An Examination of the Contribution of Career and Technical Education to Stem Education, Student Leadership, and Career Readiness


  • Allen Kitchel University of Idaho


STEM, Career and Technical Education, Student Leadersip, Career Readiness


Problem: Principals influence the support provided to career and technical education (CTE) programs, their inclusion in school wide initiatives, and ultimately, their viability within the school setting. Limited research exists about principals’ perceptions of CTE programs and how they contribute to overall school goals.

Research Questions: What are junior/senior high school principals’ perceptions of the contribution that CTE programs make to school goals, specifically as they relate to STEM education, student leadership development, and career readiness.

Research Method: The study methodology involved a cross-sectional descriptive design using a census survey.

Data Collection Procedures and Analysis: The target population was junior/senior high school principals in Idaho for the 2011 spring semester, and approximately 42% (n 5 128) participated. Descriptive statistics and frequency tables were analyzed and interpreted.

Findings: The STEM initiative, leadership development, and career readiness were important aspects of schools’ curriculum and learning goals. Principals encouraged CTE teachers to integrate STEM learning objectives and better collaborate with STEM academic teachers. Leadership development through CTE student organizations was perceived as valued and effective. Business education was the highest rated elective program for its contribution to meeting school goals.

Conclusions/Recommendations: Principals’ valued curriculum integration and school-wide systems of support for emphasizing knowledge and skills associated with CTE programs. A barrier to better implementation may exist in the accountability measures for schools. To improve these integral areas of CTE programs, policy makers should assess existing incentive structures. CTE educators may use the findings from this study to inform decisions concerning program development or refinement.


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How to Cite

Kitchel, A. (2015). An Examination of the Contribution of Career and Technical Education to Stem Education, Student Leadership, and Career Readiness. Journal of Research In Business Education, 57(1), 18-30.

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