Supplemental Award: Exploring the Role and Effects of High School Advising on CTE Students' Transitions to Postsecondary Education and the Workforce
A supplemental award was provided to Dr. Julie Edmunds, principal investigator for the Evaluation of Career and College Promise, and a member of the CTE Research Network, to lead a cross-Network research team in Exploring the Role and Effects of High School Advising on CTE Students' Transitions to Postsecondary Education and the Workforce.
Supplement: Awarded on June 7, 2021 to lead a 2-year cross-CTE Research Network study on CTE advising.
Co-Principal Investigators: Julie Edmunds, Fatih Unlu, Rachel Rosen, James Kemple, John Sludden, Christine Mulhern
Contribution: Counselors and advisors play a key role in guiding students as they transition from high school to different postsecondary opportunities; they are particularly important for students whose families or out-of-school networks do not have the knowledge to effectively guide them. Despite its importance, the topic of advising is understudied particularly for CTE students. In general, there is little information about the role that advisors and counselors can play regarding the postsecondary transition.
Purpose: This project is a collaboration of four research organizations—SERVE Center at University of North Carolina at Greensboro, RAND Corporation, the Research Alliance for New York City Schools, and MDRC—that are participating in the CTE Research Network. The project consists of three related sub-studies that will inform the development of a conceptual framework around advising for CTE students. These three sub-studies include: 1) an exploratory study using student survey data in NYC that examines whether advising influences student outcomes; 2) a more rigorous causal impact study of a career-focused advising model in North Carolina; and 3) a qualitative exploration of advising and the role that it plays in students' decisions.
Setting: These three sub-studies will build on three existing IES-funded projects, two in New York City and one in North Carolina. Sub-Study 1 will examine survey results for seniors in New York City Schools. Sub-Study 2 will look at a career coaching program being implemented across the state of North Carolina. Sub-Study 3 will include qualitative case studies in both states, including in P-Tech 14 schools in NYC.
Sample: The primary population of interest for these three studies is CTE students. This population will be identified in three different ways: 1) students enrolled in a CTE-specific school; 2) students in non-CTE schools who have taken at least one CTE course; and 3) students in non-CTE schools who are CTE concentrators (or students who have taken at 4+ CTE courses). The sample will differ slightly for each sub-study.
Intervention: This study focuses on advising or counseling about postsecondary transitions. It will examine the school-based ways in which CTE students receive information about postsecondary transitions and the individuals who provide that information. Sub-Study 2 will focus specifically on North Carolina's Career Coaching Program, which places community college Career Coaches in high schools to help students acquire greater career awareness, develop career goals, and explore high school and postsecondary CTE program and pathway options available in the local community to help students achieve their career goals.
Research Design: The research design differs by sub-study. The first study will use correlational analyses to examine the relationship between advising and different outcomes for different populations of CTE students. The second study will use two causal impact designs 1) an event study framework to examine the school-level impact of career coaches; 2) a propensity-score weighting approach to examine the student-level impact of career coaches. The third study will develop case studies of a purposive sample of schools using interview data.
Measures and Data Sources: Sub-Study 1 will use the Senior Exit Survey administered to seniors in NYC Schools. The survey includes information around school activities to support students' postsecondary transition, including advising, as well as students' postsecondary plans. This survey is linked to school-level information collected as part of the existing IES-funded study. Sub-Study 2 will use a longitudinal state-level dataset that connects K-12 to community college and University of North Carolina system data. This dataset will be linked to student-level data being collected by North Carolina's career coaches. The third study will use qualitative interview data collected by the three project teams.
Analytic Strategies: The first sub-study will use regression analyses to explore relationships between advising and other variables. The second sub-study will use an event study analysis for the school-level impacts and a propensity-score weighting approach for the student-level analyses. The site visit data for the third sub-study will be coded both inductively and deductively. After the three sub-studies are finished, the research team members will meet to synthesize results and develop a final recommended conceptual framework.
This supplemental CTE Research Network project is supported by the Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, through Grant R305H190036.