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


Disproportionalities in school discipline exist for children of color and those in other marginalized categories. Researchers consistently discover that the disparities cannot solely be contributed to differential behavior, indicating that these students receive different treatment and disciplinary processing. Seemingly, ineffective discipline systems and practices in schools are one of many components contributing to the disproportion. Although changing the inequities in schools and in disciplinary approaches is warranted, analysis of the potential for existing programs to curtail negative student behavior and reduce disciplinary infractions such as referrals, suspensions, and expulsions in all races and groups of students is necessary. A possible solution to the issue of ineffective discipline systems and exclusionary practices occurring in traditional high schools is involvement in CTE. CTE programs, historically referred to as vocational education programs, have been a component of education for a century and have undergone a dramatic transformation since inception. Today, CTE offers students various opportunities to learn academic and technical abilities in an environment that aims to develop knowledge, training, and career skills, often times to the benefit of those wishing to transition to post-secondary education. The present study is necessary in order to determine whether participation in a coherent CTE course sequence has an impact on student behavior and school discipline. Because disparities in school discipline and the negative effects that exclusionary discipline has on student outcomes continue to persist, an investigation into an existing program that has the potential to function as a disruptor of negative student behavior, thus minimizing some of the student discipline issues, is worthwhile. The information obtained from the investigation of this dissertation into the effects of a coherent CTE course sequence on student behavior and discipline contributes immensely to the gap in knowledge regarding the two topics. The purpose of the study, therefore, is to determine the impact that participation in a coherent sequence of CTE courses has on various student discipline outcomes, specifically referrals, detentions, and suspensions. In order to examine the potential relationship, I utilize t-tests to determine if an association exists between coherent CTE course sequence participation and the aforementioned student discipline outcomes. I find that students in a coherent sequence of CTE courses receive fewer referrals and detentions than students not enrolled in a coherent CTE course sequence. To test the strength of the association with consideration of previously established student characteristics, I utilize multiple regression. Although CTE had a statistically significant result in the t-test conducted for the first research question, the variable was not significant when considering other influential variables in the model. The implications for policy, practice, and research follow.


Career and technical education, Student discipline


Education | Educational Leadership


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington