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National Research Center for Career and Technical Education

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The University of Louisville has conducted a vast amount of evidence-based research to provide educators with solutions to problems of career and Technical Education nation-wide. Educators are provided with strategies to increase student engagement, improve academic and technical skill attainment, and how to insure each student is graduating as “college and career” ready. (National Research Center for Career and Technical Education)


Research has shown students who complete a strong and viable Career and Technical Education program are more apt to be “College and Career Ready”. Further, the following key findings were noted: 1) CTE completers were more likely to be employed while college-enrolled; 2) CTE completers had higher average quarterly wages after leaving college; and, 3) CTE completers who earned Advanced Studies diplomas had the highest wages three months after graduating with a bachelor’s degree. (Long Term Outcomes of High School CTE Completers in Virginia)


The National Research Center for Career and Technical Education has conducted research projects include evidence-based answers which provide educators, counselors, students and parents with a better understanding of Career and Technical Education. Programs of Study, Curriculum, Dual Enrollment, Career and Guidance Counseling, Industry-Recognized Credentials and, more has received an extensive amount of research to identify benefits that show the parallel of Career and Technical Education to “College and Career Readiness”. Each item below is linked to the actual website where you can find additional information and research based evidence.


Programs of Study

(POS) are designed as “pathways of success” for a student interested in a particular career field, The POS are used as an effort to better align secondary and post-secondary education with the needs of business and industry. Obviously, the global economy drives the workforce. The work force we are training today are striving to prepare themselves for occupations that do not even exist today. Hence, a POS aligns curriculum at the secondary and post-secondary levels with careers, industry certifications and instructional opportunities at the secondary level which may reduce the time required for a post-secondary degree.


Curriculum Integration: Perkins legislation has created an increase in the emphasis being placed on Career and Technical Education; thus placing academic achievement and occupational skills on a fairly level playing field. Perkins IV requires the integration of rigorous and challenging academic and career and technical education in all career pathways funded using such funds. Through the use of contextualized teaching and learning (relating subject

matter content to meaningful situations that are relevant to students’ lives), students are able to learn without sacrificing CTE content with the integration of “false” or “irrelevant” academic content. Academic content is infused with real-world applications of Career and Technical Applications.


Dual Enrollment: A strong CTE program continues to infuse in-class instruction with skills related training to fully prepare a student for potential employment in a career field. Secondary schools are realizing on the importance of dual enrollment CTE programs to allow more students to take CTE college level courses while attending high school. Dual enrollment has traditionally been designed for “college bound” students; however, educational administration has come to the conclusion that CTE dual enrollment is an opportunity to keep more students in school. Not only do the students earn college credit while attending high school, these same students are receiving a post-secondary degree early at a tremendous cost savings. “Past NRCCTE-affiliated research (Karp et al., 2007; Kotamraju, 2005) has found positive effects for the impact of dual enrollment programs on student outcomes, including higher rates of postsecondary enrollment, higher grade point averages at the postsecondary level, higher rates of persistence in postsecondary education, and more postsecondary credits earned.”


Career Guidance & Counseling: “Developing a career is a process, not just a destination. Unfortunately, not enough attention is paid to the developmental process required to engage in thoughtful, thorough career development. Research suggests that school counselors can play a powerful role in the career development of students. For example, research on school counseling and guidance services has found that students who receive career development services reported greater career awareness and higher levels of career exploration and planning. Further, long-term effects of career counseling resulted in higher levels of success in transitioning into life roles, a better sense of direction in their careers, and higher levels of overall life satisfaction”.

Industry-Recognized Credentials: Most CTE programs offered within the District School Board of Madison County provide opportunities for students to earn a nationally recognized industry certification. Students who master standards and benchmarks of a program are registered to take the associated certification examination at no cost to the student. Students must show mastery in technical skills, course academia and “employability” skills prior to registration. “The benefits of industry-recognized credentials are many: High school and postsecondary CTE programs that lead to associate degrees, certificates, and industry-recognized credentials can help young people find skilled employment and give them the option of later returning to school for a higher degree. CTE programs that earn industry certification receive high-quality curricula and professional development opportunities for their instructors. And employers benefit from a more highly skilled workforce with certifiable skills.”