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

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

Jun 2013

This is the final technical report from the NRCCTE's five-year longitudinal study of South Carolina's Personal Pathway to Success initiative, which was authorized by the state's Education and Economic Development Act (EEDA) in 2005. NRCCTE-affiliated researchers at the National Dropout Prevention Center at Clemson University investigated the extent to which EEDA facilitated the creation of programs of study/career pathways and whether these programs led to improved student high school and postgraduation preparation and planning. The study followed two student cohorts from a sample of eight high schools from economically and culturally diverse regions of the state.

Overall, researchers found that EEDA was having some positive impacts, including increasing career-focused activities at all schools and enhancing roles for guidance personnel. Surprisingly, schools with more challenging economic situations were more likely to embrace and fully implement programs of study/career pathways than schools with more resources. Researchers found mixed or contradictory results on associations between the development of programs of study/career pathways and student outcomes.  

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Hammond, C. Drew, S. F., Withington, C., Griffith, C., Swiger, C. M., Mobley, C., Sharp, J. L., Stringfield, S. C., Stipanovic, N., & Daugherty, L. (2013). Programs of study as a state policy mandate: A longitudinal study of the South Carolina personal pathways to success initiative. Final technical report: Major findings and implications. Louisville, KY: National Research Center for Career and Technical Education, University of Louisville.