Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ed. D.


Educational Leadership, Evaluation and Organizational Development

Degree Program

Educational Leadership and Organizational Development, EDD

Committee Chair

Ingle, Kyle

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Powers, Deborah

Committee Member

Sheffield, Ron

Committee Member

Stevens, Douglas

Author's Keywords

Career academies; student voice; academy ambassadors; student perception


When students see the relevance of their education, whether college-bound or career-bound, it can motivate them to seek out courses and experiences that will prepare them for life after high school (Plank, DeLuca, & Estacion, 2005). The experiences, accomplishments, and social influences a student has throughout their time in school creates meaning and helps inform how they identify career interests and make career choices (Lent, Brown, & Hackett, 1994). This is especially true in high school where students begin to develop an awareness of their career interests and start thinking about their life after high school (Erikson, 1963). As the U.S. and the global economy continue to move and shift to ever-changing market demands, educational institutions must transition to better align career paths to those industries in demand (Schwartz, 2016). The high school career academy, or academy model, is gaining popularity around the country to address skills gaps identified by business and education partners and prepare students for both college and career (Maxwell & Rubin 2000). I utilized a single-case design in this qualitative study to examine student ambassadors’ perceptions of career academies and how the model impacted the high school experience for students. A Group Level Assessment (GLA) was used as the primary data collection tool to identify recurrent themes from perception data collected from former student ambassadors that attended a career academy high school. This study discusses the purpose, successes, and recommendations for change as perceived by the former student ambassadors as well as implications for future research. Keywords: Career academies, Group Level Assessment (GLA)