NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Back to results
ERIC Number: ED574510
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Mar
Pages: 78
Abstractor: ERIC
Mature Programs of Study: Examining Policy Implementation at the Local Level. Final Report
Alfeld, Corinne; Bhattacharya, Sharika
National Research Center for Career and Technical Education
The 2006 Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act required that all career technical education (CTE) programs offer secondary to postsecondary programs of study (POS), which integrate rigorous academics, offer dual enrollment options, and lead to an industry-recognized degree or credential. Focused on improving students' transition to college and careers, all states are required to offer at least one POS. Because few models of POS existed at the time of the legislation, and there was little guidance available for CTE administrators, this project took a "backward mapping" approach to examining mature, POS-like programs. Three sites (i.e., three colleges and their feeder high schools) across the country were selected for this mixed-methods study in which we analyzed the factors that led to their success in order to inform policymakers and CTE administrators about the key components that might be needed to implement POS locally as well as to identify potential benefits of these programs for students. This primarily descriptive, exploratory study has two parts: (a) a qualitative description of POS development and operation at each of the sites, and (b) a quantitative account of students' progression through POS. The findings point to several foundational components of POS as well as promising outcomes for students. Interviews conducted with high school and college instructors, administrators, and counselors in 2009 revealed the key requirements for making POS work, in particular: (a) a vision shared by multiple stakeholders of a seamless transition to college for students, (b) dedicated staffing for the purpose of creating linkages between colleges and local high schools and advising students, and (c) active advisory committees for each POS with representatives from local businesses. Perkins IV policy guidance for POS development, released in 2010 by the Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE, 2010), after this study began, was compared with the findings from the three mature, POS-like sites. We determined that four of the ten OVAE components overlapped with the mature POS sites. Over a three-year period from 2009 to 2012, including the transition out of high school into college or work, a sample of 213 high school juniors and seniors enrolled in POS at the three sites were tracked to examine their progression through their POS. Although only 30% of the students continued in the same POS in either college or work, participation in the POS in high school appeared to benefit students. High school transcript analyses showed a positive relationship between POS credits, academic credits, and grades, and the majority of students reported that being in a POS made them more motivated to stay in school and better prepared to make choices about college and career. In longitudinal analyses controlling for high school GPA, the number of POS courses taken in high school was significantly related to staying in the same career cluster in college and to earning a college credential. The number of dual credits earned while in high school was significantly negatively related to non-credit (remedial/developmental) courses in college and positively related to college GPA, staying in the same cluster, and earning a college credential. In addition, having a positive attitude toward the POS in high school was related to number of credits earned by the end of the first year of college. The majority of the 65% of the original sample that we were able to find in 2012 were still enrolled in postsecondary education (defined as two- and four-year colleges). An additional comparison of students in our sample (who had experienced the POS in high school) with a matched sample of students in the same major at the participating college in the largest site showed that POS students in our sample had higher college GPAs and took fewer remedial courses. The following are appended: (1) Final Follow-up Survey; (2) Survey Administration; (3) Using the CSSC for Transcript Coding and Details on Variable Construction from Transcripts and Surveys; (4) Additional Statistical Tables; (5) Comparison Analysis; (6) Missing Data Analysis; (7) Limitations; and (8) Case Studies (available from:
National Research Center for Career and Technical Education. University of Louisville, College of Education and Human Development, Louisville, KY 40292. Tel: 877-372-2283; Tel: 502-852-4727; Fax: 502-852-3308; e-mail: Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Postsecondary Education; Secondary Education; Higher Education; High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Office of Vocational and Adult Education (ED)
Authoring Institution: National Research Center for Career and Technical Education; Academy for Educational Development, National Institute for Work and Learning; FHI 360
Grant or Contract Numbers: VO51A070003