Expanding the Evidence Base for Career and Technical Education (CTE) – Research Network Lead
Name of Institution:
American Institutes for Research (AIR)
Goal: Other Goal
Award Amount: $4,999,998
Award Period: 5 years (9/01/2018 – 8/31/2023)
Award Number: R305N180005
Co-Principal Investigator: Shaun M. Dougherty (Vanderbilt University)
Partners: Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) and Jobs for the Future (JFF)
Project website: https://cteresearchnetwork.org/
Description: A Research Network involves several teams of researchers who are working together to address a critical education problem or issue. The objective is to encourage information sharing, build new knowledge, and assist policymakers and practitioners to strengthen education policies and programs and improve student education outcomes. The specific aims of the FY18 Career and Technical Education (CTE) Network are to increase: 1) the evidence base about the impact of CTE programs and policies on student outcomes, and 2) the pipeline of new CTE researchers.
Purpose: The Network Lead will be responsible for CTE Network administration and coordination, and will carry out research, training, and dissemination activities designed to increase the number and quality of CTE impact evaluations and strengthen the capacity of the field to conduct future CTE research and evaluation.
Network Leadership Activities: The leadership activities of the CTE Research Network Lead comprise the following primary functions:
- Administration and Coordination: The CTE Network Lead will coordinate communication across Network members to accelerate and strengthen the Network’s accomplishment of its goals, and will coordinate the development of supplementary activities to be carried out by Network members.
- Research: The CTE Network lead will carry out two research projects:
- Evaluability Assessment: The CTE Network Lead will conduct an evaluability assessment to identify two to six programs or models that are most ready for rigorous evaluation to advance CTE research.
- Research Synthesis: The CTE Network Lead will synthesize key findings from the evaluations completed by Network members and other relevant CTE research.
- Research Training: The CTE Network Lead will help train the next generation of CTE researchers in causal research methods through postdoctoral fellowships; conference sessions; and a summer institute for researchers. The CTE Network will also train state and district CTE policymakers and practitioners to use data and research to inform decision making about CTE and will create online training modules aligned to the needs and experiences of CTE practitioners using data and research.
- Leadership and Dissemination: The CTE Network Lead will disseminate and promote the Network’s activities, findings, and products. This includes hosting a Network website that will serve as a hub for CTE research and resources; identifying opportunities to communicate about the Network and its activities, including organizing briefings for key stakeholders and presenting at national conferences; and coordinating with national associations and federally funded programs to promote the work of the Network.
Products: The CTE Network Lead will engage in ongoing dissemination activities with other members of the Network to develop products that advance the CTE research field and educate the public about what works in CTE. Products will include the Network website, an evaluability assessment report, a research synthesis, briefings for policymakers and practitioners, and presentations for a range of stakeholders.
Research Teams: CTE Network research team members will be identified by the Institute from among its funded CTE-related grants and invited to join the CTE Network. This page will be updated as members join the Network.
CTE NETWORK MEMBERS
The network includes six member projects from IES-funded CTE research projects with causal impact designs.
- The Causal Impact of Attending a Career-Technical High School on Student Achievement, High School Graduation, and College Enrollment.
Principal Investigator: Shaun Dougherty, Vanderbilt University
This project is using a regression discontinuity (causal) design to examine the impact of attending a CTE high school on students' achievement, high school graduation, and college enrollment in the state of Connecticut. The team will also collect primary data on the quality of CTE instruction and the allocation of resources at CTHSS schools to understand how these schools differ from traditional high schools and therefore what might be contributing to student outcomes.
- Assessing the Implementation, Impact & Variation of CTE Innovation: NYC as a Lab for Rigorous CTE Research.
Principal Investigator: James Kemple, New York University
This project is evaluating the impact of attending a CTE program in high school in New York City using 1) a lottery to approximate random assignment in a subset of oversubscribed CTE-focused high schools (not including P-Tech) and 2) propensity score matching to replicate the findings on a larger set of schools. The project will also include a cost study and an examination of mediators and moderators.
- P-TECH 9–14 Schools: An Impact, Implementation and Cost Study.
Principal Investigator: Crystal Byndloss, MDRC
This project is examining the effect of attending a P-Tech (specialized STEM-focused) CTE high school in New York City using a lottery to approximate a random assignment design.
- The Evaluation of Career and College Promise
Principal Investigator: Julie Edmunds, University of North Carolina, Greensboro
This project examines the impact of Career and College Promise, a set of three structured dual enrollment pathways in North Carolina (College Transfer, Career and Technical Education, and Cooperative Innovative High Schools) using rigorous quasi-experimental designs.
- Choice and Information: The Impact of Technology-Based Career Advising Tools on High School Students' CTE Choices and Academic Performance
Principal Investigator: Rachel Rosen, MDRC
This project uses a three-armed randomized clinical trial to evaluate the effects of two technology-based career advising tools, YouScience and Xello, on high school students' awareness of career choices, their career course taking patterns, and their academic performance.
- An Experimental Evaluation of the Efficacy of Virtual Enterprises
Principal Investigator: Fatih Unlu, RAND
This project uses a lottery-based RCT design to evaluate the impact of student participation in Virtual Enterprises (VE), a virtual work-based learning curriculum adopted by over 430 schools across 18 states in which high school students run a virtual business.