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ASSOCIATION FOR CAREER & TECHNICAL EDUCATION

Data Driven: Benefits from Balancing CTE, Academic Courses

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March 30, 2014

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Data Driven: Benefits from Balancing CTE, Academic Courses

Data_Driven A ratio of one CTE class for every two academic classes minimizes the risk of students dropping out of high school.[i]

CTE excels at keeping students engaged in school with relevant, hands-on learning that prepares them for their future.

The data point above illustrates that a balance of CTE and academic coursework has positive impacts on high school student retention and completion. CTE can also improve college and career readiness; for instance, 80 percent of students taking a college preparatory academic curriculum with rigorous CTE met college and career readiness goals, compared to only 63 percent of students taking the same academic core who did not experience rigorous CTE.[ii]

However, CTE students may struggle to find the time to take CTE courses, as academic requirements for graduation grow. Academic skills are crucial, but their acquisition should be integrated and aligned with technical and employability skills to help prepare students for high-wage, high-demand careers.   

When sharing this information with policymakers, education leaders and parents, point to other data on CTE's impact on student retention and completion (see ACTE Fact Sheets) and talk about your students who have achieved success through a balance of technical, academic and employability skills.


[i] Plank et al., Dropping Out of High School and the Place of Career and Technical Education, National Research Center for CTE, 2005.

[ii] Southern Regional Education Board, High Schools That Work 2012 Assessment.

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