Career and technical education (CTE) is enjoying renewed interest as the stigma sloughs off and students pursue it as a viable and affordable path to high-paying in-demand careers. But equity in CTE presents challenges–challenges with fledgling solutions that could help ensure equity for all students.
While CTE was once used as a way to move low-income and minority students into low-paying jobs, it has moved away from vocational education and has morphed into programs offering pathways through high school and postsecondary education with credentials and work-based learning experiences.
Practitioner Perspectives on Equity in Career and Technical Education, a report from MDRC, notes that there are lingering questions about equity in CTE, namely, how students are selected for CTE programs and what supports they receive to reach their goals.
The report is based on input from innovative CTE practictioners who identified common challenges to equity in CTE, along with common concerns such as how, exactly, to define equity and to increase it in both access and outcomes.