Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Teaching, Learning, and Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Carl Woloszyk


This study explored the profile of CTE students with regard to their academic standing and their socioeconomic background, examined high school seniors'perceptions of career and technical education, and identified the people and other factors that influence students in their decision-making about CTE enrollment. A 29-question survey was administered to 451 seniors from seven public high schools served by the Wexford-Missaukee Area Career Technical Center, operated by an intermediate school district in northern lower Michigan.

Significant findings indicate that the typical profile of CTE students with respect to socioeconomic status and academic standing would identify a CTE student as performing somewhat lower academically, living less often with both parents while more commonly residing without either parent present, and being more economically disadvantaged than their non-CTE counterparts.

While more CTE students than non-CTE students perceive the Career Technical Center as an avenue to college, both groups identify strongly with the CTE connection to the workplace. Even more significantly, both groups strongly perceive that the Career Technical Center addresses the needs of students from all ability levels.

The most influential people upon a student regarding a decision to attend, or not to attend, a CTE program, are friends and parents. CTE staff and high schoolcounselors also play a fairly significant role in influencing CTE students to attend.

Spending half of the day away from the high school is the most significant factor in influencing CTE students to attend. The opportunity for students to see the area center firsthand, and the opportunity to receive college credit, were also significant influencing factors.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access