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Resource roundup: Career and technical education

Resource roundup: Career and technical education

By Sara Mitrano
February 25, 2020

February is Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month. CTE provides a pathway for students to prepare for careers and further education by gaining work experience and skills, earning industry-recognized credentials, and acquiring college credits while in high school. CTE also offers adults a way to develop new skills or advance their career.

While almost all states have enacted programs and policies related to CTE, there are gaps in our knowledge about the effects of CTE on student outcomes. To highlight the research available, we rounded up resources on CTE from across the Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) network.

Expanding the research base on CTE

REL Midwest supports research on CTE in Minnesota and across the Midwest through the Midwest Career Readiness Research Alliance. Other RELs also have research alliances that focus on CTE as part of their career readiness work, including the following:

The Institute of Education Sciences, which funds the REL Program, has also formed the CTE Research Network to expand the evidence base on CTE. The American Institutes for Research (AIR) is leading this five-year grant. Sign up for the network’s mailing list to receive updates on study findings and more on the impact of CTE programs!

Impact of CTE on student outcomes

Several RELs have compiled research references in response to CTE-related questions submitted to the free Ask A REL service.

As part of an Evidence Blast series, REL Northeast compiled evidence-based research, data, and resources on CTE programs, including studies of CTE programs and resources on approaches to designing a CTE program.

Forthcoming studies on CTE

REL Appalachia is examining the extent to which high school CTE programs provide students with the necessary credentials for projected high-demand occupations across West Virginia.

REL Central is working with state education agency leaders in Kansas, Nebraska, and South Dakota to understand relationships between CTE course-taking and secondary and postsecondary outcomes.

REL Central is also performing an impact study to assess the differences between the education and workforce outcomes of CTE and non-CTE students in Nebraska and South Dakota.

REL Midwest is working with the departments of education in Indiana and Minnesota to look at student and high school characteristics associated with enrollment and completion of CTE courses, graduation and college enrollment rates, and postgraduate workforce outcomes.

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Author Information

Sara Mitrano Staff Picture

Sara Mitrano

Research Associate | REL Midwest


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