A better understanding of CTE interventions is critical because there has been a growing demand for workers with postsecondary education and training - and those with a high school diploma or less have struggled to find and keep jobs with middle-class wages (Acemoglu & Autor, 2011; Carnevale, Jayasundera, & Hanson, 2012; Carnevale, Jayasundera, & Gulish, 2016; Rosen, Visher, & Beal, 2018). Meanwhile, rising requirements for skilled service and blue-collar industry workers have resulted in employer demand for better alignment between technical education and industry needs (Carnevale, Cheah, Ridley, & Strohl, 2017). In this environment, attention from researchers and policymakers has led to significant investments to improve postsecondary CTE, which can potentially increase postsecondary attainment and earnings while also building the workforce's skills needed in occupations currently in demand.
WWC reviews in this topic area focus on postsecondary CTE interventions that help students achieve technical skill proficiency and/or an industry-recognized credential, a certificate, a license, an associate degree, or in the longer term, a baccalaureate degree. The primary goal of these interventions is to improve labor market outcomes, including employment and earnings. Systematic reviews of evidence in this topic area address the following questions:
- Which CTE interventions are effective at helping students progress toward the completion of an industry-recognized credential, a license, a certificate, or a postsecondary degree?
- Which CTE interventions are effective at helping students obtain an associate or a baccalaureate degree?
- Which CTE interventions are effective at helping students obtain an industry-recognized credential, a license, or a certificate?
- Which CTE interventions are effective at helping students achieve technical skill proficiency?
- Which CTE interventions are effective at helping students obtain and/or retain employment?
- Which CTE interventions are effective at increasing earnings?