Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Pamela H. Scott

Committee Members

Donald W. Good, Virginia P. Foley, Terry Countermine


The purpose of this quantitative study was to examine the relationship between participation in CTE programs and students’ graduation rates and rates of CTE students’ entrance into postsecondary education or employment after graduation. Possible differences between students’ enrollment in urban and rural school districts and their graduation, participation, and secondary placement rates were also considered. Publicly available data on high school students in the state of Tennessee were analyzed to compare the graduation rates of CTE participants with the graduation rates of non-CTE participants in the state as a whole and in nine selected urban school districts and nine selected rural school districts for the school years 2009-2010, 2010- 2011, and 2011-2012.

Research cited in this study indicated that CTE participation could increase students' graduation rates. Some research also indicated that rural students were more likely to complete CTE concentrations than urban students and that other differences might exist in the CTE experiences of urban and rural students. Six research questions were created and their null hypotheses tested with a series of z-tests.

Analysis of publicly available data for the selected school systems and for the state as a whole found slightly higher rates of graduation among CTE concentrators than among non-concentrators and higher rates of CTE participation among rural than urban high school students, but these differences were not statistically significant. Differences between urban and rural schools systems' graduation rates and their rates of postsecondary placement of CTE concentrators in education, the military, or employment were also found to be statistically insignificant.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.