Secondary education, Vocational education


The purpose of this study is to determine if vocational/business education has an influence on a student's ultimate academic achievement--high school graduation. This study consists of comparing students with no vocational/business education experiences to students with some degree of vocational/business education. The cohort group started high school during the 1999-2000 school year, had earned a GPA of 2.5 or lower at the end of the freshman year (May 2000) and finished high school prior to the start of the 2003-2004 school year. There were 322 students identified in the initial cohort group. In completing this study, the following procedures were implemented: related literature was reviewed to provide a background of the role vocational/business education plays and the effect vocational/business education has on a student's achievement, data were collected and a survey was taken. The data collected included grade point average, standardized test scores, attendance, discipline and whether or not the student withdrew prior to graduation. The data were analyzed using ANOVA to determine a significant difference. Significance was tested at the .05 level. Data related to withdraws were analyzed using the Chi-Square Test of Independence. The researcher developed and implemented a survey instrument. The survey was offered to all Lyman graduates in the class of 2003 over the age of 18 who had completed at least two courses in one vocational/business program. These students were asked to describe the significance and relevance of their vocational/business education training to their high school experience and career choice (which may include college education). The survey asked students to list advantages and disadvantages of their vocational/business education training and their participation in co-curricular organizations. Students were asked to state their perception of the effect that the vocational/business classes had upon their academic achievement. The following results were obtained from this research. There was not a statistically significant difference in grade point averages, standardized test scores, absences and out-of-school suspensions. There was a statistically significant difference in in-school suspensions and withdraws prior to graduation. There were 227 students who withdrew prior to graduation. Of the 227 students, 91 had no vocational/business education and 96 had taken some amount of vocational/business education training (one course in one or more vocational/business education programs). Of the 95 students who remained throughout the four years of high school, 84 of the students graduated. Of the 84 students who graduated, 56 of the students completed a vocational/business education program. All graduates who responded to the survey strongly agreed that vocational/business education had a positive effect on their academic achievement.


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Graduation Date





Murray, Barbara A.


Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


College of Education


Educational Leadership

Degree Program

Educational Leadership








Release Date

May 2004

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)


Academic success; Business education; Dissertations, Academic -- Education; Education -- Dissertations, Academic