Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)


Business Administration


Kruti Lehenbauer


Adam Guerrero


Alan Xenakis


Existing research documents the importance and relevance of career and technical education (CTE) throughout American history. Beginning with the passage of the Smith-Hughes Act of 1917 to the passage of the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century in July of 2018, federal and state legislation continue to shape vocational education within our public-school systems. The literature provides strong evidence between student success, in terms of high school graduation rate and post-secondary educational attainment, and the participation in career and technical education during the high school years. This dissertation analyzes whether dual credit career and technical education classes improve the overall academic high school performance of students who enroll in these classes, with a specific focus on Dallas Independent School District (ISD). This analysis fills the gap in existing research by identifying the specific benefits of dual credit career and technical education coursework on graduating grade-point averages of individual students. This quantitative study sought to validate the improved academic performance by analyzing the relationship between the graduating grade-point average (GPA) of students who earned dual credit by completing at least one CTE course as compared to their peers who did not take any dual credit CTE courses. For this research, a causal-comparative design was selected to examine the relationship between the student’s graduating GPA and the CTE courses they have taken during high school. Four distinct groups of recent high school graduates were included in this study, students who had been identified and received Special Education Services (SPED), students who had been identified and received Gifted and Talented Services (GT), students who had been identified and received English Language Learner Services (ELL), and remaining students who did not fall under any of these categories. The population for this study consists of May 2021 and May 2022 high school graduates from Dallas ISD, Texas. De-identified secondary data from a total of 16,043 students was obtained from the ISD. Employing STATA, a multivariate linear regression estimate was generated to test whether the GPA of the students was impacted by their enrollment in CTE classes, controlling for their sex, ethnicity, and group (SPED, GT, ELL, Other). Non-parametric Chi-square tests of Independence were performed using the binary variables to test whether CTE enrollment impacted GPA for all groups. The student’s graduating GPA was the single dependent variable being researched. While the overall results of the linear regression show that the impact of the CTE variable on GPA is statistically significant, the magnitude is small. The results do confirm that students who earned education credits by completing dual credit CTE classes are likely to have a higher graduating GPA as compared to their counterparts, in all groups regardless of gender and ethnicity. The literature provides robust evidence between student success and the participation in CTE. This dissertation confirms and echoes the previous findings with the use of Dallas ISD data and supports the ongoing attention towards the growth of CTE course offerings in high schools and beyond. This research aims to help administrators of school districts, specifically in Texas, which have a different ethnic composition than a lot of the other districts in the country. The results can help administrations by arming them with the information they might need to make more specific choices in providing a larger variety and encouraging higher participation for dual credit CTE courses offered at public high schools.