Lim, Owen, Nordin certain Career Clusters, seems to be building. The National Center for Education Statistics reported that student participation in computer technology, health care, communications technology, child care and education, and protective services grew an average of 0.04–0.25 credits between 1990 and 2005 (NCES, 2013). Proponents of CTE programs in states such as California, Georgia, and Texas have taken note, exploring the potential of CTE to reduce student attrition. California has instituted Linked Learning (formerly known as Multiple Pathways) as a CTE-based alternative to the comprehensive high school model. According to Rosin and Frey (2009), some students of traditional high schools “simply get lost and others see the curriculum as irrelevant” in a state where “[s]tudent disengagement is a problem, illustrated in part through high dropout rates,” with approximately 19% of secondary students dropping out (p. 2). In response, the Linked Learning model combines core academic and CTE components with work-based learning and support services. With encouragement from state legislators and local universities such as California State University and the University of California—which from 2003 to 2008 increased by more than threefold the number of secondary CTE classes that met the universities’ aligned admission eligibility requirements—the state has seen benefits from Linked Learning, with more students passing the mandatory state high school exit examination and fulfilling minimum entry requirements for universities in California (Rosin & Frey, 2009). Rosin and Frey (2009) cite as further evidence a recent study showing that students from 16 sites implementing Linked Learning approaches demonstrated better interpersonal and problem-solving skills. The study’s authors found additional benefits for high-risk males from CTE schools in long-term employment and earnings—a trend other states wish to emulate.
Published in Proceedings of 2013 CREATE Conference Authors: Young Bin Lim Sean Owen Alexis Nordin