Research and Reports
- Equity Framework for Career and Technical Education Research – CTE Research Network, October 2022
Systems for learning and producing knowledge, such as career and technical education (CTE), often reproduce inequities unless an equity-focused lens is used when designing, implementing, and evaluating programs. This framework presents guidance for conducting CTE research with an intentional focus on equity. Developed by the CTE Research Network’s Equity in CTE Workgroup, the framework illustrates how researchers can infuse an equity approach into research from start to finish and provides real and hypothetical examples from CTE research.
- Closing The Equity Gap in Dual Enrollment for Rhode Island’s Differently-Abled Students: A Policy Roadmap – College in High School Alliance, April 2023
This report looks at the efforts of the state of Rhode Island in increasing dual-enrollment and career pathways opportunities for the differently-abled students of the state.
- Unlocking Opportunities: Supporting English Learners’ Equitable Access to Career and Technical Education – Sugarman, Migration Policy Institute, April 2023
This report explores policies and practices that can support English learners’ participation in CTE courses.
- Rural Community College Excellence: A Guide to Delivering Strong Opportunity for Students and Communities – Barrett, Bevevino, Larkin & Wyner, Aspen Institute, March 2023
This report addresses the status of the rural community college landscape and how these institutions can continue expanding access.
- How Can Community Colleges Afford to Offer Dual Enrollment College Courses to High School Students at a Discount? – Belfield, Jenkins & Fink, Community College Research Center, February 2023
This report examines accessibility and economic feasibility of dual enrollment courses and what needs to change in funding and in how community colleges execute these programs to keep them available to students.
- Graduation, College, and Employment Outcomes for CTE Students with an Identified Disability – Carruthers et. al, Georgia Policy Labs, June 2022
This report examines the relationship between CTE participation and transition outcomes for high school students with an identified disability. The findings reveal positive outcomes for high school graduation and employment.
- Advancing Employment for Secondary Learners with Disabilities through CTE Policy and Practice – Advance CTE, May 2022
This brief examines survey responses from state CTE directors to determine how states are leveraging Perkins V to support learners with disabilities.
- Multi-State Study of Equity in CTE – Carruthers, Dougherty, Kreisman & Theobald, Career & Technical Education Policy Exchange, November 2021
This report describes differences in CTE participation by students’ demographic characteristics, economic disadvantage, and disability identification in four states with very different populations and secondary CTE structures.
- Heterogeneity in High School Career and Technical Education Outcomes – Ecton & Dougherty, Annenberg Institute at Brown University, November 2021
This research highlights heterogeneity in CTE outcomes by program areas and for student populations historically overrepresented in CTE.
- Engaging Families and Communities to Support Special and Underserved Populations in CTE – ACTE, September 2021
This report describes strategies for communicating with, collaborating with and supporting CTE learners’ families and communities, particularly for learners and communities who have been historically underserved.
- Students with Disabilities in CTE: Post High School Success – Pantleo, Conrad, Parr & Parr, The CTE Journal, Fall 2021
This quantitative study examined the relationship between the technical skill assessment performance of CTE concentrators with disabilities and their placement after high school.
- Communicating Career Technical Education: Learner-centered Messages for Effective Program Recruitment – Advance CTE, April 2021
Advance CTE, with support from the Siemens Foundation, has conducted two rounds of national research to find out the messages and themes that most resonate with learners and their families and piloted the resulting messaging with states. Learn more with these messaging tools and resources.
- Equity in CTE and STEM: Root Causes and Strategies – National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity, April 2021
This publication uses an intersectional lens to examine current theories and evidence-based strategies for promoting equity and sustainable change in CTE and STEM programs.
- Here To Stay: Black, Latina and Afro-Latina Women In Construction Trades Apprenticeships and Employment – Chicago Women in Trades, March 2021
This brief describes what it is like for Black women and Latinas to navigate working in male-dominated trades and what can be done to support their recruitment, retention and success.
- Equity in Secondary Career and Technical Education in the United States: A Theoretical Framework and Systematic Literature Review ($) – Kim, Flack & Parham, Career and Technical Education Research, February 2021
This literature review of CTE research between 1998 and 2019 examines how equity has been approached in CTE research.
- Racial and Ethnic Equity Gaps in Postsecondary Career and Technical Education – Anderson et. al, Urban Institute, March 2021
This report presents data on student outcomes in online for-credit CTE programs, considers differences in outcomes by students’ race and ethnicity, and offers a preliminary framework of strategies to promote equitable student success in online postsecondary CTE pathways.
- Strategies for Special Population Success: Practical Tips and Tools for Educators – National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity, January 2021
This resource describes effective practices for supporting and engaging with each of the nine Perkins V special population student groups.
- IM STEM: Using Collective Impact to Broaden Participation in STEM and CTE through a Multi-State Systems Approach – National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity, January 2021
The IM STEM project included STEM education, CTE and workforce development stakeholders from government, business, education and communities across Colorado, Idaho, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming. Using a collective impact approach, the network worked to identify and scale effective policies and practices that positively impact critical junctures in STEM and CTE education pathways for underserved populations.
- Equity Leadership Academy for States: Pilot Highlights: Amplifying Equity in Perkins V – National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity, 2021
NAPE developed the Equity Leadership Academy for States to help member education agencies guide postsecondary systems in their states to make Perkins V more effective and sustainable—with equity at the core. The group is sharing its recommendations to help other organizations continue their equity initiatives.
- Striving to Thriving: Occupational Identity Formation Among Black and Hispanic Young People and Young People from Households with Lower Incomes – Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Equitable Futures Initiative & Goodwin Simon Strategic Research, October 2020
This 16-month research project aimed to develop an in-depth understanding of occupational identity formation among Black and Hispanic young people and their families, as well as white families from lower income households, through deep listening sessions.
- Differences in High School CTE Coursetaking by Gender and Race/Ethnicity ($) – Leu & Arbeit, Career and Technical Education Research, May 2020
This study examined patterns in high school CTE coursetaking by gender and race/ethnicity, demonstrating large and sustained differences in participation across CTE fields of study by gender as well as pronounced patterns by race/ethnicity.
- Voices from the Field: How Community Colleges Are Advancing Equity in CTE – Dalporto & Tessler, MDRC, April 2020
This issue brief highlights how community colleges across the nation have worked to address equity issues in their CTE programs.
- Tracking and the Future of Career and Technical Education: How Efforts to Connect School and Work Can Avoid the Past Mistakes of Vocational Education – Hodge, Dougherty & Burris, National Education Policy Center, February 2020
After summarizing the history of vocational education and its relation to tracking, this brief describes how vocational education evolved into CTE and makes recommendations for enacting CTE in ways that support the equitable distribution of educational opportunities.
- Who’s Who in CTE Occupations: Documenting the Demographic Composition of CTE Job Holders – Kell, Roohr & Fishtein, ETS, 2020
Using data from a multi-wave longitudinal study, this research brief reports on the representation of females, racial/ethnic minority groups, individuals with disabilities and individuals from economically disadvantaged families in CTE jobs.
- Partnering to Improve Career and Technical Education for Students With Disabilities: A Position Paper of the Division on Career Development and Transition ($) – Harvey et al., Career Development and Transition for Exceptional Individuals, November 2019
This article, co-authored with ACTE, explores CTE’s effectiveness as a secondary special education and transition service; summarizes relevant federal legislation; and presents key recommendations for policy, practice, personnel preparation, professional development and research.
- Sometimes Less, Sometimes More: Trends in Career and Technical Education Participation for Students With Disabilities – Theobald et. al, National Center for the Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research, August 2019
This working paper investigates trends in CTE participation for students with disabilities.
- Practitioner Perspectives on Equity in Career and Technical Education – Rosen & Molina, MDRC, July 2019
In the spring of 2019, MDRC invited practitioners from innovative CTE programs to discuss questions of equity. This policy brief summarizes the most common equity challenges that were raised in the discussion, along with ideas that emerged for how to address them.
- PIPEline to Career Success for Students with Disabilities: Root Causes and Strategies – National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity, February 2019
This comprehensive literature review identifies barriers that students with disabilities face to accessing high-quality CTE and shares evidence-based strategies to address these barriers.
- PACE evaluations – Abt Associates, 2019
The Pathways for Advancing Careers and Education (PACE) evaluation used a random assignment methodology to assess the effectiveness of 9 career pathways programs targeting low-income, low-skilled individuals on credential attainment, employment and earnings. Abt evaluated the following programs: Carreras en Salud (“Careers in Health”), Valley Initiative for Development and Advancement, Pathways to Healthcare Program, Workforce Training Academy (WTA) Connect and the Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training (I-BEST) model (which has also been evaluated by the Community College Research Center).
- Making Good on the Promise series – Advance CTE, September 2018-June 2022
This series examines how states can leverage data to identify and address equity gaps, rebuild trust with historically underserved communities, expand access to high-quality CTE for each and every learner, and build systems to ensure learner success. It includes specific strategies for improving CTE for youth in the justice system, students with disabilities, youth experiencing homelessness and English learners.
- CTE on the Frontier series – Advance CTE, August 2017-April 2018
This series addresses how to use strategic partnerships and new technologies to reach economies of scale and offer a wider breadth of career pathways to rural learners. You can also view a companion webinar.
- Oregon PIPE: Advancing Equity in CTE & STEM Promising Practices – National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity, October 2018
Oregon participated in NAPE’s Program Improvement Process for Equity™ (PIPE™) process to identify equity gaps in CTE and STEM, identify evidence-based strategies to close those gaps, and pilot new strategies and supports. This brief describes the root causes, strategies and results of this work.
- Achieving Educational Equity and Justice in Career Academies: Challenges and Promising Strategies – Kantrov, Ford Next Generation Learning, May 2017
This paper summarizes key equity issues that districts have encountered in implementing career academies, discusses strategies they are using to address inequities, and identifies other approaches that communities might use to achieve equitable outcomes and reduce disparities across different demographic groups.
- Strategies for Increasing Female Participation in Technology-Based CTE Courses – Tate, The CTE Journal, 2017
This paper details the history of female participation in STEM-related CTE courses and describes strategies in guidance, recruiting and instructional practices to increase female participation in STEM CTE courses.
- Overcoming Barriers: Supporting Nontraditional, Underserved and Special Populations – Minnesota Foundation for Student Organizations, 2014
This publication describes a competitive grant process to address discrepancies in access to and participation in career and technical student organizations.
- Nontraditional Career Preparation: Root Causes & Strategies – National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity, 2009
This literature review includes research theories, evidence, recommendations and strategies for recruiting and retaining more students into careers nontraditional for their gender.
Toolkits, Guides and Frameworks
- Professional Social Capital: A Key to Black Economic Advancement – JFF Center for Racial Economic Equity, June 2023
This framework provides a set of recommendations for postsecondary institutions and employers to support Black learners and workers to build professional social capital.
- Normalizing Opportunity: A Policy Agenda to Promote Economic Advancement for People With Criminal Records – Murphy, Mandato & Altstadt, JFF, April 2023
This framework is intended to address barriers to education and economic advancement, with a focus on skills training and career navigation, for the more than 70 million people in the United States with criminal records.
- With Learners, Not for Learners: A Toolkit for Elevating Learner Voice in CTE – Advance CTE & ACTE, August 2021
This toolkit provides state and local CTE leaders with actionable resources, guidance and tools to ensure CTE learner voices are elevated and heard for the improvement of CTE policies and practices. It includes rubrics, worksheets and sample focus group questions.
- Brave Dialogues: A Guide to Discussing Racial Equity in Career Technical Education – Advance CTE, August 2021
This tool helps CTE leaders engage stakeholders in discussions around racial equity in CTE. It includes a participant and a facilitator version.
- Nontraditional Occupation (NTO) Programs: Scale of Adoption Assessment – Wisconsin Technical College System, June 2021
This tool helps users assess the adoption of best practices for increasing CTE program enrollment and retention of learners who are nontraditional for their gender. A related publication provides strategies for increasing nontraditional enrollment and retention.
- Nontraditional Crosswalk – U.S. Department of Education, 2020
The Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education prepared this technical assistance tool as one option to help states and local recipients identify CTE programs and programs of study that prepare individuals for fields nontraditional for their gender. The files include an introduction, revisions and a revised final version in Excel.
- High-quality CTE: Planning for a COVID-19-impacted School Year– ACTE, June 2020
The guide was designed to help CTE leaders make difficult decisions as they offer remote, blended and socially distanced learning during COVID-19. Access and equity considerations are included throughout.
- Equity in Youth Apprenticeship Programs Toolkit – National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity, May 2020
This toolkit addresses how to identify and address barriers to access and success for individuals from underrepresented groups in apprenticeships, including women, people of color, people with disabilities, English learners and others.
- Broadening the Path: Design Principles for Middle Grades CTE – Advance CTE & ACTE, March 2020
This resource from Advance CTE and ACTE can support state and local leaders as they develop or strengthen middle grades CTE policies, programs and practices to broaden access to CTE for all learners.
- UDL Guidelines version 2.2 – CAST, 2018
The UDL Guidelines are a tool for implementing Universal Design for Learning, a framework to improve and optimize teaching and learning for all people based on scientific insights into how humans learn. These guidelines can be applied to any discipline or domain to ensure that all learners can access and participate in meaningful, challenging learning opportunities.
- Integrating Employability Skills With Classroom Instruction to Support English Learners – College & Career Readiness & Success Center, November 2016
These tools introduce participants to the Center’s Employability Skills Framework, explains why these skills are important for English learners and discusses how to differentiate instruction of employability skills for English learners.
- STEM Equity Program Evaluation Rubric – National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity
This rubric assesses the degree to which a STEM program is inclusive and supports access and success for students who historically have not engaged in STEM.
- Ensuring Equity in Problem-Based Learning Toolkit ($) – National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity, 2017
This publication provides strategies that educators can use to make their problem-based learning practices more equitable. It incorporates detailed professional learning community guides and a reflection tool to support evaluation.
- Teaching English Language Learners in CTE Programs ($)- Hernández-Gantes and Blank, 2009
This book advises how to teach English learners in today’s CTE programs. The authors’ teaching framework and case studies draw from common settings in which career and technical educators find themselves working with English learners—in the classroom, in the laboratory or workshop, and in work-based learning settings.
- Inclusion, Access, Equity and Diversity series – ACTE
ACTE’s ongoing webinar series features a number of presentations on IAED topics of interest in CTE, including culturally responsive teaching, confronting -isms in the classroom, services to individuals who are justice-involved or incarcerated, closing the gender gap in STEM, making CTE classrooms more inclusive for LGBTQ+ students, equity in remote learning, elevating learner voice and more.
- Emerging Multilingual Students – ACTE, September 2022
In this webinar, Tara Nattrass, an Education Strategist at Dell, leads a discussion about strategies that CTE educators can employ to ensure that multilingual students are successful in CTE pathways.
- College and Career Supports for Students with Disabilities – American School Counselor Association, July 2022
This webinar reviews findings from the National Longitudinal Transition Study of 2012 to examine disparities in college- and career-readiness supports and outcomes for students with disabilities after high school. Additionally, the webinar reviews how school counseling programs can be more inclusive of students with disabilities.
- Elevating Community Voices to Increase CTE Program Enrollment – Advance CTE, July 2022
This webinar reviews best practices from Maryland and New Hampshire on how to sustain long-term engagement with both learners and employers to increase CTE program enrollment.
- Global Competence as a Lens to Create Inclusive Learning Environments – ACTE, June 2022
In this webinar, Heather Singmaster, Director of CTE at the Center for Global Education at Asia Society, shares a framework for global employability skills that can be integrated into CTE programs to create a more inclusive learning environment.
- Designing CTE Recruitment Practices to Reach Each Learner – Advance CTE, May 2022
This webinar reviews how secondary CTE programs can implement equitable recruitment practices to increase access, enrollment and completion for historically marginalized learners, with examples from Alaska and Minnesota.
- CTE for Students With Disabilities series – ACTE, Penn State University’s Workforce Education program & National Technical Assistance Center on Transition, 2019-2020
This five-part webinar series takes a deep dive into programs, practices and partnerships among CTE and special education practitioners that support students with disabilities in CTE.
- CTE Forward: How to Attract and Recruit Diverse Students at the Postsecondary Level: Lessons from the Aspen Institute – Advance CTE, July 2020
This webinar explores education- and career-related motivations and barriers identified by unemployed youth and adults and shares strategies to improve recruitment and enrollment of diverse learners in postsecondary CTE programs.
In this webinar, a panel of experts discusses access and equity in remote, blended and socially distanced learning.
- Ensuring Equity in a Remote Learning World – ACTE, June 2020
As educators have transitioned to distance learning, new issues have emerged and others have been exacerbated related to the equitable delivery of instruction. Hear from panelists about the challenges and solutions for providing hands-on learning. This webinar is hosted by ACTE’s Health Science Education Division but it is relevant to all CTE educators.
- CTE Forward: What Learners Most Need During the COVID-19 Pandemic – Advance CTE, May 2020
This webinar outlines practices that state CTE leaders can adopt to close equity gaps during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Coordinating Services across CTE, VR, and Special Education – National Technical Assistance Center on Transition, May 2020
This webinar helps state interdisciplinary teams examine their levels of coordination across department and agency partners for implementing high-quality transition programs, delivering Pre-Employment Transition Services, and ensuring students with disabilities can access and succeed in CTE.
- Student Access and Equity During a Time of Uncertainty – ACTE, CTE Equity Council & Penn State University, April 2020
This live event features a panel of experts focused on how to support access and equity during COVID-19.
- Pursuit of Equity series – College & Career Readiness & Success Center, 2018-2019
This webinar series explores state and local strategies and leverage points for ensuring equitable access to career readiness opportunities for students with disabilities.
- Ready for the Future: Career Preparation in Rural Communities – Regional Educational Laboratory Midwest & Twin Cities Public Television, 2018
This documentary explores two evidence-based career readiness programs in rural Minnesota, emphasizing best practices and factors that contribute to student success.
- Supporting Diverse Students for Instructors series ($) - CTE Learn
This series of courses explores how CTE instructors can support learners, including those with post-traumatic stress disorder, autism and disabilities as well as English learners, multigenerational learners, veterans and learners from other cultural backgrounds.
- Supporting Diverse Students for Career Support Staff series ($) - CTE Learn
This series of courses describes the unique challenges faced by students from a variety of different backgrounds and how to empower them through career services.
- Assistive Technologies for the Online Learner ($) - CTE Learn
This course addresses assistive technology and its use in online learning, including how federal law governs assistive technologies and how to help students with disabilities to succeed in the online learning environment.
- Adult Learning Theories ($) - CTE Learn
This course describes theories of adult development and learning, the characteristics and motivations of adult learners, and best practices and techniques for teaching adult learners.
- Perkins Data Explorer – U.S. Department of Education
The Perkins Data Explorer lets you create custom reports using Consolidated Annual Report state data for CTE participant enrollment, CTE concentrator enrollment and CTE concentrator performance data, disaggregated for different learner groups and special populations and by Career Clusters.
- CTE Statistics – National Center for Education Statistics
This online hub includes a number of tables on topics related to secondary and postsecondary CTE and career development, including tables disaggregated for different learner groups and special populations.
- Unpacking Program Enrollments and Completions With Equity in Mind – Community College Research Center
This data tool and a companion guide help users engage in equity gap analysis in postsecondary enrollment and outcomes.