Perceptions of college graduates and college non-graduates regarding the impact of career and technical education on their lives

Arrita W Summers, Tennessee State University


The purpose of this study was to examine college graduates and college non-graduates who enrolled in one of the 27 Tennessee Technology Centers, which during the process of this dissertation was renamed the Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology. This study was designed to assess the respondents for their: (a) motives for enrollment in post-secondary career and technical education; (b) their knowledge of the American workforce skills gap in occupations related to career and technical education; (c) the influences on their post-secondary educational choice by their high school counselor; (d) how high school counselors promoted career and technical education to reverse transfer students; and, (e) perceptions of reverse transfer students regarding post-secondary technical education at the Tennessee Technology Centers. Reverse transfer students were defined as students who were enrolled in a two-year technical institution after having been enrolled in a college, including community college, or university. Variables such as gender, age, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, geographical location, highest educational attainment, and current program of study were analyzed to determine assumptions. Nine null hypotheses were assessed utilizing independent sample t tests and one-way ANOVAs. Seven hypotheses were rejected and two hypotheses were retained. Statistically significant differences were found in relation to graduate status, gender, ethnicity, age, socioeconomic status, program of study, and length of enrollment; no statistically significant differences were found in regards to geographical location or highest education attended. Based on findings of this study, high school counselors would benefit from annual training regarding careers demonstrating a skills gap; secondary administrators should require high levels of math and science for all students while promoting career and technical education as a worthwhile postsecondary education path; and, future research pertaining to the enrollment of Health career cluster students and their paths to and from college settings may provide a greater understanding of their educational needs.

Subject Area

Adult education|Vocational education

Recommended Citation

Arrita W Summers, "Perceptions of college graduates and college non-graduates regarding the impact of career and technical education on their lives" (2013). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI3611438.