Date of Award

January 2021

Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

First Advisor

Charles S. Hausman

Department Affiliation

Teaching, Learning, and Educational Leadership

Second Advisor

Stella Ann Burns

Department Affiliation

Teaching, Learning, and Educational Leadership

Third Advisor

Charles E. Myers

Department Affiliation

Teaching, Learning, and Educational Leadership


Career and Technical Education has long been at the forefront of education and education restructuring. Federal and state legislation have provided guidance and reform to assist in the educating of students in preparation for higher learning and work opportunities. However, there is a lack of information regarding the relationship between preparation of students during high school and employment post-graduation. Particularly in Kentucky, accountability changes in secondary schools have placed greater emphasis on Career and Technical Education certificate attainment as a means to represent transition readiness for graduates. In this bivariate correlation analysis, industry certifications earned by graduating secondary students and the employment in their particular credentialed area post-graduation were studied over a five-year span and were found to show a lack of a relationship in the Cumberlands Local Workforce Area of Kentucky. Sample t-tests were run to determine the significance of certification and employment increases over the same time period. The certifications earned showed a significant increase while the employment rates of secondary graduates provided too little data to show a significant relationship. Certifications represent the readiness of graduates for employment in their area, yet employment of those graduates in their credentialed area was not being reported. While many factors exist, such as furthering of education prior to job seeking, there is concern that certified individuals are not gaining employment post-graduation in the Cumberlands Workforce Area of Kentucky.