Rosen joined MDRC in 2014 and is currently co-director of MDRC’s Center for Effective Career and Technical Education (CTE), which incubates new ideas, synthesizes findings and lessons learned, and disseminates this knowledge to policymakers, practitioners, and other researchers to ensure that expansion and scale-up of CTE programs are informed by a growing evidence base. She is also project director of the CTE Advise study, a randomized controlled trial funded by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) that is testing the efficacy of two popular, technology-based advising tools for supporting students to make high school CTE and career choices. Rosen also leads the evaluation of the New York City P-TECH model, a lottery-based impact study, also funded by IES, that is examining to impact of NYC’s innovative six-year high school model where students earn both a high school diploma and an associate’s degree while also engaging in work-based learning experiences provided by industry sponsors. Before joining MDRC, Rosen was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Michigan’s Ford School of Public Policy. She holds a PhD in education policy and social analysis from Teachers College, Columbia University, and master’s degrees from Columbia University and Trinity College in Ireland.
MDRC PublicationsCommentaryNovember, 2022
In this commentary originally published in the Albany Times-Union, Rachel Rosen makes the case that New York State should build on its investment in P-TECH 9-14 schools to help young people launch careers in the growing green-energy economy.Brief
Dual Enrollment Impacts from the Evaluation of New York City’s P-TECH 9-14 SchoolsApril, 2022
The New York City P-TECH 9-14 model offers accelerated high school course work, early college, and work-based learning experiences. P-TECH students are 30 percentage points more likely to take college courses in high school than comparison group students. They also earn 6.4 more college credits by the end for their fourth year.Commentary
To Build a Pipeline of Workers for the Economy of the Future, High School Students Need CTE Training in Green JobsFebruary, 2022
In this commentary originally published by The 74, Rachel Rosen, co-director of MDRC’s Center for Effective Career and Technical Education, explains how effective CTE models can be adapted to prepare high school students for jobs in new industries that lower carbon emissions.Issue FocusJanuary, 2022
Recent federal and state policies are creating momentum for combating climate change by tying a clean energy transition to job growth. MDRC and JobsFirstNYC convened 30 stakeholders from locations across the country to discuss how career and technical education and workforce development programs can train people for green careers.Issue FocusAugust, 2021
Recent federal policy supports creating middle-class jobs in the “green economy.” To better understand how community colleges can build programs that provide reliable growth trajectories for students in this field, MDRC talked with two practitioners about the North Carolina Community College System’s 10-year-old “Code Green” initiative.Issue FocusJune, 2021
MDRC’s Equity Collaborative has compiled examples of metrics, data displays, and analytic approaches to help fellow researchers more fully measure equity both as a condition and as an outcome in studies focused on education.Brief
Career and Technical Education Connects the DotsOctober, 2020
The economic recession triggered by the global pandemic has magnified the need for high-quality programs that can help students acquire the skills, training, and postsecondary credentials they need to thrive in the workplace. Here are some programs that studies show improved academic outcomes and increased earnings.Issue FocusAugust, 2020
Many schools are using technology-based tools to generate career recommendations and supplement the capabilities of their guidance departments. MDRC has partnered with two technology companies to test whether their career-advising software programs are viable tools for equitably supporting students as they identify and pursue future careers.Report
Interim Implementation and Impact Findings from New York City’s P-TECH 9-14 SchoolsMay, 2020
This report evaluates a program focused on preparing students for college and career. Based on partnerships among high schools, community colleges, and employers, the program offers accelerated high school course work, early college, and work-based learning experiences. The findings suggest that students are meeting the benchmarks they need to succeed.BriefJuly, 2019
In the spring of 2019, MDRC invited practitioners from innovative career and technical education (CTE) programs to discuss questions of equity. This policy brief summarizes the most common equity challenges that were raised in the discussion, along with ideas that emerged for how to address them.Report
Current Policy, Prominent Programs, and EvidenceSeptember, 2018
This paper reviews the available evidence supporting various types of career and technical education programs, touching on both the amount of evidence available in each area and its level of rigor.MethodologyJanuary, 2018
An important tenet of building reliable evidence is that study findings can be both reproduced and replicated and that the methods and data used stand up under scrutiny. This post in the Reflections on Methodology series outlines several ways to ensure credibility in research design and practice.Issue Focus
The Case of Career and Technical EducationJuly, 2017
In the complex high school choice process, families may face an additional layer of decisions if they are considering career and technical education programs, which vary widely in their structure, content, and quality. This issue focus emphasizes the importance of providing families with clear information about how to compare them.Brief
Are School Districts Ready to Meet New Federal Goals?March, 2017
This brief, which draws on data from a large survey of secondary school teachers and principals, discusses how existing evaluation and support systems could be better used to realize the vision of teacher improvement now included in federal law under the Every Student Succeeds Act.Report
Interim Impact Findings from the Investing in Innovation (i3) Evaluation of Diplomas NowJune, 2016
The Diplomas Now whole-school reform model, including targeted interventions for students at risk of dropping out, had an impact on the percentage of students with no early warning indicators related to attendance, behavior, or course performance, and had more encouraging results in middle schools than high schools.
As technology continues to advance rapidly, the labor market exhibits a growing need for more frequent and ongoing skill development. At the same time, employers in many fields encounter difficulties finding adequately trained workers to meet their needs. According to data released by the U.S. Department of Labor, aside from a temporary dip as...
Thanks mainly to state and city policy investing in the development of a green workforce, New York City hosts an emerging ecosystem of green jobs training providers, employers, and intermediaries.
Careers in the green economy are already providing good wages and opportunities for advancement and wage progression. These jobs can also lead to tangible...
Even in good economic times, many adults in the United States have trouble finding jobs that pay enough to support their families. Wages for those without a college degree, for example, have remained flat in real terms for decades. One policy response has been to help these workers build more skills, with promising findings from recently evaluated sector-based programs...Rachel Rosen, Ivonne Garcia, D. Crystal Byndloss, Shelley Rappaport, Emma Alterman, Hannah Dalporto, Hannah Power, Crystal Nuñez
New models of career and technical education (CTE) have expanded student choices and shifted towards high-quality, career-themed programs of study and pathways to careers. Advising within CTE programs plays a key role in guiding student pathway choices and ensuring that career information is received by all students,...Frieda Molina, Rachel Rosen, Sonia Drohojowska, William Corrin, Erika B. Lewy, Hannah Dalporto, Elizabeth Zachry Rutschow
Motivated by a desire to address both education and wage disparities, policymakers, educators, employers, and philanthropists have increasingly begun to invest in new models of career and technical education (CTE) that are based on the premise that all students need postsecondary credentials to adapt to...Rachel Rosen, D. Crystal Byndloss, Sonia Drohojowska, Leigh Parise, Rebecca Unterman, Emma Alterman, Jedediah J. Teres, Michelle Dixon
The idea for this high school model began in 2010 in New York City when then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced a public-private partnership of the New York City Department of Education, the City University of New York, the New York City College of Technology, and IBM to develop a new approach to secondary and postsecondary education....
The transition from high school into postsecondary education and a career has become particularly challenging given today’s complex, fast-moving, and highly technological economy. Even as the national high school graduation rate has improved over the past two decades and many states have raised their graduation requirements, high school graduates without postsecondary...
Apprenticeship programs have been more limited in the United States than they have been in many European countries, both in the numbers of individuals and the number and type of employers who participate in them. Only a few thousand apprenticeship programs are registered with the U.S. Department of Labor and these are mostly in construction...
Career-pathways models designed to prepare high school students for success in college and careers are proliferating in school districts around the country. Each typically includes a sequence of career/technical education courses in a broad career theme such as health or computer science. Some initiatives also offer work-based learning experiences for students, a...
This project, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, provides research and evaluation support for the Innovative Professional Development (iPD) Challenge, which seeks to clarify the extent to which changes in school district professional development systems lead to different teacher experiences and measurable improvements in key...
While educators and officials across the United States are struggling with how to raise student achievement and improve graduation rates, very few programs have been shown to work at scale in achieving either goal. In 2010, through the Investing in Innovation (i3) Fund, the U.S. Department of Education selected several promising programs for...