant number of community and technical colleges are comprised of predominantly female students (Hirshy & Castellano, 2011; Surette, 2001); however, there are shortages of female workers in non-traditional, male-dominated occupations, as well as shortages of males in female-dominated professions (Joshi, Beck, & Nsiah, 2009; Padavic & Reskin, 2002). Societal norms and values have placed unwarranted stereotypes on career selection based on gender characteristics. Therefore, this study will attempt to understand the influence of gender of career technical education graduates and their ability to successfully matriculate through career technical education programs in Alabama. This study reviewed preexisting data from the Alabama Department of Postsecondary Education, Career Technical Education Division, to determine if there was a relationship between gender, occupational training program (high-demand programs and traditional programs), and grade point averages of selected program graduates. The results of this study indicate that female graduates earned higher grade point averages when compared to male graduates, regardless of their enrollment in traditional or nontraditional training programs. According to the data, there were no differences in grade point averages based on completion of high-demand or traditional occupational training programs. Finally, it was revealed that the gender of the student influences the grade point average; however, the occupational training program does not have an influence on the grade point average earned in school.