ORCID Identifier(s)


Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies


Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

First Advisor

W. Bradley Davis


Graduation rate is a common measure of public school system productivity. Previous literature indicates some of the characteristics known to be associated with disparities in graduation rates include associations of race and ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and English language learner/proficiency status. In Texas, the graduation gap facing historically marginalized populations of students continues to present a problem for educators, citizens, policy makers, and society as a whole. Industry input, future earning potential, and potential future employment can play a significant role in most learners’ decisions. The integration of work-based learning with a streamlined curriculum can lead to higher wages after high school (Hoachlander, 2008). Learners who participate in career and technical education (CTE) programs have the opportunity to gain the technical knowledge and skill set to help businesses grow (Magnuson, 2013). When students who elect to engage in CTE receive their employment opportunity from industry partners, it is often times accompanied with a substantially higher wage rate in the eighteen months following graduation (Kang & Bishop, 1989). Plenty of qualitative affirmations exist in previous research about CTE. CTE coursework can contribute to learners’ perceived relevance to every life (Hyslop & Imperatore, 2013), encouraging students to become productive members of society (Stone III & Aliaga, 2005). Further, CTE courses can positively complement specific academic subjects by allowing students to contextualize what they learn in core academic areas (Bozick & Dalton, 2012). In this study, I analyze the graduation rates of CTE students. Specifically, I seek to determine whether CTE involvement is associated with graduation outcome. I use a logistic regression, in which the dependent variable is a dichotomous measure of whether or not the student graduated from high school. The independent variables included in this study are those that have previously shown association with graduation rates. Results from this analysis indicate that CTE participation is significantly associated with graduation. Moreover, students enrolled in a coherent CTE course sequence (the acquisition of three or more credits in two or more courses within the same program of study) have over twice the odds of graduating high school than students whom do not enroll in a coherent sequence. This relationship persists when controlling for other factors known to impact graduation.


Career and technical education, Graduation


Education | Educational Leadership


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington