Poster Paper: Career and Technical Education (CTE) Collaborative Impact Assessment: California's Career Pathway Trust

Sunday, April 9, 2017
University of California, Riverside

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Lily Nunez, Samuel Nickles, Christopher Redding and Eric Nong, University of California, Irvine
A student's failure to achieve a high school diploma creates significant individual barriers in transitioning to the workforce and major long-term costs for society. California dropout rates remain unacceptably high, at 20%. Over a lifetime, the estimated national costs over one year's cohort of seniors - approximately 600,000 students - failing to receive their high school degree are estimated to be $156 billion (Dianda 2008). Individual dropouts lose an average of $260,000 in earnings over their lifetime (Zaff and Malone 2016). In addition, there is a societal misconception that labor market entry is primarily accessible through the traditional college model. It is important to redefine the conceptual process of labor market entry by infusing college and technical education - coalescing with the high demand of advanced and emerging labor markets in an increasingly interconnected world. Promoting career pathway pipelines is an effective way to promote school choice, increase post-high school options for students, strengthen social mobility, and decrease societal costs.

California has several positive components for additional educational policy reform: its fiscal resources, political and public support, and past policy choices. California's internal capacity inhibits its supply of teachers - reflecting emerging trends and partnerships with industry, but the state's educational institutions are generally strong. Beginning with the 1992 California Charter Schools Act (CSA), California endorsed not only school choice, but has continued to promote local control through sustaining legislative reform in favor of charter schools, and through the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF; Wahlstetter et. al 2002, Ed Source 2007). In 2012, Proposition 30 (the original "millionaires tax"; extended by Prop 55 in 2016), aimed to increase the Department of Education's capacity by temporarily increasing taxes to prevent further teacher layoffs and salary cuts. California has a positive track record of supporting school needs. California Career Pathways Trust (CCPT) provides new and/or expanded sequencing and integrated ways for academic and career-based education training. CCPT is embedded in the California Education Code, and has currently endorsed over $500 million over the past two years.

This case study focuses on career pathway partnerships between education and industry in Southern California. Our research approach will further evaluate the current metrics and methods used to assess intended impact outcomes. Currently, academic research supports collaborative initiatives between educators and community stakeholders as a successful model to increase an overarching concept of student performance. However, many states (including California), do not possess a centralized method for collecting and distributing information, which creates a segmented and flawed system for assessing student performance beyond the school environment. Our research strategy will be to assess the impact of CTE programs' metrics and measures and their intended effects in bridging the gap between education and training for school and industry sector requirements. We anticipate that our findings will yield the necessary policy recommendations to ensure a sustainable and effective utilization of resources, to best leverage partnerships between education and industry and to create an interconnected ecosystem for these collaboratives.