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Oklahoma Career Tech Superintendents' perceptions of educational leadership preparation experiences

Casey, Brent
Research has shown that effective educational leadership preparation is a key component in the success of school administrators (Johnson & Uline, 2005; McCarthy, 2015). Effective preparation of educational leaders is an important issue facing education, because it not only affects student achievement and teacher quality, but also is a vital component in maintaining the quality and culture within our schools. However, a discrepancy still seems to exist as it relates to a "one size fits all" approach to developing and preparing school leaders. While the majority of the knowledge, skills, and competencies apply to all school leaders, differences appear to exist as it relates to the type of educational institution the school administrator aspires to lead. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore the perceptions, through the lens of the Three-Skills Approach to leadership development (Katz, 1955), of CTE Superintendents related to how their educational leadership preparation program prepared them for leadership in Career and Technology Education. This case study involved in-depth interviews with eight Oklahoma Career Tech Superintendents along with the collection of documents and artifacts for triangulation purposes to add validity and credibility to the data. Through the data analysis, three themes emerged including: (a) there was a lack of applicable content in educational leadership programs for CTE leadership positions, (b) the knowledge and skills in the educational leadership programs were focused on K12 school leadership which is different than needed in CTE leadership, and (c) specific knowledge as well as technical, human, and conceptual skills are needed in the role as a CTE Superintendent. This study suggests and identified specific technical, human, and conceptual skills that are needed by individuals aspiring to become an administrator or a Superintendent in a Career Tech center. These findings will assist the required educational leadership preparation programs ensure future administrators are adequately prepared for their role of leadership in the CTE setting.