As home to one of the largest and most diverse systems of urban CTE programs in the country, New York City serves as a unique laboratory. Lessons learned in New York—particularly about the specific program elements and student experiences of CTE that promote success in college and careers—have important implications for education systems nationwide.
Assessing the Implementation, Impact, and Variation of CTE Innovation: NYC as a Lab for Rigorous CTE Research
About the Research Study
New York City (NYC) offers numerous high school CTE options. In this project, researchers are assessing the impact of NYC’s CTE programs on students’ career and work-related learning experiences, social and behavioral competencies, high school graduation, and transitions to college and the labor market. The project will examine variation across more than 200 of NYC’s CTE programs to identify factors that are associated with positive impacts.
The project involves three related studies:
- The first study will examine CTE implementation, using administrative, interview, and survey data to provide a detailed description of the CTE landscape in NYC, assess its evolution during the study period, and set a foundation to investigate the mechanisms undergirding any relationship found between CTE participation and student outcomes.
- The second study will focus on school choice and enrollment, using data from NYC’s High School Admission Process to examine the choices that grade 8 students make on their high school applications and to explore their preferences for CTE programs.
- The third study will rigorously assess CTE programs’ effects on students’ experiences (e.g., course taking, work-based learning, internships, job shadowing, career fairs, and career counseling) as well as on a range of intermediate and long-term academic and career-related outcomes. This study will draw on data from the NYC Department of Education.
Findings from these studies will directly inform CTE policy and practice for New York City and provide valuable insights for states and the federal government about the potential for leveraging CTE to improve college and career readiness while meeting labor market needs.
Study period: 4 years (09/01/2017–08/31/2021)
This project is supported by the Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, through Grant R305A170498 to New York University as well as by the Laura and John Arnold Foundation.
About the Research Team
The research team combines knowledge of CTE with relevant methodological expertise. The project is led by the Research Alliance for New York City Schools at New York University, in partnership with MDRC, Vanderbilt University, and NYU. Through this project, the team seeks to produce lessons and insights for the New York City Department of Education as well as other schools districts around the country that are implementing and developing CTE programs.