Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Applied Sciences, Technology, and Education

Committee Chair(s)

Michael L. Pate


Michael L. Pate


Gary Straquadine


Bruce Miller


Rebecca G. Lawver


Lacee Boschetto


The United States is shifting the public education model toward one that favors increasing skill complexity to lead students into future careers. It is uncertain, however, if these changes are benefiting students and having the desired impact on the future workforce. Utilizing the Swiss and German dual apprenticeship and work-based learning model, Utah is attempting to bring more practical and hands-on experiential learning opportunities to students across the state. This study intended to understand if these changes are accomplishing the intended result in students in rural eastern Utah.

Furthermore, the study found that students who engage in early experiential learning opportunities in these rural counties were more likely to begin planning their career decisions. Individual career pathways were not a significant indicator of career decision-making ability for rural Utah students. However, the perceived difficulty and awareness of career choice anxiety was the most significant indicator for career-choice dysfunction within the model.

Future research will expand the research group and identify if characteristics indicate Carbon and Emery County school districts or are symptomatic across the secondary education system. Additional research on ameliorating choice anxiety will be undertaken with the intention of positive intervention strategies that lead to confident career choices.



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