Date of Award

Spring 5-11-2019

Level of Access Assigned by Author

Open-Access Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Literacy Education


Susan Bennett-Armistead

Second Committee Member

Richard Kent

Third Committee Member

Julie Cheville

Additional Committee Members

Kenneth Martin

David Boardman


This study explored how female Career and Technical Education (CTE) students who enter predominantly male-attended programs perceive instructor effectiveness. Although previous research has shed light on structural and social barriers faced by females wanting to enter these programs (Whitehead, 2013), new information suggests that CTE instructors engaged in prolonged professional development focused on improving instructional skills can support beneficial learning outcomes for their students (NRCCTE, 2013). It has also been suggested that improved knowledge of instructional approaches can increase nontraditional female students’ successful completion of their CTE programs (NRCCTE, 2013). Consequently, I sought to better understand three factors associated with effective CTE instructors, namely their content knowledge, pedagogical skills, and dispositions. Using qualitative methodologies in this case study, I documented how three female CTE students enrolled in an automotive technology program perceived their CTE instructor’s knowledge, skills, and dispositions. A main objective of the study was to allow an opportunity for these female students to have a reflective voice and provide insights about their experiences learning with their effective CTE instructor. Findings revealed that informants were influenced by their instructor’s understanding of content knowledge, his vast knowledge of pedagogical skills, and the dispositions he held toward the nontraditional female students who enter his program. This study offers administrators, researchers, and practitioners insights into the construct of effective practice in CTE contexts where female students enter male-dominated technical programs.