Kandalec, Katherine Rae (2016). Perceptions of postsecondary career and technical education: A Q method examination. Doctoral dissertation (Adult and Community College Education), North Carolina State University, USA. (Link: https://repository.lib.ncsu.edu/handle/1840.20/33349)

Abstract: High school counselors are considered key decision influencers for students in the college search stage. The purpose of the study was to identify the perceptions currently held among public school counselors in the state of North Carolina towards postsecondary career and technical education. Q methodology, which provides an opportunity to study individuals’ subjective reality using both quantitative and qualitative methods, is used to investigate counselors’ perceptions and viewpoints. Literature on postsecondary career and technical education, the roles of high school counselors, and student outcomes were used to develop a set of statements. Then, twenty-six public school counselors sorted, in a forced distribution, the statements according to their beliefs about professional postsecondary career and technical education. A post-sort survey was given to the counselors in order to gather demographic information and to gain an in-depth understanding about each individual participant’s sort. Data analysis indicated three distinct and statistically significant factor groups: the Career and Technical Education Experienced group, the CTE Spectator group, and the Stereotypical Vocational Education Stigma group. The findings of this study generate considerations for practice, policy, and further research in the field of postsecondary career and technical education perceptions and outcomes.

Katherine Kandalec <katherine.kandalec@athens.edu> is in the College of Education, Athens State University, Athens, Alabama (USA).