Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Gender equity: Practices in an urban career-technical education program
by Brookman, Melissa A., Ed.D., California State University, Fullerton, 2011, 151; 3459304
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this descriptive case study was to describe gender equity practices in the Builder's Technical Academy (BTA), a career-technical education (CTE) program, and to analyze program staff and female students' perceptions of gender-equity practices in BTA.

While the available body of scholarly literature highlights the efforts of public advocates for gender equity and equal opportunity, according to the literature, traditional practices prevail in most CTE programs. This study focuses on three pre-identified themes found in the literature on gender equity in CTE programs: gender equity, academic support, and career preparation.

From a critical theory standpoint, this case study allowed BTA female students and staff participants to share their perceptions of and experiences with gender-equitable practices. Data collection methods for this study included the triangulation of online surveys, participant interviews, observations, and program documents. Two research questions guided this study: How does the Builder's Technical Academy staff promote gender equity practices? and What are the perceptions of BTA female participants and staff regarding gender equity in the Builder's Technical Academy?

The findings revealed that students and staff believe that BTA provides a gender-equitable environment with minimal instances of discrimination or harassment. The findings also revealed that staff need professional development in a variety of CTE fields to increase personalization and relevant connections to the real world. In addition, the findings offer insight into how BTA staff promote gender equity and the impact that equitable practices can have on the success of females pursuing nontraditional careers. The use of female mentors, career exploration activities, and work-based learning experiences provide evidence that a variety of experiences best support females and helps to build self-efficacy.

CTE programs have a tremendous responsibility to prepare students for success in future careers. For decades, however, female students have faced many challenges and barriers, including discrimination, harassment, low academic expectations, and poor career preparation. As a result of these challenges and barriers to success, educators must increase their awareness of inequitable practices and students must be provided with equal opportunities and access to high quality CTE programs.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Oliver, Ronald
School: California State University, Fullerton
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 72/08, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Womens studies, Vocational education
Keywords: Architecture, Career-technical education, Construction, Engineering, Gender equity, Program improvement
Publication Number: 3459304
ISBN: 978-1-124-69793-2
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