Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Swortzel, Kirk A.

Committee Member

McCubbins, OP

Committee Member

Newman, Michael

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Agricultural and Extension Education

Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Agriculture and Life Sciences


School of Human Sciences


Career and Technical Education (CTE) teachers have long been active in lobbying the federal and state governments in support of CTE through their professional organizations, but these are not traditionally considered interest groups. This study sought to determine if the formal relationships—dues agreements—between the two largest national professional organizations, and their state affiliates had an impact on state funding for CTE. The impacts of professional organization unity, membership rates, and lobbying expenses on state-level CTE funding were analyzed through the lens of interest group theory, a subfield of political science. Within this population (N = 13), 1) a link was found between dues agreement type and funding; 2) Agricultural educators joined their professional organization(s) at higher rates than other CTE teachers; 3) a low relationship was discovered between professional organization membership percentages and funding; and 4) a high degree of relationship was found between lobbying expenses and funding.