Career and technical education concentrator effect on graduation rates in a suburban district

Tunisha V Hobson, Tennessee State University


Career and Technical Education (CTE) has been mostly known to have a great impact on students in urban districts who find a niche within one of the pathways CTE has to offer. However, CTE has become a popular driving force of education within the suburban districts as well. The specific problem was CTE programs were not all being offered and/or were eliminated from suburban high school curriculums in which students are unable to complete career pathways even if interested, simply based on the district and/or school they attend. The purpose of this quantitative study was to examine the graduation rates of CTE concentrators during the 2012–2013 and 2013–2014 school years in overall relation to CTE career clusters offered in a targeted suburban Tennessee school district. This study was significant because it examined the current CTE offerings in the district and determined the effectiveness of these programs while focusing on graduation rates from 2012–2013 to 2013–2014. The sample was also studied by the schools the concentrators attended, gender, CTE cluster enrollment information, and recorded graduation information. The Pearson chi-square statistical testing procedures were used to determine significant differences in graduation rates of those students who concentrated in CTE within suburban schools in Tennessee. The findings demonstrated a large number of students who concentrate in CTE in suburban areas graduate from high school, and they are more interested in concentrations related to white collar careers. From the results of this study, it does not seem ideal to continue to allow potential CTE concentrators discontinue their interest in such programs when they can provide a benefit. School districts, urban and suburban alike, should be intentional about the additional opportunities they provide for students outside of core academic curriculum, as CTE is a likely motivator for students to succeed.

Subject Area

Education|Vocational education

Recommended Citation

Tunisha V Hobson, "Career and technical education concentrator effect on graduation rates in a suburban district" (2015). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI10003140.