Become research-savvy with our six self-guided training modules. Designed for CTE practitioners and state agency staff, these modules will strengthen your capacity to access, understand, and use CTE data and research as well as conduct your own research, particularly causal research. The ultimate goal of this series is to expand the CTE evidence base on the impact of CTE programs on student outcomes and to bring CTE practitioners and researchers together to better share research and understand research needs.
Although each interactive module is self-contained, the overall series builds in complexity, and later modules draw from terminology and definitions in earlier ones.
- Each module includes a facilitator’s guide, presentation slides, and activity handouts.
- Each module can be completed in 45 minutes to an hour.
- Modules can be delivered online or in-person and in a group setting or individually.
As the education and workforce development community looks more and more to CTE to help ensure students are both college and career ready, understanding and using CTE data and research becomes increasingly important. How do we know whether a CTE program is successful and for which groups of students? How do we integrate components from other successful programs to improve what we are doing? Without looking at data and understanding research, we cannot answer such questions. This module provides an introduction for practitioners who are new to CTE data and research or just need a refresher.
Continuous improvement, a structured process for using data and research to improve educational programming, is an important component in creating and maintaining successful CTE programs. For practitioners to engage in continuous improvement—and to use data and research to go beyond accountability—they need to maintain an effective data collection system to support data-based decisions that help lead to equity and improvement for all students. In this module, practitioners will learn how data and research are used to improve CTE programs. This module is designed to support school district and college CTE program administrators in understanding CTE data and how best to use it.
Have you ever wondered why you can have all the right program components in place and still not meet your goals? A program evaluation is a critical tool for assessing whether a program is working or not and why. In this module, you will learn about when and why to conduct a program evaluation, the different types of evaluations, the role of logic models, best practices in program evaluation, and the difference between a program evaluation and performance measurement. This module is designed to support school district and college CTE program administrators in understanding program evaluation.
By partnering with researchers, state CTE administrators have the opportunity to better understand CTE programming and practices across their states. In this module, you will learn how including CTE research-friendly data in state accountability and longitudinal data systems can enable state practitioners and research partners to answer important questions that can help improve the quality and mix of CTE offerings. This module is designed to support state education agency administrators in partnering with researchers to analyze statewide secondary and postsecondary CTE data.
With research as a guide, you can design CTE programs that promote equity and help close the opportunity gap at your site. This module examines the student groups identified in the federal Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, better known as Perkins V; explains how to use data to ensure these students are served, and presents lessons learned and best practices for promoting equity in CTE and closing the opportunity gap. The module is designed to support school district and college CTE program administrators in using research to develop equitable CTE programs. (Photo by Allison Shelley for American Education: Images of Teachers and Students in Action.)
Building on the preceding modules, this module explores how to use research findings to strengthen communications about your CTE program’s value. You will learn about the value of developing a strategic approach for communicating research findings, including how to tailor your message to the needs of the different audiences you want to reach. The module closes with a review of communication options available and what they look like in action. This module is designed to support school district and college CTE program administrators.