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ERIC Number: ED567419
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 11
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 5
High School Career and Technical Education Participation and Initial College Enrollment: Evidence from Arkansas
Dougherty, Shaun M.
Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness
This paper uses rich administrative data from Arkansas to understand whether and how high school career and technical education (CTE) programs are related to initial enrollment in college after high school. This descriptive work is designed to inform how other state and local policymakers understand the potential role of high school CTE participation in building human capital pathways to contribute to an informed society and a skilled workforce that reflects labor market demands. This paper addresses the following research questions: (1) Which high school CTE programs are associated with students enrolling in post-secondary education just after high school?; (2) Are the probabilities that a student who participated in CTE in high school any different from an otherwise similar student who did not participate in CTE, or who participated to a different extent?; and (3) What student, program, or enrollment factors are associated with initial college going? These factors include: gender, family income, urbanicity, prior work experience, or dual enrollment. This study is set in Arkansas and uses data that were made available through the Arkansas Research Center, which coordinates data for K-12, higher education, career and technical education, and the department of labor. The dataset is supplemented with data from the National Center for Education Statistics. Researchers followed three cohorts of ninth graders who started high school in 2008, 2009, and 2010. They observed what classes the students took in high school, and followed them through at least one year, and up to three years, past graduation. The dataset shows whether they graduated from high school, then whether they enrolled in a two- or four-year college or went straight into the workforce (and what their wages are). The cohorts include over 100,000 individual students, and more than 350,000 student-year observations. Students who participate in more CTE in high school or who are CTE concentrators are not, on average, substantially different in their probability of attending college just after high school relative to their peers who are not CTE concentrators or who take fewer CTE courses in high school. There is clear evidence, however, that among CTE concentrators, programs like health services have a much higher rate of enrolling in college. Tables are appended.
Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness. 2040 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208. Tel: 202-495-0920; Fax: 202-640-4401; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness (SREE)
Identifiers - Location: Arkansas