Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Theory, Policy, and Practice

Document Type



In an effort to address dropout, the Louisiana state legislature mandated an initiative in 2009 which required all school districts to offer an alternative vocational high school diploma. Because this alternative diploma, known as the Career Diploma, is being implemented in all high schools throughout Louisiana, this research was designed to ascertain high school principals’ perceptions regarding the Career Diploma’s value. Participants were principals of traditional four-year high schools located within the state of Louisiana. A researcher-designed survey instrument was disseminated to 258 high school principals throughout the state. Findings of the data analysis indicated differences in perceptions of value among the four measured dimensions of value. Principals rated the Career Diploma to be valuable as a mitigator of socioeconomic consequences of not obtaining a standard high school diploma. Principals placed high value on the Career Diploma as a solution to underlying causes of student dropout. Additionally, participants asserted that the Career Diploma is valuable relative to other graduation options. However, participants indicated low perceptions of value concerning the Career Diploma’s symbolic value.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Mitchell, Roland W.

Included in

Education Commons