Do Career and Technical Education Programs of Study Improve Student Achievement? Preliminary Analyses from a Rigorous Longitudinal Study

Publication Marisa Castellano, Kirsten Sundell, Laura T. Overman, and Oscar A. AliagaApril 2012

This longitudinal study examines the impact of programs of study on high school academic and technical achievement. Two districts are participating in experimental and quasi-experimental strands of the study. This article describes the sample selection, baseline characteristics, study design, career and technical education and academic achievement results of 9th and 10th graders, and qualitative findings from site visits. Few differences existed across groups in 9th grade, but by the end of 10th grade, students’ test scores, academic grade point averages, and progress to graduation tended to be better for the students in programs of study (i.e., treatment students) than for control/comparison students. Qualitative results suggest that treatment schools have created school cultures around programs of study that appear to explain improved engagement and achievement.

Castellano, M., Sundell, K., Overman, L. T., & Aliaga, O. A. (2012). Do career and technical education programs of study improve student achievement? Preliminary analyses from a rigorous longitudinal study. International Journal of Educational Reform, 21, 98-118.

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