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ASSOCIATION FOR CAREER & TECHNICAL EDUCATION

South Carolina Takes On Programs of Study

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May 30, 2013

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South Carolina Takes On Programs of Study

Findings from a long-term review of the South Carolina Personal Pathways to Success initiative, authorized under the state's 2005 Education and Economic Development Act (EEDA), show several positive impacts of the policy on career development and Programs of Study (POS) development.

EEDA, similar to the federal Perkins IV law, focuses on career awareness and exploration and the creation of locally relevant career pathways and POS. For the study, National Research Center for CTE-affiliated researchers at the National Dropout Prevention Center at Clemson University followed two cohorts from a sample of eight high schools from around the state, examining how EEDA facilitated the development of POS/career pathways and whether these programs led to improved student preparation and planning.

Here are a few emerging themes identified through the research, which may be of value to those implementing POS and similar policies:

  • Career-focused activities increased at study sites
  • Guidance personnel had an expanded role through EEDA
  • Exposure to EEDA policy impacted even students at low-implementation schools
  • EEDA policy increased knowledge about CTE at sample schools
  • EEDA was helping to build the foundation of Perkins IV-defined POS in sample schools
  • The Individual Graduation Plan development process emerged as essential
  • Partnerships and collaboration, as well as a commitment to providing resources and support, were key

The researchers also found that schools with economic challenges were more likely to fully implement POS than schools with more resources. 

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