Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Human Resource Education and Workforce Development

Document Type



This dissertation joins a conversation in the special education arena about the academic and vocational agenda for special education high school students. It explores the influence of enrollment in Career Technical Education (CTE) courses on the achievement of high school special education (SPED) students. The purpose of this study was to compare the achievement of special education (SPED) students enrolled in Career Technical Education (CTE) courses with special education (SPED) students who were not enrolled in Career Technical Education (CTE) courses. The study was designed to determine whether or not SPED students enrolled in CTE improved on the academic scores as measured by the Graduate Exit Exam (GEE) standardized test. The target population of this study was special education students enrolled in Louisiana public high schools. The sample for this study was made up of all 10th and 11th grade special education students who had taken part in the state mandated GEE during the 2008-2009 school year. The instrument used to collect data for this study was a computerized recording form. The variables of the investigation were copied directly from the archival data source, developed by the Louisiana State Department of Education’s Division of Student Standards and Assessments, into the study’s recording forms. To determine if relationships existed between CTE participation and achievement scores on standardized testing, ELA and Math scores were used as dependent variables. The other variables were treated as independent variables including the demographics of Age, Gender, Race, Socioeconomic Status (Full, Reduced and Free Lunch) and CTE program participation. The major findings were that the CTE students had significantly higher scores on the overall ELA measures than non-CTE students. All six of the Math standards for which data were available were found significantly higher for the CTE students than for the non-CTE students. Also according to the finding, the majority of SPED students did not participate in a CTE program. This researcher concluded that there was a positive academic outcome for those SPED students who participated in CTE. She recommended that SPED students be enrolled in CTE courses while participating in Louisiana public high school program.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Burnett, Michael