Defense Date


Graduation Date

Fall 2012


Immediate Access

Submission Type


Degree Name



Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program for Education Leaders (IDPEL)


School of Education

Committee Chair

James Henderson

Committee Member

Carol S. Parke

Committee Member

Wilton L. Barber


Career and technical education, High school principals, Image of career and technical education, No Child Left Behind, Role of career and technical education


Career and technical education (CTE) is faced with numerous forces that may impact its future. A variety of forces directly or indirectly affect CTE, ranging from the persisting stigma or negative image of career and technical education, the schools' curricular structure and requirements, along with federal laws such as No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and Perkins. Federal laws guide administrators' decisions at the local level that affect CTE. With NCLB goals for all students to improve academic achievement, reach high standards, and graduate from high school (HS), much pressure is placed on schools. NCLB emphasizes increased academic rigor and progress on students' state assessments, holding schools accountable to annual yearly improvement. With more accountability, more emphasis is being placed on core academics that may in turn reduce or eliminate elective career and technical education programs. With continued negative perceptions associated with career and technical education, reinforced by curricular tracks and coupled with the impact of NCLB, CTE is left in a precarious position. Some of these forces may have deleterious effects upon CTE depending upon decisions and reactions of local administrators.

A quantitative survey research study was completed with Pennsylvania administrators from CTE schools and HSs. HS principals and CTE directors were surveyed as to how they perceived the effects of NCLB on role, image, and curriculum changes affecting career and technical education. Surveys were mailed to the directors of shared-time CTE schools and their respective sending HS principals.

The results of the study revealed the perceptions of HS and CTE administrators concerning the ramifications of No Child Left Behind as it relates to CTEs image, the effects on curriculum, and CTEs role in helping schools meet the goals of NCLB. There were significant differences found between CTE directors and HS principals regarding their perceptions of the role and image of CTE as affected by NCLB. In addition, there were no significant differences found between administrators regarding their perceptions of curriculum changes affected by NCLB. Finally, there were no significant differences in perceptions found across settings or regions.