School of Education


Doctor of Education (EdD)


John Duryea


Career and Technical Education (CTE), Career Construction Theory (CCT), Career Development, Career Readiness, Constructivism, Cmployers’ Perceptions


Curriculum and Instruction | Education | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Educational Methods


In the state of Kansas, career technical education (CTE) has undergone major changes. The Kansas Board of Regents, the Technical Education Authority, and business and industry joined together to align Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) programs to make a comprehensive program beneficial to students, graduates, and business and industry. CTE provides students and adults with technical skills, knowledge, and training. Post-secondary education is designed to instruct students concerning careers, career readiness, and the 21st century workplace. The purpose of this transcendental phenomenological study was to understand and describe employers’ perceptions of HVAC graduates. Through the use of a survey, focus group, and interviews, the perceptions of 21 HVAC employers were studied. The evidence collected in this study was analyzed to gain a complete understanding of the employers’ perceptions of the HVAC graduates. The results of the research revealed three overarching themes relevant to recommended alterations to future HVAC programs: (a) emphasize basic fundamentals classes, (b) focus on technical skills and include more hands-on learning, and (c) incorporate soft skills or people-oriented skills training into each class.