Date of Award

4-2014

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)

Department

College of Education

First Advisor

Korynne Taylor-Dunlop

Second Advisor

Kelly Burlison

Third Advisor

William Leary

Abstract

Throughout history, schools have strived to prepare students for future educational and workplace success. This is made evident through the many federal and state policies enacted. While the specific skills required for careers have changed, the goals of the educational system have not. The 21" Century international workplace requires a generation of skilled workers with specific attributes. To prepare students for gainful employment and to combat the high percentage of high school students who drop out of school unprepared for the workforce, school districts across the country have instituted Career and Technical Education and Industry Certification programs. These programs strive to prepare students for both career and college readiness.

In The School District of Palm Beach County, Florida, the 1 lth largest school district in the country, each high school offers varying programs to assist students in their preparation for future educational opportunities and successful careers. Through the lens of The Southern Regional Education Board and Steinberg, several of these programs are evaluated. This study replicates and extends research by Tyrone Bennett (2012) and Kane (2012). The study evaluates the effectiveness in preparing students for the 21st Century workforce by interviewing and surveying District leaders, school-based administrators, teachers and employers. Both career specific skills and general skills necessary for workplace success are evaluated. It is the goal of the researcher that the results of this study be used to guide district-wide improvement of programs to prepare students for the 21st Century workforce.

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