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ERIC Number: ED534075
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Mar
Pages: 12
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Career Opportunities: Career Technical Education and the College Completion Agenda. Policy Brief
Shulock, Nancy; Moore, Colleen; Jez, Su Jin; Chisholm, Eric
Institute for Higher Education Leadership & Policy
The Obama Administration has helped articulate the important role community colleges play in educating the nation's workforce and boosting the economy. With a large share of projected job openings requiring college education of less than a bachelor's degree and offering family-supporting wages, the nation's community colleges can make a huge contribution toward a competitive national workforce. Community colleges offer a broad array of career-oriented certificates and associate degrees through what is generally called "career technical education" or CTE. Policymakers across the country are hoping to rely heavily on community college CTE programs to recharge their economies by helping students earn credentials with labor market value. The authors' research reveals that this great potential for CTE to contribute to college completion and the California economy is not being realized. As the authors explained in their 2011 report "The Road Less Traveled," students are not widely encouraged to pursue CTE programs and those who do make far more progress in completing course work than they do in acquiring credentials in their fields. Although one third of community college course enrollments are in courses classified as vocational, only 3% of all entering degree seekers earn vocational associate degrees and only 5% earn certificates. This brief is a summary of the first two reports in a four-part project to continue to identify challenges facing CTE and ways to deliver better results for students and the California workforce. The first report, released January 2012, provides an overview of the complex structure and funding arrangements for the CTE mission and the closely related economic and workforce development (EWD) mission. The second report, released February 2012, examines the full set of career-oriented credentials offered by the California Community Colleges (CCC). The entire four-part study is guided by a set of criteria that characterize an effective CTE enterprise in support of student success and a competitive state workforce. (Contains 9 figures and 13 endnotes.) [For related reports, see "Career Opportunities: Career Technical Education and the College Completion Agenda. Part II: Inventory and Analysis of CTE Programs in the California Community Colleges" (ED534074) and "Career Opportunities: Career Technical Education and the College Completion Agenda. Part I: Structure and Funding of Career Technical Education in the California Community Colleges" (ED534073).]
Institute for Higher Education Leadership & Policy. 6000 J Street, Tahoe Hall 3063, Sacramento, CA 95819. Tel: 916-278-3888; Fax: 916-278-3907; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Research
Education Level: Postsecondary Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: James Irvine Foundation
Authoring Institution: Institute for Higher Education Leadership & Policy, California State University
Identifiers - Location: California