Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Ph.D. Doctor of Philosophy

Academic Discipline

Community Psychology

First Advisor

Raymond Legler

Second Advisor

Bradley Olson

Third Advisor

Judah Viola


Vocational education is a learning process where individuals focus on manual training with a non-academic curriculum related to a specific trade or occupation where individuals seek careers without college. According to Merriam-Webster (2019), vocational education is a type of education or training directed at a particular field and its skills. A skilled trade is any occupation that requires a specific skill set, knowledge, or ability. It is usually a hands-on job, but skilled trades are found in every career cluster. Vocational education helps create future professionals who need education and training, leading to job opportunities for plumbers, mechanics, and factory workers. For many years, people have focused on universities as the primary source of continuing education. History gives insight into why trade schools came into being. Trade schools educated people to work in manual labor jobs. Vocational skills can empower students, and it is essential to analyze how trades can be a beneficial option allowing students to use skills directly relevant to their employment and quality of life.