Perceptions held by superintendents' regarding federal and state career education policy influence the implementation of career education development activities at the local level. There are limited research resources available that explore the thoughts of superintendents regarding the issue of career education; this research project conducted a study in which five superintendents from Northeastern Minnesota were interviewed regarding their perceptions of career development and implementation practices. As leaders, superintendents influence the school curriculum, so it is important to consider their role in the process of creating, implementing, evaluating, and maintaining career education. The subjects' perceptions were studied in regards to their interpretations of career development legislation at the federal level, the state level, and the local level.
The research has found a variety of insights which has resulted in an array of implementation practices and career development advocating strategies used by current superintendents in the study. Regarding legislation, all superintendents were in agreement that the action to combine previous legislation into the Perkins IV was a good move, easier to understand and implement. Each administrator differed in their approaches regarding how they viewed career development programming; one superintendent was content with current legislation and programming as career development has advanced since this administrator's youth, whereas the other four felt more could be done. School leaders varied on their opinions regarding the success rate of the program; some leaders felt that the children were simply too young, so the current career education did not influence future actions, other superintendents felt it was imperative and it would help ensure global competition in the workplace for our nation. All superintendents perceived career development as a benefit to the school curriculum but were concerned about the implied messages students were receiving from teachers and thought that teachers needed more training in the career development field. However, the resonating common theme of thought amongst all administrators was their concern for sustainability due to the lack of existing funding, complicated further by future potential funding cuts.