Decades of practice and history in workforce development and career education mean an endless trove of research for reporters to explore. The resources below are meant to help reporters new to the topic get their start:
Key Statistics and Federal Resources
The Department of Education’s Perkins Collaborative Research Network is the federal clearinghouse for all things related to the Perkins Act, including rules and regulations, state plans, grant programs and research. Statistical data can be found here:
- CTE enrollment (National Center for Education Statistics)
- Dual/concurrent enrollment (National Center for Education Statistics)
- Post-secondary certificates and degrees conferred (National Center for Education Statistics)
- Registered apprenticeships (U.S. Department of Labor)
Notable Advocacy and Research Organizations
- The National Skills Coalition is a national nonprofit that advocates in Congress and in states for broad access to skills training.
- AdvanceCTE is the national organization for state CTE directors and other state policymakers, established in 1920. The Association for Career and Technical Education is a national organization for CTE educators more broadly.
- The Education Commission of the States and the National Conference of State Legislatures are leading resources for state policy on CTE and workforce development.
- Jobs for the Future is a research, policy and advocacy organization providing policy analysis and technical assistance to practitioners.
- Credential Engine is a national nonprofit registry of credentials that also publishes a periodic census of the credentials available in the United States.
- The National Association of Workforce Boards represents state and local workforce investment boards and businesses and has been a vocal advocate of workforce training and CTE.
- Strada Education Network and the Lumina Foundation are among the leading funders and philanthropies supporting the development of CTE models and policy.
General Reading and Evaluations of Promising CTE Models
- This 2017 report from the Brookings Institution summarizes available evidence on the effectiveness and potential benefits of CTE generally. MDRC has this helpful summary of the specific CTE models that research shows so far to be the most effective.
- The American Enterprise Institute published a useful brief overview of the evolution of CTE, available here. More exhaustive history on the history of vocational education and CTE up through 2000 is available from a trio of reports published by the U.S. Department of Education here, here and here.
- This 2018 report from the Urban Institute provides a good primer on the “career pathways” approach to CTE. Urban also has extensive research on the value of apprenticeships.
- The Congressional Research Service has published several summaries of the Perkins Act, including this one from the landmark overhaul in 2006 and an update from the 2018 reauthorization of the law.
- The Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce has comprehensive resources on the value of certificates, associate’s degrees and other credentials, summarized here.
- MDRC has conducted rigorous evaluations of some promising CTE models including the following:
- New York’s PTECH 9-14, which partners high schools, local colleges and employers to create a six-year program from school to career
- Career academies, a career-focused high school program for at-risk students
- CareerWise Colorado, a youth apprenticeship and dual enrollment model in Colorado public high schools
Multi-State Study of Equity in CTE (Career & Technical Education Policy Exchange and Georgia State University)