Date of Award

Fall 2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Committee Chair

Larry Putnam


This study was an investigation of three rural high schools in western North Carolina to examine the perceptions of community employers, principals, and career and technical education (CTE) directors as to the skill levels of graduates from CTE programs. The study also determined if the skills being taught in secondary schools meet the needs of community employers. Qualitative data were collected from high school principals, CTE directors, and regional employers via open-ended questions and one-on-one interviews. Findings indicated participants perceived that CTE has a positive effect on student ability to be career and college ready. In addition, participants perceived CTE programs provided important pathways to gainful employment following high school. Local industries perceived the quality of the instructor and oversight of the CTE program were key to student success.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License