Panel Paper: Measuring Program Characteristics, Experiences and Quality in New York City’s Career and Technical Education System

Thursday, November 8, 2018
8212 - Lobby Level (Marriott Wardman Park)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Shaun Dougherty1, James J. Kemple2, John R. Sludden2 and Samuel Kamin1, (1)University of Connecticut, (2)New York University

Our conceptual framework for measuring CTE program elements and quality begins with the core tenets of CTE in NYC. The NYC DOE developed these tenets, in large part, as a direct response to growing national consensus about the core principles underlying high-quality CTE experiences and the U.S. Department of Education’s “blueprint for the transformation of CTE” (U.S. Department of Education, 2012; Stone, 2014). NYC DOE relies on the following principles to drive CTE programming design and implementation:

  • Preparing students for college and careers.
  • Engaging business and industry.
  • Building a bridge from secondary to postsecondary education or training.
  • Creating opportunities for students to work.
  • Embracing industry-recognized occupational credentials.

This paper will use these tenets to investigate the mechanisms undergirding the relationships we find between CTE participation and student outcomes (Paper 1). We will begin by providing a detailed description of the CTE landscape in NYC and an assessment of its evolution from 2007 to 2013. Next, drawing from administrative data provided by the NYC DOE, we will examine the variation in and the evolution of the features of CTE programs in New York City. Specifically, we will detail the CTE curricular options available to students, the extent of CTE programs’ engagement with business and postsecondary sector, and the organizational structures that may contribute to differences in outcomes such as teacher qualifications and experience, CTE theme, and geographic location.

We will directly measure CTE participation using student-level course data to examine the share of students in CTE program who complete a CTE sequence, earn a NYSED Regents diploma, and the share of students who complete city and state GPA and credit requirements. Our measures of the engagement with private industry, the postsecondary sector, and work-based learning opportunities will draw from program-level data provided by schools to the NYC DOE. Collectively, this paper will produce a descriptive account of the state of and variability in CTE offerings in New York City, and explore whether and to what extent the tenets of high-quality CTE are evidenced in the City’s programs during the period of study.