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Does Career and Technical Education in High School Increase the Odds of College Enrollment?

Author:

Tyler Ames

Abstract

The legacy of career and technical education (CTE) in years past, stretching into the vocational education era, was lower college enrollment after participating in CTE. More recently, others have concluded that college enrollment is not affected but that CTE students enroll more frequently in 2-year degrees over 4-year degrees. I revisit the question with more recent data than has been used by other researchers. I adjust my estimates by the level of academic preparation that students have undergone in high school, known as curricular intensity. I use transcripts from the High School Longitudinal Study of 2009 (HSLS:09) to determine participation in meaningful CTE course sequences, known as programs of study, and then follow the students via the HSLS:09 survey administered in the fall after high school. I find that participation in CTE has no association with a student’s probability of enrolling in college. Further, participating in CTE has no association with a student’s decision to enroll in a two-year or four-year program, after adjusting for curricular intensity. These results are exciting because they allow for the general recommendation of CTE to any interested student, without fear of adverse effects on later educational attainment and the no-harm finding opens the door to many new CTE policy conversations.
How to Cite: Ames, T., 2022. Does Career and Technical Education in High School Increase the Odds of College Enrollment?. Journal of Career and Technical Education, 36(1), p.None. DOI: http://doi.org/10.21061/jtce.v35i1.a4
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Published on 15 Apr 2022.
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