What Can We Learn About Postsecondary Vocational Education From Existing Data?

Bailey, Thomas R.; Kienzl, Gregory S.

This paper outlines an agenda for research on postsecondary vocational education that can be carried out with existing data. We are particularly interested in encouraging research that can provide insight into the effects of the Carl D.Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act of 1998. This act prescribes a set of performance indicators designed to promote continuous program improvement, yet some performance measures may not fully measure the educational and skills training missions of community colleges. This issue becomes especially important in light of the emerging trend of nontraditional pathways taken by students through higher education. Although fewer and fewer students proceed through higher education uninterrupted at a single institution, this ideal continues to dominate postsecondary education assessment. Helping to resolve the problems of assessment and institutional accountability within the rapidly changing landscape of postsecondary vocational education is one of the most important roles that projects using existing data could play for the National Assessment of Vocational Education. We propose a set of six projects that can help define "success" in postsecondary vocational education. We also suggest some analyses to evaluate the performance of individuals, groups of institutions, and community colleges against those standards.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Community College Research Center
Community College Research Center, Teachers College, Columbia University
Published Here
April 4, 2014