Research Reports


The NRCCTE’s research focuses on issues of urgency to both the field of CTE and the nation’s higher education system, recovering economy, and evolving labor market, addressing such topics as programs of study (POS)/career pathways, curriculum integration of CTE and academic research knowledge and skills, postsecondary student retention and completion, and professional development for educators in the areas of data use for program improvement and support for alternatively certified CTE educators.

Research Reports

An evaluation of the NRCCTE’s technical assistance (TA) conducted by The Evaluation Center at Western Michigan University found that participating states appreciated the TA because it increased cohesion without disregarding the uniqueness of individual states. States gained from the TA in important ways: (1) the number of stakeholders included in the process was larger, more diverse, and more cohesive than could have been assembled without the NRCCTE's assistance; (2) efforts were more focused and goal-oriented; (3) the development process was substantially more efficient; and (4) the process yielded an increased understanding of and compliance with OVAE's model for POS.

This project was designed to examine selected programs and sites from each of the Center's three field-based, longitudinal studies of POS that had the most mature, well-established programs relative to other study sites as a means of identifying common elements or attributes that led to the successful implementation of POS. A team of researchers conducted visits to three sites over the course of the 2010-2011 school year. During these visits, the study team reviewed each site's strengths, identified the contributing factors to their development of POS, and examined their implementation of the 10 supporting elements of POS identified by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Vocational and Adult Education.

This joint report co-authored by the NRCCTE in conjunction with the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce and NASDCTEc identifies 16 career clusters that represent the full array of related occupational opportunities and education requirements. Learn more.

This interim report presents selected preliminary findings from data collection and analysis conducted during the third year of a larger five-year study of South Carolina’s Personal Pathways to Success Initiative by the National Dropout Prevention Center at Clemson University, in conjunction with colleagues from the National Research Center for Career and Technical Education (NRCCTE) at the University of Louisville. This project is one of three NRCCTE studies that are intended to increase knowledge about Perkins IV-defined Programs of Study (POS) and their development, how best to organize a POS to meet the needs of students, parents, schools, and the community, and the impact of POS on student outcomes.

The NRCCTE operates under a cooperative agreement between the University of Louisville and the Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE) at the U.S. Department of Education. This is the annual report for the fourth year of this agreement, the period August 1, 2010 to July 31, 2011. Our program of work during Year 4 of the NRCCTE included research, dissemination, professional development, and technical assistance. A main focus of our research has been on programs of study (POS), which were mandated by the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Improvement Act of 2006 (P.L. 109-270, Perkins IV). In Year 4, we conducted projects that examined POS from four perspectives. We also conducted research on methods to improve the literacy skills of CTE students; enhancement of science instruction in agricultural and health science courses; and interventions to promote student success in community colleges.