Paul Harrington, Christine Cunningham
Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Department or Academic Unit
College of Social Sciences and Humanities, Department of Law and Public Policy
law, public policy, education policy, vocational education, career and technical education, CTE, education policy, Perkins Act, tech prep
Education Policy | Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration
Over the past two decades, the role of career and technical education has shifted from one preparing students directly for employment, to one that offers vocational training as well as college preparatory academics. To support this effort, the federal government enacted the "Tech Prep Act" Title II under the larger 1990 Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act. This law authorized federal funds to support articulating programs between career and technical education secondary programs and postsecondary programs of study. The intent of the policy was to increase college enrollment and retention in technical and career areas. Each state in the nation enacted some level of Tech Prep programming between 1990 and 2008. During this time, research conducted on the programs consisted primarily of qualitative studies describing what Tech Prep programs consisted of, how states or consortiums were delivering the programs and who tech prep students were. Extremely little analysis was conducted regarding actual student outcomes. If in fact, the program had an impact on college enrollment, retention and completion.
This study strives to specifically address this gap in research. The fundamental question: Did the creation of new organizational relationships between secondary and postsecondary institutions under the Federal Tech Prep Act generate higher postsecondary enrollment, retention and completion rates for targeted student populations in Massachusetts? To this end, college records of over 10,000 CTE high school graduates between 2004 and 2008 were analyzed. The results tell both a story of college going behaviors of CTE graduates based on personal/social characteristics, high school behaviors and high school program participation as well as solid support for public policy that promotes linkages spanning high school and postsecondary programs of study. The research concludes with recommendations for both state and federal government policy implementation based on these findings.
Shaw, Christine, "The influence and outcomes of high school to college transition policy (tech prep) for career and technical education students in Massachusetts" (2012). Law and Public Policy Dissertations. Paper 6. http://hdl.handle.net/2047/d20002664
Click button above to open, or right-click to save.