Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Franz, Dana P.

Committee Member

Miller, Nicole C.

Committee Member

Hopper, Peggy F.

Committee Member

Owen, Sean M.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Curriculum and Instruction

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Education


Department of Curriculum, Instruction and Special Education


The debate over the effective preparation of pre-service teachers is not new. Often this debate concerns what might be considered successful methods for all pre-service teachers. However, preparation for career and technical education (CTE) teachers could look quite different than that of academic teachers, whether they are prepared through traditional or alternative routes to education. In this qualitative study, the researcher examined two iterations of the alternative-route program designed to prepare new CTE teachers in Mississippi and considered the level of self-efficacy of the teacher participants, the perceived effectiveness of the specific elements of each program, and the perceived significance of teacher/administrator and teacher/mentor relationships. The results of this study indicate that participants in the most recent iteration of the alternative-route program have a higher level of self-efficacy in teaching. The study also found that the specific elements of the newer version of the program are perceived as more relevant than those of the older version of the program and that teacher/administrator and teacher/mentor relationships play a key role in self-efficacy and job satisfaction among new CTE teachers. The results of this study also revealed that new CTE teachers desire opportunities to grow their pedagogical content knowledge by interacting and learning from veteran teachers in their respective content areas. Additionally, some of the more effective teachers who participated in this study rated themselves lower than their less effective colleagues on a self-efficacy survey and vice versa, indicating the presence of the Dunning-Kruger effect, which posits that, when an individual is unskilled in a certain task, they not only make poor choices in that area but also lack the metacognitive ability to realize it.