Programs of Study as a State Policy Mandate: A Longitudinal Study of the South Carolina Personal Pathways to Success Initiative: Year 3 Technical Report

Programs of Study as a State Policy Mandate: A Longitudinal Study of the South Carolina Personal Pathways to Success Initiative: Year 3 Technical Report

Aug 2011

Authors:

Cathy Hammond
Sam Drew
Cairen Withington
National Dropout Prevention Center
Catherine Mobley
Julia L. Sharp
Clemson University

Samuel C. Stringfield
Natalie Stipanovic
University of Louisville

Executive Summary:

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.

South Carolina Policy Framework

South Carolina’s Personal Pathways to Success Initiative, authorized under the state’s Education and Economic Development Act (EEDA) in 2005, is a state-mandated school reform model designed to improve student achievement and better prepare students for postsecondary education and high-skill, high-wage jobs. EEDA was designed to achieve these results through a focus on career awareness and exploration at all school levels and through the creation of locally relevant career pathways and programs of study for all students.

EEDA preceded Perkins IV, but it required South Carolina schools to implement reforms that incorporate nearly all of the core and supporting components needed for the successful development of a Perkins IV-funded POS, as well as additional elements that could support and sustain the implementation of POS. For example, EEDA components include the organization of high school curricula around at least three career clusters per school, an enhanced role for school counselors, and extra assistance for high-risk students. Further, the law mandates evidence-based high school reform, regional education centers charged with facilitating business-education partnerships, and greater articulation between secondary and postsecondary education.

More

Hammond, C., Drew, S., Withington, C., Mobley, C., Sharp, J., Stringfield, S., & Stipanovic, N. (2011, August). Programs of study as a state policy mandate: A longitudinal study of the South Carolina Personal Pathways to Success initiative: Year 3 technical report. Louisville, KY: National Research Center for Career and Technical Education, University of Louisville.