Date of Award

Spring 5-10-2024

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Teacher Leadership


Department of Educational Leadership

Committee Chair/First Advisor

Dr. Nicholas Clegorne

Second Advisor

Dr. Albert Jimenez

Third Advisor

Dr. Chinasa Elue


This qualitative study sought to identify and analyze the perceptions of business students on the influence of CTAE programs on career readiness and graduation outcomes. The study adopted a phenomenological approach to explore how and why students develop their perceptions of CTAE. Notably, the study explored how business students perceive the programs and their roles in promoting career readiness and graduation outcomes and provide recommendations to improve student engagement and interest in CTAE programs. The study was conducted in a large high school in Georgia among a diverse population – regarding gender, race, and socioeconomic status – of students. Notably, the study engaged business students in the eleventh and twelfth grades since they had significant experience with CTAE programs and were best positioned to provide their perceptions of its value to career readiness and graduation outcomes. Data was collected qualitatively using semi-structured face-to-face interviews. Hence, the researcher asked guiding, open-ended questions that promoted participant engagement. Collected data was analyzed using Atlas.ti software and thematic coding. The thematic analysis produced diverse results. In response to research question one, emerging themes included inflexible scheduling, negative perceptions of CTAE programs, and pathway inflexibility. In response to research question two, the analysis generated themes associated with career readiness and graduation outcomes, such as career advancement, quality learning experiences, and college credits. In research question three, the analysis produced themes such as increasing pathways and improving industry connections. In the discussion chapter, the researcher determined that CTAE programs are essential in promoting career readiness and improving graduation outcomes. While educators are experts, the research emphasized the need for democratizing knowledge. Therefore, teachers should listen to students’ recommendations on the structure of curriculums and instruction, increasing student achievement and engagement.

Available for download on Saturday, June 01, 2024