Career and Technical Education

Joining Forces for Student Success: The Emergence of State and Local Policies to Support the Recognition of Academic Credit for CTE Coursework

This policy brief advocates for a state education policy that would award academic credit for career and technical education (CTE) coursework. The authors argue that such a model would improve student engagement, deeper learning, and graduation rates. The brief provides an overview of CTE policy and academic coursework integration, posits a model for best practice, reviews exemplary states in the field, and outlines key factors in effective policy implementation.

How Prepared are Subgroups of Texas Students for College-Level Reading: Applying a Lexile®-Based Approach

This REL technical brief examines the use of Lexile-based assessment to determine the readiness of subgroups of 11th grade Texas students to read books used in first year college English courses. Differences in reading abilities were notable based on ethnicity, gender, SES, at-risk status, Limited English Proficiency status, education track (career and technical education vs. general education), and students receiving special education services.

Recognizing Academic Achievement in Career/Technical Education: Conditions for Awarding Academic Credit for Career/Technical Courses

This policy brief advocates for the approval of academic credit based on the completion of career and technical education (CTE) courses. The brief argues that students who receive CTE instruction are more engaged and experience deeper learning of content in ideal conditions. The authors also propose a method for evaluating CTE courses for academic content in order to determine if they would meet the requirements for awarding academic credit.

A Path Forward: Game-Changing Reforms in Higher Education and the Implications for Business and Financing Models

This report describes the impact that various reform models - such as guided pathways, stackable credentials, and competency-based credentials - have on students' postsecondary outcomes as well as examples of how some states have been implementing these reform models. The report also discusses how technology and human systems in higher education inhibit transformative change while also presenting alternatives and solutions for addressing these barriers to change. Finally, the author presents policy recommendations that could accelerate the acceptance of the various reform models.

CTE Dual Enrollment: A Strategy for College Completion and Workforce Investment

This policy brief provides an argument for the expansion of current dual enrollment programs--particularly those in CTE--and recommends four policy objectives that states should consider to ensure that dual enrollment programs are adequately implemented, maintained, and scaled up to meet student needs. The authors highlight increased graduation rates and post-secondary enrollment among dual enrollment CTE students as a key indicator of the value of these programs.

CTE Dual Enrollment: A Strategy for College Completion and Workforce Investment

While the term “dual enrollment” may conjure up the image of high school overachievers taking academically-oriented college courses, state policies and data make it clear that this image doesn’t reflect the reality of hundreds of thousands of students enrolled in career and technical education (CTE) coursework for dual credit.

Career Readiness Assessments Across States: A Summary of Survey Findings

This report describes the key findings of a national survey of state approaches to college and career readiness. The survey sought to answer four basic questions: how do states define career readiness; how is career readiness assessed; how do states use these assessments; and what other issues do states face related to assessing students for career readiness?

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