TEACHER PERCEPTION OF STUDENT CAREER READINESS FOLLOWING CERTIFICATION ATTAINMENT IN A SPECIFIED CAREER AND TECHNICAL EDUCATION COURSE
Lazar, Kayse Lee
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The purpose of this study was to explore the perceptions of CTE high school teachers regarding student career readiness following certification attainment in a specified CTE. A mixed purposeful sampling scheme was utilized to select five participants for the study. All participants were high school CTE teachers with at least 5 years of teaching experience, and their CTE course stream included certification testing for their field. A collective case study was utilized and data were collected using individual interviews. Data were analyzed across cases using a constant comparison analysis in three stages: (a) open coding, (b) axial coding, and (c) selective coding. Through the cross case synthesis four themes emerged from the data: (a) curriculum, (b) instruction, (c) course and career guidance, and (d) necessary employability skills. These themes also had additional sub-themes, and all themes worked together to prepare students for postsecondary success. The teachers interviewed for this study had both positive and negative perceptions of student career readiness within the four themes that emerged. For instance, the CTE teachers had positive comments regarding their own CTE curriculum, but they had suggestions on how to improve career readiness within the core content areas. Furthermore, the teachers had strong opinions on lack of course selection and career guidance with high school counselors. Multiple implications for practice and suggestions for future research are included at the end of the study.