About the Career and Technical Education Research Network

Approximately 7.5 million secondary and 3.5 million postsecondary students are enrolled in career and technical education (CTE), which is supported by roughly $1.3 billion in federal and state investments. CTE prepares students with academic knowledge and technical and employability skills for credentials and careers. CTE also serves as an opportunity to strengthen the connection and coherence among K–12 education, postsecondary education, and workforce development efforts. However, more rigorous research—studies designed to show a causal impact—is needed to understand the effects of CTE programming on student outcomes. To expand the evidence base, the CTE Research Network works to conduct and promote the use of high‑quality studies examining the impact of CTE.

Our Primary Areas of Focus

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Increase the number of studies examining the impact of CTE policies, programs, and practices on student outcomes

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Strengthen the capacity of researchers and practitioners to conduct, use, and share rigorous and causal CTE research

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Improve coherence among CTE research projects, identify new research priorities, and share strategies to address research challenges

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Engage stakeholders in network activities and share findings to inform efforts to improve CTE programs and student outcomes

Network Lead

The American Institutes for Research® (AIR®) and its partners—the Association for Career and Technical Education® (ACTE®), JFF, and Boston College—serve as the CTE Research Network Lead. The Network Lead provides network administration and coordination as well as research, training, and dissemination to increase the number and quality of CTE impact evaluations and strengthen the field’s research capacity.

American Institutes for Research

Established in 1946, with headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, AIR is a nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization that conducts behavioral and social science research and delivers technical assistance to solve some of the most urgent challenges in the U.S. and around the world. Learn more

Association for Career and Technical Education

ACTE is the nation’s largest not-for-profit association empowering educators to deliver high-quality CTE programs that ensure all students are positioned for career success. For more than 90 years, ACTE has provided CTE professionals with advocacy, public awareness, and access to resources, professional development, and leadership opportunities. Learn more


JFF is a national nonprofit that drives change in the American workforce and education systems to create access to economic advancement for all. For 35 years, JFF has led the way in designing innovative and scalable solutions that create access to economic advancement for all. JFF is building a future that works. Learn more

Boston College

Boston College, founded in 1863 and the first institution of higher education to operate in the city of Boston, is today among the nation’s foremost universities, a leader in the liberal arts, scientific inquiry, and student formation. Learn more

Network Lead Team

Kathy Hughes head shot
Kathy Hughes, Ph.D.
Director/Principal Investigator
American Institutes for Research
Shaun Dougherty head shot
Shaun M. Dougherty, Ed.D.
Co-Principal Investigator
Boston College
Lisa Soricone head shot
Lisa Soricone, Ed.D.
Network Coordination Lead
Jobs for the Future
Tara Smith head shot
Tara Smith, M.P.A.
Network Coordinator
Jobs for the Future
Jim Lindsay head shot
Jim Lindsay, Ph.D.
Research Co-Lead
American Institutes for Research
Kelly Reese head shot
Kelly Reese, M.P.P.
Research Co-Lead
American Institutes for Research
Jill Walston head shot
Jill Walston, Ph.D.
Research Training Lead
American Institutes for Research
Cherise Moore head shot
Cherise Moore, Ph.D.
Practitioner Training Lead
American Institutes for Research
Stephen DeWitt head shot
Stephen DeWitt
Communications Co-Lead
Association for Career and Technical Education
Joni Wackwitz head shot
Joni Wackwitz, P.M.P.
Communications Co-Lead
American Institutes for Research