Date of Award

Winter 12-19-2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Organizational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Marilou Ryder

Second Advisor

Dr. Katherine Frazier

Third Advisor

Dr. Carlos V. Guzman



A Mixed-Methods Study Examining Effective Practices for Increasing Secondary Student Enrollment in Career and Technology Education Courses

by Richard Radcliffe

The purpose of this exploratory mixed-methods study was to discover and explore the factors that encouraged and discouraged enrollment in Career and Technical Education (CTE) pathways at California comprehensive high schools. In addition, this study examined the recruitment methods used by CTE pathways and sought to determine which ones were most beneficial. A sample of district CTE administrators from Riverside, San Bernardino, and San Diego counties were interviewed to develop the initial findings of this study, and then upon completion of the interviews, the same administrators were asked to complete a survey ranking the themes that emerged from the interviews. The results of this study could be used by CTE administrators throughout California to guide the recruitment practices used by the CTE pathways within their districts. The findings from this study identified factors that were most likely to discourage and encourage enrollment in the CTE programs of study as well as the CTE recruitment methods that were considered most beneficial. Further research is recommended regarding the negative stigma associated with CTE, the impact of the instructor on recruitment, CTE alignment with academics, the impact of CTSO participation, alignment with higher education, the value of CTE teaching experience for CTE administrators, and the appropriateness of career exploration versus career training for high school students at a comprehensive high school.