MDRC in the News

Community College Daily

10/2017

As Congress looks to scale up successful career and technical education (CTE) programs as part of its effort to reauthorize the Perkins Act, California could serve as a model…..

…..The P-TECH model – which blends high school, community college and workplace skills training – has proven successful in moving underserved students into promising careers, said Stanley Litow, president emeritus of the IBM International Foundation.

The grade 9-14 program, launched in one school in 2011 in partnership with IBM is now in more than 80 schools in six states, Australia and Morocco and involves more than 400 businesses…..

…..Studies show that for the first P-TECH school in New York City, the college completion rate is 500 percent higher than the national average.

Because P-TECH schools are open enrollment, the program is sustainable and can easily be scaled up, Litow said…..

…..In New Orleans, YouthForce NOLA was created in 2016 by education and business partners to help students acquire job skills, “soft skills” and work experience…..

…..Nationwide, there’s been a “dramatic resurgence in CTE in the last five years,” said Mary Visher, senior associate at MDRC. She cited four reasons:

  • Employers are seeing a shortage of skilled workers.
  • An associate degree or certificate can be more valuable than a bachelor’s degree in certain fields and has a better return on investment.
  • CTE is no longer considered “a dumping ground” for students not expected to go to college.
  • CTE is one of the few approaches in education that has bipartisan support.

Research has shown that the most effective strategies in CTE are dual enrollment, as well as small learning communities, career academies and internships, Visher said.

She called for CTE to “reposition itself” as a pathway, rather than as an alternative, to postsecondary education.

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