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IES Grant

Title: Extending the Reach of the Career and Technical Education (CTE) Research Network—Research Network Lead 2.0
Center: NCER Year: 2023
Principal Investigator: Hughes, Katherine Awardee: American Institutes for Research (AIR)
Program: Extending the Reach of the Career and Technical Education (CTE) Research Network      [Program Details]
Award Period: 5 years (09/01/2023 – 08/31/2028) Award Amount: $3,750,000
Type: Other Goal Award Number: R305N230016

Co-Principal Investigator: Dougherty, Shaun M.

Partner Institutions: Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE), Boston College, and Georgia State University

Related Network Teams:This project will serve as the network lead team for the Extending the Reach of Career and Technical Education (CTE) Research network, which will conduct, research, training, and dissemination to support CTE. This network will include network research teams, which will be awarded in FY 2024.

Purpose: The network lead will coordinate the work of IES-funded CTE research teams and support the development and dissemination of new CTE research knowledge. The network lead team will coordinate a learning community of its member research teams, conduct an evidence review of work-based learning (WBL), offer a research training institute with a focus on equity in CTE research, and bridge research and practice by developing and disseminating engaging products to share the new research findings broadly. Specifically, the network lead will do the following:

Network Administration and Coordination: The network lead will create a dynamic peer-learning community to coordinate and move the CTE research field forward. They will hold three to four virtual network meetings annually and an in-person/hybrid meeting toward the end of every grant year. The lead will also establish and facilitate a network advisory board to provide connections to policy and practice and inform the network’s activities. The network lead will also conduct a set of workgroups to facilitate cross-team collaboration and develop reports and products to support the field. The specific focus areas and activities of the workgroups will be determined with network members.

Research: The network lead will conduct an evidence review on the career immersion and experience section of the WBL continuum across secondary, postsecondary, and adult education populations connected to education settings. Through the evidence review and synthesis, the network will provide the field a solid understanding about the effectiveness of WBL strategies and where further research is needed. The review will also provide actionable information to the field as it seeks to rapidly expand WBL offerings to students and research subsequent impacts.

Research Training: The network lead will also facilitate yearly, weeklong summer training institutes targeted to early career researchers, with new content for conducting CTE research with an equity focus and communicating research evidence to inform policy and practice. The overarching goal is to improve the CTE researcher pipeline by providing trainees skills and strategies to plan and conduct rigorous studies and communicate research findings to improve CTE programs, practices, and policies. The network lead will also build opportunities for early career researchers to connect with the network by identifying other CTE researchers to present in-progress research and gain feedback from the Network members.

Dissemination: The network lead website will feature the most current resources and research related to CTE and the network member studies. The network lead team will also distribute a quarterly e-newsletter that will feature new network website content, upcoming events, and publications and resources. They will post blogs, infographics, and webinars on its website. The team will also determine topics in collaboration with network members and IES, and materials will undergo quality assurance by network lead staff, members, and advisors. In addition, the network lead will post regular content on the CTE Research Network social media accounts to support direct outreach to a broad range of audiences. Finally, the network lead will identify appropriate meetings and conferences at which network members can present and host discussions to share findings, exchange ideas, encourage evidence-based decision making, and foster collaboration.

Related IES Projects: Expanding the Evidence Base for Career and Technical Education (CTE) Research Network Lead (R305N180005)