WWC review of this study

The impact of career and technical education on postsecondary outcomes in Nebraska and South Dakota. REL 2021-087.

Brodersen, R. M., Gagnon, D., Liu, J., & Tedeschi, S. (2021). Regional Educational Laboratory Central. Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED612630

  • Quasi-Experimental Design
     examining 
    112,764
     Students
    , grades
    9-PS

Reviewed: November 2021

At least one finding shows moderate evidence of effectiveness
At least one statistically significant positive finding
Meets WWC standards with reservations
College Degree Attainment outcomes—Statistically significant positive effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

Attaining Up to An Associate's Degree

High school career and technical education course sequence vs. Business as usual

5 Years

High school classes of 2012/13 and 2013/14;
42,398 students

10.40

6.40

Yes

 
 
13
 
More Outcomes
Show Supplemental Findings

Received a bachelor's degree or higher

High school career and technical education course sequence vs. Business as usual

5 Years

High school classes of 2012/13 and 2013/14;
42,398 students

28.60

29.60

Yes

-1
 
 
College enrollment outcomes—Statistically significant positive effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

Postsecondary Enrollment

High school career and technical education course sequence vs. Business as usual

2 Years

Full sample ;
112,764 students

74.10

64.60

Yes

 
 
11
 
More Outcomes
Show Supplemental Findings

Enrolled in a 2-year college

High school career and technical education course sequence vs. Business as usual

2 Years

Full sample ;
112,764 students

36.60

26.60

Yes

 
 
11

Full time postsecondary enrollment

High school career and technical education course sequence vs. Business as usual

2 Years

Full sample ;
112,764 students

66.60

56.60

Yes

 
 
10

Postsecondary Enrollment

High school career and technical education course sequence vs. Business as usual

5 Years

High school classes of 2012/13 and 2013/14;
42,398 students

77.70

69.70

Yes

 
 
10

Enrolled in a 4-year college

High school career and technical education course sequence vs. Business as usual

2 Years

Full sample ;
112,764 students

48.40

46.40

Yes

 
 
2
High School Completion outcomes—Statistically significant positive effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

High School Graduation

High school career and technical education course sequence vs. Business as usual

0 Months

Full sample;
112,764 students

92.30

85.30

Yes

 
 
17
 


Evidence Tier rating based solely on this study. This intervention may achieve a higher tier when combined with the full body of evidence.

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.


  • 3% English language learners

  • Female: 49%
    Male: 51%
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    Nebraska, South Dakota
  • Race
    Asian
    2%
    Black
    5%
    Native American
    3%
    Other or unknown
    14%
    Pacific Islander
    0%
    White
    76%
  • Ethnicity
    Hispanic    
    12%
    Not Hispanic or Latino    
    88%

Setting

The study was conducted with students in Nebraska and South Dakota whose expected date of high school graduation was between 2012-13 and 2016-17. Students were included in the sample if they had completed the required 8th grade reading and math assessments, attended public school, and had the data required to be included in the study's propensity score matching approach.

Study sample

The full sample was majority White (76%) and over half male (51%). About 12% of students in the sample were Hispanic. Over a third (38%) of the students were eligible for the national school lunch program.

Intervention Group

The intervention assessed in the study was concentration in Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses, defined as completion of a specific set of courses that are connected to a specific career cluster. Students in Nebraska were considered CTE concentrators if they earned three or more credits in an identified career cluster. Students in South Dakota were classified as CTE concentrators if they earned at least two credits in a state-approved sequence within a single career cluster.

Comparison Group

The comparison group consisted of students who did not meet their state's definition of a CTE concentrator. Some comparison groups may have earned CTE credits below the threshold to be considered a CTE concentrator, such as fewer than three credits in a single career cluster in Nebraska or fewer than two credits in a state-approved sequence in a single career cluster in South Dakota.

Support for implementation

No additional information was provided.

 

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