Date of Award

Winter 12-16-2021

Document Type

Dissertation (799 registration)

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership


Graduate Studies

Committee Chair

Ximena Suarez-Sousa


Registered Apprenticeships, Registered Apprentice Community Colleges Sponsorship



Registered apprenticeships remain a key workforce strategy as an affordable pathway to secure high paying jobs and meet the changing labor market demands. Individuals who have gone through a registered apprenticeship program receive substantially higher earnings, have higher completion rates, most graduate debt free and have very high job placement rates upon completion. Yet most apprentice programs have not advanced beyond the traditional occupations (construction and advanced manufacturing), and a majority of apprentices are white males.

Community colleges have existing relationships with industry and are already central to the nation’s career and technical education which required applied learning that could easily be expanded on. Community colleges have impacted the growth of diverse populations and are well established to increase diversity in an apprenticeship program. Community colleges can serve apprenticeship programs in several ways, including being a direct training provider, and in some instances a register apprenticeship sponsor. Colleges as sponsors can provide the needed support to both apprentices and industry to be successful. Registered apprenticeship programs demonstrate a valuable academic pathway, meet needs of students and industry, and provide positive result for colleges.

This study utilized a quantitative causal-comparative research design which measured the expansion of registered apprenticeship occupations when community college can be registered apprenticeship sponsors. It examined if the expansion of these occupations increases the number of women and diverse populations in registered apprenticeship programs. The primary data collected and used for the study came from the American Association of Community Colleges, Expanding Community College Apprenticeships Initiative.

The finding of the study demonstrated that non-sponsor community colleges had a more diversified pool of occupations. Non-sponsor community colleges also had a higher level of expansion in women, and there was not a significant difference among diverse populations across all groups. These results imply that community colleges through strong administrative support need to build in flexibility to provide innovative pathways for all students to not just enter career pathways, but occupations driven by strong industry relationships meeting today’s skills gap. Colleges also need to do a better job in identifying the disparities that exist in women and diverse populations entering registered apprenticeship programs and expand on the support and wrap-around services that are so effective in recruiting and retaining diverse populations.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.