Programs of Study: Year 2 Joint Technical Report

Programs of Study: Year 2 Joint Technical Report

Jan 2010

Authors:

Programs of Study Joint Technical Working Group

Executive Summary:

This is a progress report on three studies being conducted by the National Research Center for Career and Technical Education (NRCCTE) that examine the implementation and outcomes of Programs of Study (POS), which were required in the 2006 reauthorization of the federal legislation for career and technical education (CTE). The Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Improvement Act of 2006 (otherwise known as Perkins IV) states that recipients of federal funds must offer at least one POS that includes coherent and rigorous content aligned with challenging academic standards and relevant career and technical content. This content must be delivered in a coordinated, nonduplicative progression of courses that align secondary education with postsecondary education and lead to an industry-recognized credential or certificate at the postsecondary level or an associate or baccalaureate degree. In addition, POS may include the opportunity for secondary students to participate in dual or concurrent enrollment programs or other ways to acquire postsecondary education credits.

In this joint report, we summarize the literature on previous initiatives that share many similarities with the components of POS, specifically Tech Prep, career pathways, and dual/concurrent enrollment. Most of the evidence on these predecessors of POS is mixed. Tech Prep was designed to directly link secondary and postsecondary education, but studies have not found that its participants are more likely to continue their education or earn postsecondary credentials. Career pathways are associated with higher grade point averages (GPAs) and less need for remediation at the postsecondary level, and dual enrollment gives its participants an advantage in total credits earned. As with Tech Prep, however, postsecondary degree attainment is low for both career pathway and dual enrollment participants.

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Programs of Study Joint Technical Working Group. (2010, January). Programs of study: Year 2 joint technical report. Louisville, KY: National Research Center for Career and Technical Education, University of Louisville.