Research and Reports
- Noncredit Workforce Training at Community Colleges: Participant Composition and Academic Success – Xu, Solanki, Bird, Cooper & Castleman, UCLA Postsecondary Education Research & Implementation Institute, April 2023
This policy brief presents initial findings from a comprehensive study being undertaken to examine noncredit CTE programs offered within the Virginia Community College System. This brief looks at program participants, credential attainment rates and likelihood of pursing credit-bearing education.
- How Attaining Industry-Recognized Credentials in High School Shapes Education and Employment Outcomes – Giani, The Thomas B. Fordham Institute, August 2022
This study examines the impact of industry-recognized credentials on Texas high school students’ employment and postsecondary outcomes. The findings shares differences in outcomes by industry-recognized credential field of study as well as attainment trends over time.
- The Rise Of Alternative Credentials In Hiring – Society for Human Resource Management, April 2022
This report describes employers’ views of alternative credentials during the hiring process including their value, how often they are recognized and barriers to acceptance.
- Quality Assurance Guidelines for National Industry Certification Bodies – Coalition for Career Development Center, 2021
These guidelines, produced by an industry-led committee, are intended to help students, counselors, educators, parents and employers use certifications that are truly valuable to students and industry nationwide.
- Effect of Passing a CTE Technical Assessment on College Enrollment – Kreisman, Figge & Villero, Georgia Policy Labs, October 2021
This research analyzes the relationship between passing a CTE technical assessment and college enrollment.
- Spotlight on Skills: Badging Usage in Higher Education – Rodenfels, UNC-Chapel Hill Digital and Lifelong Learning, October 2021
This report discusses the current landscape of digital badges such as their key characteristics, current market trends, institutional leaders and common program areas that provide badging.
- The Influence of Earning an Industry Certification in High School on Going to College: The Florida CAPE Act – Glennie, Ottem & Lauff, Journal of CTE, July 2021
Using data from the Florida Department of Education, the researchers compared college enrollment and degree attainment for certification earners to non-earners. Relative to non-earners, certification earners had higher rates of immediate enrollment at two-year colleges and higher rates of earning an associate degree.
- Counting U.S. Postsecondary and Secondary Credentials – Credential Engine, February 2021
This report discusses 16 types of credentials and assesses the number of different credentials that exist in the United States as well as the providers that offer them.
- Virginia High School Graduates’ Career and Technical Education Credentials: Top Credentials Over Time and Across Student Groups – Harris, Jonas & Schmidt, Regional Educational Laboratory Appalachia, January 2021
Starting in 2017, the Virginia Department of Education began requiring students graduating with the Standard diploma to earn a CTE credential. This study from REL Appalachia examined the CTE credentials Virginia high school graduates most commonly earned from 2011 through 2017.
- Understanding Certifications – Good et. al, Corporation for a Skilled Workforce, George Washington Institute for Public Policy & Workcred, December 2020
This report helps readers understand certifications by providing definitions and describing how they differentiate between other credentials, their purpose, value, quality assurance guidelines, certification bodies and more.
- Identifying High Quality Industry Certifications – Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations, September 2020
This brief reviews existing evidence on industry certifications and offers guidance for states and other entities on identifying high-quality industry certifications.
- Training and Employment Notice: Understanding Postsecondary Credentials in the Public Workforce System – U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration, June 2020
This notice published by the Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration describes defining key characteristics of credentials such as industry-recognized, stackable, portable and accredited as well as discusses different types of credit for prior learning options.
- Privacy Considerations in Online/Remote Proctoring – Association of Test Publishers, April 2020
This bulletin contains a discussion of the privacy considerations surrounding the use of online/remote proctoring and how a testing organization controller should evaluate its needs in the selection of vendors.
- The Playbook: 30 Solutions to Promote Faster Credentials – Berkowitz, Third Way, July 2019
This publication reflects upon six challenges that individuals face in pursuing postsecondary credentials, such as few stacking and articulation opportunities, and offers approximately 30 state and federal policy solutions to address these hurdles.
- Measuring Secondary CTE Program Quality series – Advance CTE, July 2019
This series explores the pros and cons of each of the three options for the Perkins V secondary program quality indicator, including credential attainment, and examines different ways states are measuring and validating them.
- Revising Online Assignments and the Impact on Student Performance at a Community College ($) – Tila & Levy, Community College Journal of Research and Practice, January 2019
Using grades on multiple-choice homework assignments, quizzes and a final exam as performance measures, the authors tested hypotheses concerning the performance improvement of students at Kingsborough Community College who were allowed to revise and resubmit homework.
- KCTCS Enhancing Programs for IT Certification (EPIC) – Hughes, Belfield, Ran& Jenkins, Community College Research Center, September 2018
This publication describes researchers’ qualitative analysis of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System EPIC initiative, an online, competency-based curriculum that expands access to computer and medical information technology credentialing programs, and evaluates the program’s implementation and outcomes.
- Measuring Non-Degree Credential Attainment: A 50-State Scan – Leventoff, National Skills Coalition, May 2018
The Workforce Data Quality Campaign surveyed all 50 states and the District of Columbia to learn the extent to which states are collecting individual-level data about non-degree credentials, incorporating that data into their longitudinal data systems, evaluating attainment by subpopulation and identifying credentials of value.
- Accommodations in Digital Interactive STEM Assessment Tasks: Current Accommodations and Promising Practices for Enhancing Accessibility for Students With Disabilities ($) – Scalise, Irvin & Alresheed, Journal of Special Education Technology, February 2018
This journal article describes research findings on assessment accommodations and universal design within the context of emerging interactive digital assessment tasks that employ simulations in STEM subject areas.
- Connecting Industry-recognized Certification Data to Education and Workforce Outcomes: Measuring the Value Added to Skills, Employment and Wages – ACTE, 2017
This report shares results from ACTE’s Certification Data Exchange Project, which sought to expand and improve data exchange between industry certification organizations and state longitudinal data systems, and discusses lessons learned and recommendations for future data-sharing and -matching efforts.
- Alternative Credentials: Prior Learning 2.0 – Buban, Online Learning Consortium Research Center for Digital Learning and Leadership, March 2017
Colleges are helping students who possess alternative credentials, such as MOOCs and badges, apply these experiences to a degree through prior learning assessment and other methods. This publication includes a number of case studies.
- Employability Skills Assessment: Measuring Work Ethic for Research and Learning ($) – Park & Hill, Career and Technical Education Research, December 2016
The Employability Skills Assessment was developed to provide an alternative measure of work ethic needed for success in employment. This study tested goodness-of-fit for a model used to interpret assessment results.
- Simulation-based Assessments in Health Professional Education: A Systematic Review – Ryall, Judd & Gordon, Journal of Multidisciplinary Healthcare, February 2016
This review of research on simulation-based assessment in health education finds that simulation-based assessment is best when multiple simulations are used and when simulation is used in combination with other assessment types.
- Assessment Practices of Instructors in Community College ($) – Boarer Pitchford, Community College Journal of Research and Practice, May 2014
This research examined the incidence and nature of various assessment practices used by community college faculty for basing the course grade. In addition, the study examined the percentage of course grades based on traditional and authentic assessment and factors that may influence the use of assessment techniques.
- Career Readiness Assessments Across States: A Summary of Survey Findings – McMurrer, Frizzell & McIntosh, College & Career Readiness & Success Center, 2013
This report describes the key findings of a national survey of state approaches to college and career readiness.
- College and Career Ready? Perceptions of High School Students Related to WorkKeys Assessments ($) – Schultz & Stern, Career and Technical Education Research, January 2013
A study was conducted in one urban Alaska high school regarding juniors’ perceptions of college and career readiness related to WorkKeys scores. Findings indicated a gap between student perceptions of college and career readiness and college-ready WorkKeys scores.
- The Effect of Capstone Cooperative Education Experiences, and Related Factors, On Career and Technical Education Secondary Student Summative Assessment Scores ($) – Richard, Walter & Yoder, Career and Technical Education Research, January 2013
This baseline study of secondary CTE students in Pennsylvania indicated that students who participated in capstone cooperative education experiences scored significantly higher on summative assessments, as measured by NOCTI scores, than those students who did not participate.
- Quality Performance Assessment: Harnessing the Power of Teacher and Student Learning – Brown & Mevs, Nellie Mae Education Foundation, Center for Collaborative Education & QPA, February 2012
Faculty can take specific actions to develop a strong local assessment system, with performance assessment as its cornerstone. The publication includes stories from the field.
- Test Item Construction and Validation: Developing a Statewide Assessment for Agricultural Science Education ($) – Rivera, Career and Technical Education Research, January 2011
The State of New York Agriculture Science Education secondary program is required to have a certification exam for students to assess their agriculture science education experience as a Regent’s requirement towards graduation. This paper focuses on the procedure used to develop and validate two content sub-test questions within a Criterion-Reference Test framework.
- Measuring Technical and Academic Achievement: Employer/Certification Examinations’ Role in High School Assessment – Southern Regional Education Board, 2009
SREB reviewed and evaluated more than 200 employer certification examinations. The full report contains a brief description of and observations about the nature of these examinations.
Toolkits, Guides and Frameworks
- 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. It is organized around the elements of ACTE’s Quality CTE Program of Study Framework, including guidance related to student assessment.
- Expanding Opportunities: Defining Quality Non-Degree Credentials for States – Duke-Benfield, Wilson, Kaleba & Leventoff, National Skills Coalition, September 2019
This framework proposes a consensus definition of quality non-degree credentials and criteria developed in consultation with 12 leading states and national organizations that states can adopt for their own quality assurance systems.
- Non-Degree Credential Quality: A Conceptual Framework to Guide Measurement – Van Noy, McKay & Michael, Rutgers, July 2019
This paper from the Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations outlines a broad framework to guide the development of standards and processes to evaluate quality of non-degree credentials.
- Developing a Performance Assessment System from the Ground Up: Lessons Learned from Three Linked Learning Pathways – Jaquith, Martin & Johnston, Stanford University, February 2014
This guide provides a set of strategies, tools and questions for taking action to develop or strengthen a performance assessment system in the context of Linked Learning pathways.
- NOCTI Blueprints – NOCTI
A valuable preparation tool, NOCTI Blueprints contain competency lists, percentage breakdowns, sample questions and skill-based job examples. Teachers and students use Blueprints to identify the skills and knowledge needed in a particular career path and to focus study on areas needing improvement.
- Credentials: Understand the problems. Identify the opportunities. Create the solutions. ($) – Gaston & Van Noy, 2022
This book defines different credential types, describes the proliferation in credentials and unpacks the implications of this abundance. It concludes with 12 propositions for action.
- Putting Your Data to Work: Improving Instruction in CTE ($) – Foster, Hodes & Pritz, 2014
This book explores multiple aspects of data-driven improvement in instruction, and specifically targets the importance of gradient disaggregated objective technical skill data and its systematic use to continually improve instruction. The concepts and specific ‘how-to’ examples in this book are valuable for secondary, postsecondary and adult educators.
- Managing a NOCTI Credential Program – NOCTI, June 2022
This webinar discusses how to manage a NOCTI credential program, including practitioner responsibilities, accessibility, interpreting score reports and proper assessment administration.
- Job and Life Skills Credentials for ALL Students – NOCTI, January 2022
This webinar provides an overview of credentials, including what a credential is, developing a quality credential, how a credential meets industry standards, how credentials are awarded and how to incorporate credentials into CTE programs.
- High-quality CTE: Planning for a COVID-19-impacted School Year: Student Assessment – ACTE, June 2020
In this webinar, a panel of experts discusses the role of student assessment in remote, blended and socially distanced learning.
- Quality and the CTE Administrator – NOCTI, June 2020
This webinar reviews five quality programming components that CTE administrators can use as a benchmark for assuring quality CTE is being delivered in their schools.
- Student Assessment and Credentialing During a Pandemic – NOCTI & ACTE, June 2020
Featuring panelists from Wisconsin, Utah and Colorado, this webinar focuses on how CTE practitioners can offer CTE credentialing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Translating Life Experiences to College Credit – NOCTI, November 2019
This webinar provides an overview of prior learning assessments and the variety of ways individuals, particularly adults, active military and military veterans, can obtain credit toward a degree program.
- High-Quality CTE Programs of Study — Student Assessment – ACTE, October 2019
Join Candice Mott, CTE performance accountability coordinator from the DC Office of the State Superintendent of Education, as she discusses student assessment.
- Evaluating the Quality of Technical Credentials – NOCTI, September 2019
This webinar discusses how to determine whether the assessment that a credential is based on is high quality, including examples using student assessment data from CTE programs.
- Micro-Credentials and Digital Badges – NOCTI, April 2019
This webinar discusses how to incorporate micro-credentials to recognize technical competence through projects, programs, courses, assessments and digital badges.
- Pre-Testing Data at Work – NOCTI, November 2017
This webinar discusses how educators can utilize pre-test reports to gain a better understanding of student performance and improve student growth and achievement.
- Creating More Nimble and Flexible Approaches to Assuring Assessment and Credential Quality – Lumina Foundation, January 2016
This webinar discusses competency assessment as an essential element of competency-based education models. Presenters include Dave Wilcox, Global Skills X-change; Jane M. Weissman, Interstate Renewable Energy Council; Dr. Deborah Everhart, American Council on Education; and Walt Jimenez, Professional Examination Service.
- Assessment Alternatives for Instructors ($) – CTE Learn
This course focuses on how you, the instructor, can identify and implement alternative assessments that support expected course outcomes and allow students to demonstrate their level of competency for a skill or task.
- Effective Assessments for Bodywork Instructors ($) – CTE Learn
This course discusses how to develop learning outcomes and assessments to measure student success in bodywork programs, with evaluation tools and rubrics as well as national standards in the field.
- Evaluating Student Learning in Online Courses ($) – CTE Learn
This course reviews how to effectively evaluate student learning in an online environment. The course touches on the use of technology tools, how to complete formative and summative assessments, advantages and disadvantages of objective and subjective assessments, as well as how value-added assessments can be used for course revision.
- Online Learning Assessment series ($) – CTE Learn
This series of courses addresses online instruction and assessment, including using rubrics to enhance online learning and crafting effective assessment opportunities in an online course.
- Teaching in the Lab and Shop Environment ($) – CTE Learn
This course covers the instructional techniques necessary for the non-traditional classroom, including strategies for assessing student progress.
- Student Learning and Assessment ($) – CTE Learn
This course examines several aspects of assessment including how to create good tests, how to ask effective questions and how to get your students to actively participate in their learning by asking questions themselves.