Date of Award

Spring 2019

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Committee Chair

Lilian H. Hill

Committee Chair School


Committee Member 2

Holly Foster

Committee Member 2 School


Committee Member 3

Myron Labat

Committee Member 3 School


Committee Member 4

Richard Mohn

Committee Member 4 School



To remain globally competitive, the U.S. must address the need for a more technical- skilled workforce (United States Department of Labor, 2013). A technical-skilled has workforce occupations that require vocational associate’s degrees (Lewis, 2004). It is evident that the initiative to meet the demand for a highly competitive workforce for the 21st century requires a combination of progressive education, advanced skills and professional experience (Threeton, 2006). Historically, the technical worker gained skills without definite planned opportunities for higher education and career upward mobility (Skolnik, 2010). Further, some post-secondary institutions tend to dismiss the importance of recruiting the technical community college student because they believe the technical college student does not intend to transfer to a four-year institution (Findlen, 1997). However, according to Grubb (1991), CTE students often intend to transfer to other institutions and view higher education as an avenue for advancing their careers. However, industries that are in high demand of a technical-skilled workforce are partnering with academic institutions to design curricula to develop the human capital within their organizations (Mupinga & Livesay, 2015). Further, relationships between community colleges and four-year institutions are eliminating academic barriers for the technical workforce. As a result, applied baccalaureate programs have become an increasingly new phenomenon in education (Rudd, Bragg, & Townsend, 2009). The applied baccalaureate programs are providing advisement, seamless transitions and career progression for CTE professionals (Rudd, Bragg, & Townsend, 2009). Several states have collectively shared their assessments and knowledge of these academic policies and practices, to include the worth they bring to the nation (AQCP, 2014). This research revealed the benefits of a quality career pathway for career and technical professionals as educational progress, career development, and socioeconomic growth. The most notable information resulting from this study is that all participants reported a seamless transition from a two-year CTE academic program to a four-year applied baccalaureate program.