Long before Career and Technical Education (CTE) was purposefully taught in public schools, it was occurring in everyday life. The concept of learning the skills necessary to be a productive citizen has been practiced since the Stone Age and has continued throughout history. The pendular history of support for CTE programs has once again swung in favor of these important programs. The recent passing of House Bill 5 (HB5) in Texas has renewed interest in CTE programs and in the importance of preparing students for college and careers. Research indicates that CTE programs are effective in decreasing dropout rates, increasing attendance, increasing student grades, and encouraging students to pursue careers and post-secondary education. While much research has favored these programs and their success, there is little research available on students’ perceptions of their preparedness to enter into post-secondary opportunities. The purpose of this study was to determine CTE students’ perceptions of preparedness for post-secondary opportunities. This study was conducted using quantitative analysis to determine if there is a relationship between the perceptions of the student’s preparedness for college or university, trade school, or a career, and five factors of the CTE endorsement area. The five factors researched were curriculum, extracurricular activities, facilities, teacher knowledge, and administrator support. This study utilized a survey research instrument that was administered to high school seniors, enrolled in a CTE course at one of two south central Texas high schools. The survey was administered in February of 2016. The students were surveyed in computer labs on their home campus after completion of the parental informed consent and student informed assent forms. After data collection occurred, the data was loaded into SPSS and an analysis of variance (ANOVA) was run. It was determined that there is a significant difference between the Public Service and Business and Industry Endorsement area on students’ perceptions of preparedness for higher education in the areas of facilities and curriculum. There is a significant difference between the Public Service and Business and Industry Endorsement area on students’ perceptions of preparedness for careers in the area of teacher knowledge. Lastly, there is a significant difference between the Public Service and Business and Industry Endorsement area on students’ perceptions of preparedness for vocational or trade schools in the areas of facilities and teacher knowledge. Data collected from this study can be utilized by educators and administrators to implement components of House Bill 5. Similarly, it is hoped that this information could be utilized to strengthen CTE programs across south central Texas. CTE is an integral part of student success and having strong, fulfilling programs is necessary for the success of the student.
July 26, 2016
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