Ed.D. Dissertations

Date of Award

Spring 3-30-2019

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


College of Education



Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.

Faculty Chair

James Therrell, Ph.D.

Content Specialist

Greg Aldred, Ed.D.

Content Reader

Sisay Teketele, D.M.


student connectedness, academic achievement, career and technical education (CTE), gender, race, ethnicity


The focus of this correlational study in an Alaskan career and technical (CTE) school environment was to explore the research question that guided this study: In a large urban school district of Alaska, with a diverse student population, what is the relationship between the CTE student connectedness level and academic achievement levels? Participants included 132 high school students, Grades 10 through 12. Additional research questions were developed to examine the strength of the relationship between student connectedness and academic achievement by gender and ethnicity. Data were collected using an online survey with a combination of demographic questions and Goodenow’s (1993b) Psychological Sense of School Membership Scale (PSSM). Students self-reported their GPA. The findings of the Pearson correlations indicated a significant linear correlation between student connectedness and GPA for the overall sample, for males, and for females. The findings of the Pearson correlation between student connectedness and GPA were statistically significant for the Caucasian, African American, and multiracial samples. The findings of the Pearson correlation were not statistically significant for the Mexican/Hispanic, Asian, Pacific Islander, and Native Alaskan samples, suggesting that a correlation did not exist between student connectedness and GPA among these ethnicities. Implications for practice include increasing students’ opportunities to actively engage in setting goals, making decisions, and participating in the governance of the school’s disciplinary structure. Implications for policy include developing policies for connecting disconnected students to school by facilitating professional development and better access to CTE schools and programs.