Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Educational Leadership, Research and Technology

First Advisor

Dr. Richard Zinser


Globalization reflects a shift in the workforce development paradigm. This descriptive qualitative case study was conducted at a Midwestern university with 12 student participants and three faculty members from three engineering programs. The purpose of this body of work was to explore the participants‘ perceptions of globalization, and to understand the implications of globalization on career and technical education (CTE) programs, program selection, and career choices, the training of the students enrolled in CTE programs, and the role of teaching faculty and the college in this process.

How CTE programs aligned many diverse programs to meet a growing demand for skilled labor was reflective of the changing role of career and technical education in workforce development. This perception necessitated a closer look at the phenomenon of globalization and its implications at the postsecondary level.

The five central research questions of the study were specifically attributable to the focus of the study to explore how the CTE students prepared for employment in a ―flattened world," (Friedman, 2005) derived from their own perspectives. It was also important to find out how the college—through various means, such as curriculum designs aligned with industry needs, technology integration, contextual learning, and multidisciplinary curriculum integration—may achieve the aim of the programs as outlined in the academic program reviews published by the college.

The primary instrument of data collection was an open-ended interview protocol. There was a total of 19 interview questions derived from the research questions. The collected data was transcribed and sorted, and, as described by Glaser and Strauss (1967), utilized the constant comparison method of coding to illustrate the emerging concepts.

Sample selection was purposive and utilized a small group limited to one location. The findings were not assumed to be generalized to the total population. The findings generally were positive; student satisfaction was high, and funding of CTE programs and public-private partnerships were a major focus.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access