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ERIC Number: ED567263
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 167
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3037-6756-2
The Implication of Student Voice on Career and Technical Education Career Academy Retention
Conti, Erin Michelle
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Rutgers The State University of New Jersey - New Brunswick
Career and Technical Education (CTE) contains not only the "traditional" trade programs such as cosmetology, and carpentry, but also career academies, which marry hands on learning with an academically rigorous curriculum that prepares students for a post-secondary education. My district, like many other CTE districts with academies, faces a problem in retaining students. While we have more students applying then slots to be filled, by the end of sophomore year we lose approximately 13% of freshmen and sophomore students back to their home schools. As a teacher in a CTE academy, I see the rigor and import of these types of programs. I also have noticed how students are left out of the dialogue on their education. The purpose of this qualitative study was to elicit the perspectives students who have attended or chosen to leave an academy. Three research questions guided this study: What are student experiences of CTE academies? What do students say about their education in CTE? What do students' experiences and perceptions suggest for retaining students in the CTE system? From the population of approximately 485 students enrolled in the OCVTS academies, I interviewed 27 students using focus groups. These transcribed interviews were supplemented with pre-existing documents and student writing samples. Examination of this pre-existing data indicated that students tend to leave in their freshmen and sophomore years. Conversations with students revealed that the academic reasons cited as the benefits are also the reasons students choose to leave. In addition, time spent travelling and attending a CTE academy meant losing out on the social aspects of "the high school experience." Students described their experiences in the academies as having to fit into cultures indicative to each academy; this both empowered some students to achieve and become successful in the program while it constrained others and was their impetus for returning to their home high school. Interventions need to be implemented at the freshmen and sophomore year to mitigate attrition in OCVTS career academies. Possible interventions include a revised admissions process, the creation of academy-specific programming, and a "point person" responsible for all data management to guide advisement. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New Jersey