Date of Award


Degree Type

Thesis (On-Campus Access Only)

First Advisor

Jacqueline Waggoner


The purpose of this qualitative study was to answer the following: are student-run businesses and business education clubs essential parts of a secondary business education? My research addressing this question was based upon various studies of secondary business education programs, employers' expectations of those programs, and both the long- and short-term success of student-run businesses and business education clubs. The study was conducted among students, teachers and employers in both urban and suburban school districts in the Pacific Northwest. The two principle participants were two high school business education students attending a large, suburban high school. Information was gathered using a variety of methodological approaches including interviews and observations of the students and interviews with their teachers and out-of-school employers. Additionally, observations were made, and teachers were interviewed at other secondary business education programs. In order to protect the participant's right to privacy and anonymity, I have provided pseudonyms for all participants in the study. After collecting and organizing field notes and interviews with students, teachers and employers, I gained a better understanding of the nature of business education and the ways that it is most effectively learned by students. My research revealed that not only are student-run businesses and business education clubs important for a successful secondary business education, but they should be incorporated into the curriculum as much as possible. Moreover, an innovative secondary business education curriculum produces students who are more motivated and inquisitive about business education subjects.