Perceived leadership skills obtained through high school vocational education programs

Camilla Mangrum McDonald, Tennessee State University


This research explores the perceptions of high school seniors own leadership skills and how successful they feel the vocational education programs were in helping them develop as leaders. The problem was to determine how high school seniors see their leadership skills and how successful they feel vocational classes in a small rural county in northern Tennessee were in helping them develop as leaders. There is little available evidence regarding the leadership development that is to be an integral part of the curriculum of vocational education. Through the U.S. Department of Education, as a part of the Carl D. Perkins Vocational Education Act, which is an extension of the Smith-Hughes Act of 1917, funding is made available to each state to be used to the advancement of students in vocational education. The relevance of vocational education leadership training is a focus of this study, as well as factors that affect the development of leadership skills through the various vocational programs. A review of literature indicates that throughout the history of our country, education, and politics have had substantial impacts upon one another. Each president of this country has sponsored one or more federal acts during their tenure that made a lasting impression on the educational system as it is now known. It was concluded that vocational education is thriving as it was originally intended. From the treatment of the Leadership Skills Development Questionnaire used in the study it was also concluded that vocational education is having the desired results sought from its conception. Further conclusions could be made that although this study provided substantial support for vocational education, it must be noted that the information is not generalizable, due to the small scope of the study. Further research is necessary in various geographical regions to make a more statistically sound statement regarding the essence of leadership in vocational education. It is recommended by the researcher that this study be widely replicated by states and school districts. Additional information would be gathered if this study were replicated in various situations using a diverse composite of school settings. From the information gained, encouragement from school districts to implement leadership training, not only in vocational education, but in “academic” areas as well would be beneficial to all involved.

Subject Area

Vocational education

Recommended Citation

Camilla Mangrum McDonald, "Perceived leadership skills obtained through high school vocational education programs" (2002). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI3088283.