Career and Technical Education: Five Ways that Pay Along the Way to the B.A.

In the United States, postsecondary education and training have become more necessary than ever. Completing this education and training is the new threshold one must meet for access to a middle-class life. Unlike other countries, the American career and technical education (CTE) system provides inroads to further education and college degrees; promotes career mobility as an avenue for lifelong learning; and provides retraining for workers who have seen their jobs shipped overseas or outmoded by technological advancements. This report has two parts.

The New Forgotten Half and Research Directions to Support Them

Building upon a previous publication released in 1988, this resource from the William T. Grant Foundation explores some of the key issues surrounding youth who enter but do not complete college and frequently find themselves excluded from jobs in today’s labor market, which typically require a postsecondary degree. This resource also offers suggestions for future research to increase the “new” forgotten half’s chances at economic security and success.

These People Just Keep Trying to Help Me”: Supporting Students to Succeed in College and Career Pathways

Despite national economic growth, many Americans are unemployed or stuck in low-wage jobs struggling to gain the skills and credentials they need to land middle-skill jobs that can lead to careers and enable them to support their families. Jobs for the Future convened education and workforce innovators to share ideas about strategies that best equip underprepared youth and adults to access and succeed in postsecondary education and the workforce, provide employers with qualified workers, and strengthen regional economies.

Toward a Better Future: Evidence on Improving Employment Outcomes for Disadvantaged Youth in the United States

In 2013, only approximately half of the young adult population (ages 16–24) held jobs. An increased investment to strengthen employment prospects for youth is needed to ensure better futures. This MDRC report draws from a review of literature on employment-related programs for youth over the past three decades. The aim of this report is threefold: (1) to look at factors that create high rates of young adult unemployment, (2) to examine the effectiveness of current unemployment interventions for youth, and (3) to discuss future directions to increase stronger employment involvement.

Personalizing and Guiding College & Career Readiness

Implementing higher and clearer common expectations in core subjects is a big step forward for American education. However, helping more students reach higher standards will take more than updated core academic programs; it will require more robust guidance and support services as well. The intent of this paper is to clarify the central mission of student guidance systems, sketch the architecture of information systems, and encourage aggregated demand in the hope that it will lead to more investment and innovation in next-generation guidance systems.

New Pathways to Careers and College: Examples, Evidence, and Prospects

To prepare all students for success in both postsecondary education and the workforce, the high school reform debate is increasingly focused on the role of career and technical education (CTE). Programs that merge CTE, rigorous academic coursework, and career exploration opportunities, while creating clear pathways through high school, college, and beyond, are gaining momentum.

Laying the Foundations: Early Findings from the New Mathways Project

National studies reveal that 50 percent to 70 percent of community college students enter school each year unprepared for college-level mathematics and must take a series of developmental, or remedial, courses to build their skills before they can enroll in a college-level mathematics course. As these students continue to stumble over their mathematics courses, there has been growing awareness that the types of mathematics skills required in many of today’s professions differ from those skills taught in traditional college mathematics courses.

New CCRS Center State Map Features—Identify How States Are Measuring and Supporting College and Career Readiness

States are implementing a variety of initiatives and policies to assess and support students’ college and career readiness. To help state leaders and policymakers identify trends and learn about innovative approaches to this work, the College and Career Readiness and Success (CCRS) Center has updated the CCRS Center interactive state map with new and streamlined content. The map provides an easy-to-navigate snapshot of state college and career readiness policies, metrics, and initiatives across all states.


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