Date of Award

Fall 10-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Organizational Leadership

First Advisor

Carlos Guzman

Second Advisor

Jeffrey Lee

Third Advisor

Jalin Johnson


Purpose: The purpose of this phenomenological study was to identify and describe the career technical education (CTE) mentoring experiences of adult learners who completed an allied health certification and subsequently went on to pursue higher education such as a bachelor’s degree, from the lens of Zachary’s four phase mentoring model.

Methodology: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with adult former CTE learners who advanced to higher education. Through purposeful sampling, 10 participants were selected to participate in the interviews. The interviews were recorded and the recordings transcribed. The data were coded and analyzed for common themes.

Findings: The data analysis resulted in four key themes. Important elements of the mentoring experience included: relationship building, career opportunities, supportive connections, and career objectives. These were interpreted as relationships, learning, influence, and opportunities.

Conclusions: Four conclusions were drawn from the data. First, CTE students who develop trusting mentoring relationships are better prepared to compete in higher education. Second, CTE students must have appropriate opportunities and means of support to overcome challenges that arise in and out of the learning environment. Third, CTE learners need a fully engaged, supportive mentor to have an enhanced learning experience. Fourth, CTE faculty mentors help students refine their career objectives through their own experiences and expertise.

Recommendations: Further researcher still needs to be conducted on the importance and efficacy of faculty mentoring in the CTE setting, taking student populations, socioeconomic factors, and other distinctions into account. Replication of this phenomenological study should focus on the need for funding specifically allocated to CTE faculty mentoring programs, implementation of faculty-student partnerships, and the evolution of coursework to match industry shifts.