The Future of Career and Technical Education

MDRC’s Center for Effective Career and Technical Education is a hub for building, synthesizing, and applying evidence on the effectiveness of CTE.

As high schools, community colleges, policymakers, and families try to prepare our children for a rapidly changing future, we provide them with forward-looking perspectives from education and workforce leaders on the power and potential of CTE.

02/2022 | Erika B. Lewy

Career and technical education (CTE) and workforce development have seen a surge in the popularity of short-term training programs that purport to give community college students skills highly valued in the labor market that will help them get jobs quickly. These programs, which are often just referred to as CTE programs, actually vary greatly: Some of them last a few days, some a few weeks, and some a few years. In some, students earn college credit, some offer no credit, and many result in industry-recognized credentials or licenses.

01/2022 | Erika B. Lewy, Rachel Rosen

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.

11/2021 | Erika B. Lewy

To learn more about how program designers, educators, and other stakeholders can learn from the past to build equitable career and technical education (CTE) programs today, MDRC’s Center for Effective CTE spoke with Dr. Eddie Fletcher, an associate professor in workforce development and education at The Ohio State University.

09/2021 | Erika B. Lewy

The COVID-19 pandemic exposed inequities in access to and success in career and technical education (CTE). This post summarizes a discussion among teachers and program coordinators about what has changed a year into remote instruction, and about how to make CTE programs more equitable now and when in-person instruction returns.

08/2021 | Erika B. Lewy, Rachel Rosen

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.

07/2021 | Erika B. Lewy

Career and technical education programs are trying to address challenges faced by disadvantaged students, particularly Black students and other students of color. Access is only part of the path to equity as these programs focus on inclusive workplace environments, meaningful mentorships, and language that emphasizes strengths rather than real or presumed deficits.