Date of Award

Spring 5-2018

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Education & Educational Psychology

First Advisor

Jody S. Piro, EdD

Second Advisor

Paul M. Fanuele, EdD

Third Advisor

Richard Hooley, EdD


This study was used to explore the perceptions of recent high school graduates about their levels of preparedness for post-secondary life after they engaged in experiential learning while in high school. The source of the participants was the graduating class of 2016 of an experiential learning high school program in Dutchess County, New York called the Career and Technical Institute (CTI).

A qualitative, phenomenological methodology was utilized whereby data were collected through a researcher-created three-level interview protocol applied to a sample of participants (n = 10). Participants were selected from the original 237 CTI graduates through key characteristics on a demographic survey. Four of the participants were attending a two-year community college, three were employed in their area of interest, and three were both employed and attending college. Interviews and follow-up interviews were conducted to gather data until theoretical saturation occurred.

Using the analytical procedures of phenomenological reduction, constant comparison analysis was employed whereby ongoing data collection informed recursive data analysis. As a result of a reductive coding procedure that included open coding, axial code grouping, major thematic identification, ultimately a major finding statement and four sub-finding statements emerged that included experiential learning as a readiness factor, exposure to college and career experiences, college and career planning, skills and dispositions, and learning. The findings were detailed in a rich, thick description of the phenomenon of college and career readiness and the implications and recommendations that resulted from the study were offered.