Campus Location

Dallas Campus (Online)

Date of Award


Document Type



Organizational Leadership

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

Committee Chair or Primary Advisor

Scott Self

Second Committee Member or Secondary Advisor

Darin Martin

Third Committee Member or Committee Reader

Billie McConnell


Attending a 4-year university is not a goal for all high school students. Some students, as early as their first year in high school, have chosen another direction by enrolling in a career and technical education (CTE) program of study (POS). The purpose of the study was to conduct a qualitative case study documenting the outcomes of past graduates of a CTE POS located on a public comprehensive high school campus in California. The participation of former graduates to share their insight and experience from being high school age students to working adults provided the real-life ramifications of the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of a CTE POS on research participants. There were 15 past graduates (over 7 to 14 years ago) of the Public Safety Academy (PSA) who agreed to be interviewed for the study. Most of the interviews were held by Zoom conferencing, with the remainder being held by telephone. The study results found a third of the participants were employed in law enforcement, along with two participants who, at the time of their interview, were undergoing an extensive background check prior to being offered a position in a law enforcement agency. Participants found the PSA provided a curriculum and delivery of instruction that included real-life interactions and experiences both on campus and off campus. Activities included guest speakers from the law enforcement community, mentorship and internship opportunities, community service hour requirements, and field trips to law enforcement or public safety facilities. The PSA was found to have provided students with life-long lessons participants utilize today. Through comments and examples shared by the former graduates, there was ample evidence of the PSA being effective in not only providing a path for students to pursue a career in law enforcement but instilling in their student’s skills that would be of benefit to them in choosing another career.

Keywords: career and technical education, program of study, mentorships, internships

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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