The purpose of this qualitative survey study was to explore the student performance expectations, classroom management and instructional practices, and related professional experiences and specialized training of Career Technical Education (CTE) instructors at a Regional Occupational Center in Southern California in order to learn more about how these instructors achieved 80% or higher CTE course completion rates for adult students for 2 or more consecutive semesters. The study was grounded in the Pygmalion Effect Theory, which postulates that instructors create a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy based on the instructors' perceptions of student academic abilities. Data were collected from 6 CTE instructors and 126 adult students via an anonymous online survey that consisted of 18 questions for instructors and 14 questions for students organized into 4 categories. Analysis of the data resulted in 4 conclusions: 1. CTE instructors who have high expectations for students promote high student achievement by exhibiting behaviors that require students to learn independently. Participating instructors implemented independent activities in which students had to seek answers prior to asking instructors for assistance.2. Instructors who have high expectations for student achievement utilize multiple and diverse instructional strategies, assess students frequently, and provide frequent feedback throughout the course. This approach provided students with sufficient opportunities to be successful in class. 3. Establishing high expectations for classroom behavior when the course first starts and dealing with individual students when behavioral issues arise discourages inappropriate behavior. Participating instructors reviewed behavioral expectations throughout their courses. 4. CTE instructors who participate in ongoing professional development after completing a credentialing program promote high student achievement. Each participating instructor participated in ongoing professional development after completing the credentialing program. Based on the findings and conclusions of this study, it is recommended that: (a) CTE instructors continue to implement instructional strategies that are student-centered and fully engage students, (b) ROC/Ps continue offering and placing a heavy emphasis on professional development, (c) ROC/Ps require instructors to create and review the course syllabus on the first day of class to assist in establishing expectations for classroom behavior, and (d) CTE administrators continue to monitor new instructors' progress throughout the credentialing process.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (EdD) -- Leadership and policy; Career education -- Study and teaching; Technical education -- Study and teaching; Teacher effectiveness; Teaching -- Methodology

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Purrington, Linda;