In recent years Career & Technical Education (CTE) has emerged as a pathway for high school students to pursue in-demand careers and/or postsecondary education. While the interest in CTE has been strengthening across the nation, few studies have adopted a broad and in-depth approach to examining the impact of CTE. The current study – a joint effort of the University of Chicago, Chapin Hall, and Northwestern University researchers – aims to do a comprehensive examination of CTE as implemented by Chicago Public Schools (CPS), which has been committed to reforming CTE and encouraging innovative CTE models. Using a mixed methods design, the study will examine high school, postsecondary, and employment outcomes of CTE students. The qualitative approach - utilizing perspectives of students, teachers, and administrators - will allow for the in-depth analysis of CTE implementation and impact on the development of skills sought by employers. The quantitative approach – utilizing multiple sources of administrative data and propensity score methods for a large sample of CPS students –will compliment and expand qualitative findings by analyzing short and long term educational and employment outcomes. In addition to increasing the general knowledge about CTE and its impact, the study aims to generate information that will be immediately useful to CPS in its efforts to improve CTE and to other school districts across the nation that are investing or considering an investment in CTE.
University of Chicago, Harris School
Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago