Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Adult, Career and Higher Education

Major Professor

Johanna Lasonen, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Edward Fletcher Ph.D.

Committee Member

Yi-Hsin Chen Ph.D.

Committee Member

William Young, Ed.D.


Career Integration, Charter School, Future Orientation, Magnet School, Traditional Public School


The purpose of this study was to quantify core academic middle school teachers’ (English/language arts, mathematics, science, and social science) perspectives of career education. Prior research denotes that if career education exposure and awareness is provided in middle school grades, then students have the potential to develop a valuable understanding of various occupations available in the future (Akos, Konold, & Niles, 2004). Students observe what the work accomplishes and the effort required for the employee to be successful. If the occupation interests the students, then an increased motivation to complete their studies is likely to develop as they see the connection between what is taught in class and the opportunity for the desired career (Schaefer, & Rivera, 2012). In order to achieve that, the first step is to understand the teaching community’s viewpoint on career education and to use that knowledge to build successful programs. Teachers employed in a large school district in southeastern United States at the time of the study indicated their understanding of the concepts of future career orientation and career integration in its present state of use. The researcher distributed the tested CareerStart Teacher Perspective Survey (CTPS) and a selection of teacher related variables from charter, magnet, and traditional public middle schools to populate the study (n=199). Using ANOVA and regression analysis, the study found a significant difference in the value of future orientation and overall career education factors from males versus females. In addition, teachers ages 25-44 had a higher mean value for all factors than teachers of other age groups. There were no significant differences amongst teachers’ value of career education between the three different types of schools. This study contributes to the body of research pertaining to teacher perspectives of career education at the middle school level.

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