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IES Grant

Title: SREB Career and Technical Education Leadership Academy Study
Center: NCER Year: 2021
Principal Investigator: Stone, James Awardee: Southern Regional Education Board
Program: Career and Technical Education      [Program Details]
Award Period: 4 years (10/01/2021 – 09/30/2025) Award Amount: $1,987,699
Type: Development and Innovation Award Number: R305A210233

Co-Principal Investigator: Shannon, Lisa

Purpose: The purpose of the project is to develop, pilot, and study the promise of the SREB Career and Technical Education Leadership Academy to increase the capacity of school leaders at career and technology (CT) centers to work with their teachers as instructional leaders and thereby improve CTE outcomes for their students. School leaders' instructional leadership skills can positively impact student learning through their direct influence on teachers' instruction, yet many CT directors lack knowledge in what quality CTE instruction looks and sounds like. This study seeks to fill this gap by providing professional learning through workshops and job-embedded coaching.

Project Activities: The research team will first conduct a needs assessment in year 1 and then will use the needs assessment data to develop the preliminary scope and sequence of professional development content. Grantees will then conduct a usability and feasibility study and use data from the study to adjust the leadership academy intervention. Grantees will then conduct a pilot study.

Products: Products will include the results of the needs assessment, findings from the usability and feasibility study, the fully developed academy curriculum, and preliminary evidence of the Academy's promise to positively develop targeted leadership skills for school leaders in CTE settings. Grantees will disseminate findings using multiple approaches, including preparing conference papers and peer-reviewed journals.

Structured Abstract

Setting: Shared-Time Career and Technical (CT) Centers located in Kentucky. These CT Centers are operated by the state's Kentucky Tech System and other local education agencies.

Sample: The sample includes Shared-Time CT Center directors from Kentucky, their teachers, and students.

Intervention:  The SREB Career and Technical Education Leadership Academy includes a five-day summer institute; four days of face-to-face workshops; onsite leadership coaching for participants between workshops; virtual PLC meetings; and job-embedded assignments that participants complete in their centers between workshops. Possible topics will include labor market data analysis; career pathway development; coaching novice CTE teachers; instructional leadership for STEM and project-based learning; developing industry partnerships for work-based learning; and supporting integration of CTE content with core subjects.

Research Design and Methods: For the needs analysis, researchers will review statewide data on CTE outcomes, conduct an online survey of shared-time CT directors in Kentucky and conduct focus groups with Kentucky CTE leaders. The research team will use findings from the needs analysis to develop the content for the Academy and then will conduct a mixed-methods, single-group usability and feasibility study of the Academy with a small group of Kentucky CT center directors before refining the model. Researchers will then pilot the final model using a cluster-randomized control trial to determine if the Academy professional development delivery model shows promise in positively impacting CT center leadership practices, teacher practices and CTE outcomes for students.

Control Condition: Directors of centers randomly assigned to the comparison group will proceed with "business-as-usual" throughout 2023-24 and be eligible to receive the intervention as a wait-list control group in 2024-25.

Key Measures: The Comprehensive Assessment of Leadership for Learning (CALL) will be used as a measure of leadership practice. The Survey of Teacher Practice (STeP) will be used as a measure of teacher effectiveness and student outcomes will be measured by course performance (i.e., credits earned), and CTE pathway completion and persistence rates.

Data Analytic Strategy: Researchers will use constant comparative method and the computer program Atlas.ti, to analyze qualitative interview and focus group data from the needs assessment and usability and feasibility study. This involves the processes of open coding of the data through categorization, axial coding whereby researchers make connections between categories, and selective coding wherein researchers systematically relate core categories to other categories to validate relationships and identify categories for further refinement. To analyze survey responses and program records, researchers will calculate descriptive statistics, parametric and non-parametric inferential statistics (i.e., chi square, t-tests, analyses of variance and covariance), as appropriate. For the pilot, researchers will use multilevel modeling to measure outcomes related to CT leadership practices, as well as teacher effectiveness and students' progress in CT coursework. Researchers will closely monitor attrition and will calculate effect sizes and confidence intervals for all impact estimates.

Cost Analysis: SREB and Magnolia Consulting, LLC will conduct a cost analysis study following the Ingredients Method and using procedures outlined Cost Analysis: A Starter Kit, developed by IES. The team will conduct separate analyses for societal and center perspectives. CostOut will be used for establishing national and local ingredient costs, and sensitivity analyses will be conducted to test against various assumptions.