Career and Technical Education

Joint Guidance Letter on Career Pathways

This letter outlines a joint commitment of the U.S. Department of Education, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and U.S. Department of Labor to promote the use of career pathways, encourage alignment of state resources, and ensure all interested parties are aware of the commitment. This letter also defines career pathways and provides details of what a career pathways approach should include.

CCRS Center Year 1 in Review

This week marks the official end of the first year of the College and Career Readiness and Success Center (CCRS Center). The mission of the CCRS Center is to serve the federally funded regional centers in building the capacity of states across the nation to effectively implement initiatives for college and career readiness and success. Through technical assistance and interactive learning communities, the CCRS Center provides customized support to states and promotes knowledge development and collaboration.

Our first year has been busy! Some of the highlights of the year include:

The Future of Career and College Pathways

In June 2013, the National Center for College and Career Transitions (NC3T) surveyed Career Technical Education (CTE) and Career Academy practitioners at the school, district, and state levels to learn about the state of pathways programs: Where they were, where they had been, and where they were headed. In August, NC3T published the results of that survey, which show regular organic growth over the past few years, with growth forecasted for the future, despite little support in the policy arena.

Some notable findings from the report:

Georgia Ninth-Graders Will Have To Pick Career Paths

Starting this year Georgia ninth-graders will be required to choose one of 17 career clusters or opt to take more college-prep courses. The goals of the policy are for students to be better prepared to join the workforce and for high school graduation rates to increase. Students will receive three of the 23 credits required for graduation by taking the career pathways courses.

CCRS Center Updates

The College and Career Readiness and Success Center (CCRS Center) works to help states and other CCRS stakeholders better inform, align, and support efforts to ensure that all students are ready for success in their postsecondary endeavors.  

The CCRS Center has released the following tools and issue briefs to help schools, districts, and states address key CCRS needs as they work to ensure all students are college and career ready:

The Effects of School-to-Career Programs on Post-Secondary Enrollment and Employment

This report evaluates the effectiveness of six types of school-to-career (STC) programs, with specific focus on participation resulting in increased post-secondary college enrollment or employment. National longitudinal survey data were analyzed to assess the results. The study indicated that some STC programs (school enterprises) increase post-secondary college enrollment, other programs (cooperative education and internships/apprenticeships) increase post-secondary employment, and Tech Prep reduces post-secondary college enrollment but may increase post-secondary employment. 

High School Dropout and the Role of Career and Technical Education: A Survival Analysis of Surviving High School

This study explored the relationship between career and technical education (CTE) course taking and high school completion rates. Data analysis was conducted with a longitudinal database of a nationally representative sample of nearly 9,000 students. Results show that for youth who are younger than 15 years when entering ninth grade, CTE combined with core academic course taking, may decrease the risk of dropout. The most favorable results are found when students take one CTE course for every two core academic courses. 

Career and Technical Education in the Balance: An Analysis of High School Persistence, Academic Achievement, and Postsecondary Destinations

This study explored the benefits of career and technical education. The author examined dropout rates, academic achievement, and postsecondary outcomes. The four groups consisted of (1) academic concentrators, (2) CTE concentrators, (3) dual concentrators, and (4) neither academic nor CTE concentrators. The study found that academic concentrators had the highest 1992 achievement scores in reading, mathematics, science, and history, and CTE students scored the lowest.

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