Tech Prep Implementation and Preliminary Student Outcomes for Eight Local Tech Prep Consortia

Publication May 2001

In January 1998, a research study on Tech Prep implementation and student outcomes was undertaken. A panel of national experts identified six consortia as mature implementers of Tech Prep, and these consortia became the initial sites for the national study. Two additional consortia were selected near the end of 1998, with site visits and additional data collection conducted in 1999. Overall, the study examined a range of Tech Prep models and approaches in urban, suburban, and rural locations in the United States. The overarching purpose of the study was to describe in some depth and detail the evolving nature of eight local Tech Prep systems, to compare the post-high school education and economic outcomes of Tech Prep and non-Tech Prep participants, and to enhance understanding of how students transition from high school to college and work.
In order to describe students’ Tech Prep experiences and related outcomes, the research team employed a mixed-method design, including repeated field visits, a follow- up survey of Tech Prep and non-Tech Prep participants, and an analysis of secondary and postsecondary transcripts for students in both groups. Over more than a two-year period, over 300 interviews with teachers, counselors, parents, and employers took place at approximately 60 high schools and 10 community and four-year colleges; and over 150 interviews were conducted with students at both the secondary and postsecondary levels. Approximately 4,700 students were selected for the student follow-up study across all eight consortia, with roughly equivalent numbers of Tech Prep and non-Tech Prep participants in each. The students in the sample graduated from high school between 1995 and 1998. Most consortia provided data on their 1996 and 1997 cohorts, fewer on the 1995 cohort, and only one site (the last site added to the study) on a 1998 cohort. The response rate for the follow-up survey was approximately 50% overall. In addition, high school transcripts were acquired for over 90% of the entire sample, and nearly 2,000 transcripts were obtained for students in the sample who matriculated to the main community college in the consortium, constituting about 40% of the entire sample.

Bragg, D. D., Dare, D. E., Ovaice, G., Zamani, E. M., Layton, J. D., & Dornsife, et al. (2001, May). Tech prep implementation and preliminary student outcomes for eight local tech prep consortia. St. Paul, MN: National Research Center for Career and Technical Education, University of Minnesota.

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