Career-Based Comprehensive School Reform: Serving Disadvantaged Youth in Minority Communities

Publication October 2007

High school engagement and achievement were measured using attendance, dropout, course-taking, and graduation data. High school transition was measured using responses to a senior survey, participation in Tech Prep and dual credit opportunities, and achievement data for the graduates who attended their local community college. All measures were compared to the comparison school students.

The outcomes were mixed. None of the three schools achieved consistent gains over their respective comparison group on measures of academic achievement. However, one finding held true across all six high schools: The odds of dropping out declined as the proportion of the high school experience invested in CTE courses increased. In terms of transition to postsecondary, more students reported having a post-high school plan than their comparison school counterparts at two of the three study schools. Many students at the study schools aligned their next step with their high school course of study. Finally, most of the students who attended their local community college needed to take remedial coursework. The implications of these findings are discussed.

Castellano, M., Stone, J. R. III., Stringfield, S. C., Farley-Ripple, E. N., Overman, L. T. & Hussain, R. (2007, October). Career-based comprehensive school reform: Serving disadvantaged youth in minority communities. St. Paul, MN: National Research Center for Career and Technical Education, University of Minnesota.

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