ERIC Number: ED484616
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Mar
Reference Count: 34
Career Academies: Impacts on Labor Market Outcomes and Educational Attainment
Kemple, James J.
Career Academies offer high schools--particularly those in urban communities that struggle to keep students in school and to prepare them for post-secondary education and employment opportunities--a systematic approach to addressing a range of challenges. Typically serving between 150 and 200 students from grades 9 or 10 through grade 12, Career Academies have three distinguishing features: (1) they are organized as small learning communities to create a more supportive, personalized learning environment; (2) they combine academic and career and technical curricula around a career theme to enrich teaching and learning; and (3) they establish partnerships with local employers to provide career awareness and work-based learning opportunities for students. There are estimated to be more than 2,500 Career Academies across the country, operating either as a single program or as multiple programs within a larger high school. This report examines the impact that Career Academies have had on the educational attainment and post-secondary labor market experiences of young people through the four years following their scheduled graduation from high school. It is based on survey data collected from 1,458 young people in the Career Academies Evaluation study sample (about 85 percent of whom are either Hispanic or African-American). Findings included: (1) the Career Academies substantially improved the labor market prospects of young men, a group that has experienced a severe decline in real earnings in recent years; (2) the Career Academies had no significant impacts (positive or negative) on the labor market outcomes for young women; (3) Overall, the Career Academies served as viable pathways to a range of post-secondary education opportunities, but they do not appear to have been more effective than options available to the non-Academy group; and (4) The positive labor market impacts were concentrated among Academy group members who were at high or medium risk of dropping out of high school when they entered the programs. The findings demonstrate the feasibility of improving labor market preparation and successful school-to-work transitions without compromising academic goals and preparation for college. (Contains 10 exhibits.) [Report written with Judith Scott-Clayton. Dissemination of MDRC publications is also supported by Starr Foundation.]
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools
Sponsor: Atlantic Philanthropies; Alcoa Foundation, Pittsburgh, PA.; Ambrose Monell Foundation, New York, NY.; Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, Inc., New York, NY.; Fannie Mae Foundation, Washington, DC.; Ford Foundation, New York, NY.; Grable Foundation, Pittsburgh, PA.; Open Society Inst., New York, NY.
Authoring Institution: Manpower Demonstration Research Corp., New York, NY.
What Works Clearinghouse Reviewed: Meets Evidence Standards without Reservations
WWC Study Page: http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/study/80631
IES Cited: ED506465; ED518283; ED502502