Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Education

Major

Educational Administration

Date of Defense

10-28-2008

Graduate Advisor

Carole A. Murphy, Ed.D.

Committee

John Henschke, Ed.D.

Kenneth Owen, Ed.D

William Rebore, Ph.D

Abstract

This investigation focuses on the perceptions of knowledge held by public high school guidance counselors in St. Louis County, Missouri regarding career and technical education (CTE), particularly North and South Technical High Schools, a division of the Special School District (SSD). At the time of this investigation 153 high school guidance counselors were identified in public high schools in St. Louis County. Each counselor was given a 35 item survey, which provided the investigator with demographic information and information regarding the counselor?s perceptions in three subsets of counselor knowledge: CTE candidates, CTE reform and post-secondary opportunities, and CTE program development and instruction. Three univariate three-factor ANOVAs were conducted in order to determine whether the factors impacted counselors? perceptions in the subsets of counselor knowledge; these three factors were region (north, south, or west), special education teacher training, and a personal connection to CTE as a student or through CTE teacher training. Chi-square tests were conducted to see if equal representation of other demographic information across these three factors existed. Because it was determined that there was unequal representation in two categories, age and gender, three-factor ANCOVAs were conducted with the original three factors and counselor knowledge subsets using age and gender as covariates. It was determined that there were no significant differences in the means of the counselors? perceptions in regard to region, special education teacher training, and a personal connection to CTE. The three ANOVA factors were chosen based upon student population in the two CTE high schools and the region(s) each serves, association with SSD, and the affect of a personal connection to CTE. Guidance counselors are presumably the most influential educators in determining whether students receive information and encouragement regarding CTE. It is of utmost importance to SSD and its CTE division to determine what impacts counselors? perceptions of CTE and their decisions to recommend CTE to students.

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