- Understanding Participation in Secondary Career and Technical Education in the 21st Century: Implications for Policy and Practice
- The High School Journal
- The University of North Carolina Press
- Volume 97, Number 3, Spring 2014
- pp. 128-158
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- Additional Information
We examine participation in Career and Technical Education (CTE) using a typology that better reflects the CTE credit-taking experience of all public high school students, and it is based on the several changes in academic requirements that all students need to meet in order to graduate, including those considered CTE students. We argue that the more traditional approach of classifying students as either academic or vocational concentrators does not reflect the current requirements. We propose this typology using restricted data from the Education Longitudinal Study of 2002. Our analyses show that the typology provides a more effective means of understanding the credit-taking experience of high school students than analyses based on dichotomous, CTE versus academic classifications. About 17% of all high school students complete high-intensity CTE in addition to their academic requirements. Although CTE has historically targeted low-income and special populations, our study reveals high levels of participation among higher income students and those with parents with higher levels of educational achievement. Positive results were also found for academic outcomes, such as a high rate of high-intensity CTE participation among students who were also enrolled in advanced mathematics and, to a lesser extent, in advanced science classes.