CTE Policy Watch: A blog for CTE Advocates

CTE Policy Watch: A blog for CTE advocates

Report Shows New Trends for CTE Students with DisabilitiesPosted: 11 Sep 2019 01:00 PM PDTA new study published by CALDER, the National Center for the Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research, adds to existing research by examining the trends of students with disabilities participating in CTE courses. To study these patterns, the researchers evaluated three different data sets, which included nationally representative data sets of high school students from 2000-01 to 2003-04 and from 2009-10 to 2012-13, and a statewide data set of Washington high school students between 2009-10 and 2017-18.The researchers wanted to determine the differences in CTE coursetaking among three groups of students—students with learning disabilities, students with other disabilities and students without disabilities. The researchers examined two research questions to understand the relationship between CTE participation and students with disabilities.How has the average number of CTE credits taken during high school changed over time for students with learning disabilities compared to the other two groups of students? They found that, nationally, occupational CTE credits taken declined from the early 2000s to 2013 for the students with learning disabilities and with other identified disabilities, but did not decline for students without disabilities. However, looking at the Washington dataset, participation for students with disabilities in occupational CTE courses stabilized after 2013.How do these trends vary within different CTE occupational areas? The researchers found that Washington high school students with disabilities were participating more in STEMM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine) CTE areas than in other CTE program areas. The percentage of students in the STEMM areas across all three groups increased from 15 percent to 25 percent between 2009 and 2018.These findings illustrate that although there was a decline in CTE participation by students with disabilities in the early 2000s, in Washington, that decline has since stabilized and participation in the STEMM courses has increased. The researchers caution that, although STEMM CTE participation has been linked to positive outcomes for students with disabilities, the skilled trades and business sectors should not be forgotten as options for these students. They conclude by stressing the importance of states continuing to strive for more participation by students with disabilities in CTE courses, as it will help with both college and career readiness. On August 29, ACTE, collaborating with Penn State University’s Workforce Education program and the National Technical Assistance Center on Transition (NTACT), hosted the first webinar of a five-part webinar series addressing programs, practices and partnerships among CTE and special education practitioners that support students with disabilities in CTE. The next webinar focus is on creating effective partnerships between special education and CTE professionals. The webinar will take place on September 19, 2019 3:00-4:30 pm EST. Learn more and register here.

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