Research

ACSESS: Adapted Collaborative Strategies for Evaluating Students' Strengths

Creating Career Connections: A Longitudinal Study of Student Enrollment and Outcomes of Career and Technical Education

Creating Pathways to IT Careers through High School Career and Technical Education Programs

National Secondary Transition Technical Assistance Center (NSTTAC)

National Transition Alliance (NTA)

School-to-Work Connections: Nontraditional Career Opportunities for Females With and Without Disabilities


Taxonomy for Transition Programming

Transition-Related Competencies

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Creating Pathways to IT Careers through High School Career and Technical Education Programs


Project Summary

The Creating Pathways to IT Careers Project is a research partnership between Western Michigan University (WMU), the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), and a Research-to-Practice Team consisting of business and practitioner stakeholders. The purpose of this project i to determine factors that influence enrollment, completion, and employment experiences of high school females in Career and Technical Education-Information Technology (CTE-IT) programs. Using population data collected by the Illinois State Board of Education regarding enrollment in secondary and postsecondary education and post-school employment, the project will investigate preparation for IT careers in the following areas: (a) counselor and teacher support strategies provided in high schools to recruit and retain students in CTE-IT programs; (b) student and school characteristics that influence CTE-IT program enrollment, school-directed work experience, and program completion; and (c) the influence of student and school characteristics and support strategies on employment and/or enrollment in postsecondary education in an IT field.

 

Study Design

This research will utilize population data on students enrolled in CTE-IT programs collected by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE): (a) the Illinois Student Information System (ISIS) and (b) the Performance Management Information System (PMIS). The ISIS contains data on more than 300,000 students annually enrolled in CTE programs each school year, including approximately 10,000 students enrolled in CTE-IT programs. The PMIS includes information on more than 30,000 students annually who complete CTE programs, provide SSN, and transition into postsecondary education and employment in Illinois.

Data for nine school years, 1996 through 2004, will be analyzed through three specific studies. Cohort analyses will include cross-sectional (year-by-year) and over-lapping four-year longitudinal panels. Six parallel analyses will be performed on each longitudinal panel (96 – 99, 97 – 00, 98 – 01, 99 – 02, 00 – 03, 01 – 04).

Study 1 — The Research-to-Practice Team will identify career counseling and student support strategies implicated in the research literature to recruit and retain female students in IT career programs. All high school guidance counselors and CTE-IT instructors in Illinois will be surveyed to determine their awareness and use of the implicated practices.

Study 2 — Through analysis of the ISIS data, the influence of student-level and school-level variables (including the strategies identified in Study 1) on enrollment, work-related, and completion experiences will be determined for four student groups (females and males, with and without disabilities) in CTE-IT programs.

Study 3 — Study 3 will build on Study 2 to determine the influence of student-level and school-level variables on females’ employment and/or enrollment in postsecondary education in an IT field.

 

Dissemination of Project Findings

To insure broad impact from this research, a Research-to-Practice Team (RTPT) consisting of business and practitioner stakeholders has been created to evaluate and interpret findings, develop dissemination strategies, and disseminate project results. The RTPT will convene at least once per year via teleconference and once per year in person. A project website will be developed and maintained; reports and manuscripts will be prepared and disseminated to appropriate target audiences; and presentations will be made to researchers and practitioners at local, state, and national levels. Dissemination products will be designed to promote extensive use of practices that encourage successful recruitment, preparation, and inclusion of women and under-represented minorities in CTE-IT programs.

 


 
Copyright © 2006 Paula D. Kohler, Ph.D.
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Last Updated December 20, 2006