CTE programs and the COVID-19 pandemic: Responses, innovations, and implications for research
Although the COVID-19 pandemic affected all education programs in the United States, career and technical education (CTE) programs in particular faced significant challenges given the hands-on and team-based nature of many CTE courses. This report presents findings from interviews with 22 CTE programs to learn about their responses to the conditions presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, including VE.
Link to Report: https://cteresearchnetwork.org/resources/cte-covid19
Identifying CTE programs ready for rigorous evaluation
Little is known about the causal effects of career and technical education (CTE) on students’ outcomes. To encourage new CTE impact studies, the CTE Research Network conducted an evaluability assessment (or feasibility study) that identified four CTE programs or models ready for rigorous evaluation, one of which is VE.
An experimental evaluation of the efficacy of Virtual Enterprises
Many high schools struggle to ensure that all graduates are prepared for college and the workforce, and employers consistently report difficulty in finding workers with strong employability skills. Incorporating work-based learning (WBL) into the curriculum as part of a career and technical education (CTE) program may improve students’ readiness for college and careers. School-based enterprises (SBE), in which students operate a business that produces and sells goods or services, are one form of WBL. However, there is little causal evidence showing the impacts of WBL on student academic or employment outcomes, and none showing the impacts of SBE.
This study will provide the first causal evidence on the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of Virtual Enterprises (VE), a year-long course in which students run a virtual firm.