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Data Driven: Low-skilled Adults Benefit from CTE


June 30, 2014


Data Driven: Low-skilled Adults Benefit from CTE

Data_Driven Students in programs that blend basic skills and occupational training for more contextualized learning are far more likely than similar adult students to improve basic skills and earn college-level credits.[i] 

The research cited above demonstrates that programs for adult education students that bolster basic skills in a CTE context, preparing them for future education and the workplace, have been found to be more effective than programs that offer basic skills training alone.

In the Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training  (I-BEST) model examined in this research, basic skills instructors and college-level CTE faculty work together to develop and teach college-level occupational courses for basic skills students. This helps adult education students place their basic skills training in a relevant context and accelerates their progress. Analyzing the program, Jenkins et al. found that I-BEST students were more likely to progress into credit-bearing coursework, earn college credits, achieve occupational certificates and score higher on basic skills tests. The success of I-BEST and similar programs has fostered an interest in career pathways for low-skilled adults, and a number of projects are now addressing this, including the Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education's Moving Pathways Forward: Supporting Career Pathways Integration initiative.

When sharing this research with policymakers, industry and the public, pair it with data and success stories from your adult students who have achieved college and career success from a foundation of contextualized basic skills education.

You can find this research and other statistics about the benefits of CTE with ACTE Fact Sheets.

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