Decades of practice and history in workforce development and career education mean an endless trove of research for reporters to explore. The resources below are meant to help reporters new to the topic get their start:
Key Statistics and Federal Resources
The Department of Education’s Perkins Collaborative Research Network is the federal clearinghouse for all things related to the Perkins Act, including rules and regulations, state plans, grant programs and research. Statistical data can be found here:
Twenty-first century career and technical education (CTE) bears no resemblance to the oft-derided “shop class” of decades past. Today’s best CTE programs combine college-level coursework with on-the-job training or apprenticeships, providing students with a clear pathway to both a job and a degree. These models, however, have emerged after decades of criticism over sub-par “vocational education” programs that disproportionately enrolled low-income, minority and disabled students.
The relative newness of modern CTE means a wealth of coverage opportunities for education reporters, including local innovations. Here are a couple big-picture themes to consider:
The evolution of career and technical education has also meant the emergence of a new vocabulary. Here are a few key terms to know:
The Hopes and Fears of Teenagers
How listening to young people might improve college and job training programs intended to help them reach better futures (EWA Radio Episode 291)
“People can’t tell me what they’re going to college for. But they put themselves in thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars of debt—that doesn’t sound like it makes any sense. That’s like buying a car and not knowing how to drive.”
How are hands-on job training programs being affected by the coronavirus pandemic?
What kind of virtual job training works?
Students and teachers described what is, and isn’t, helping students get practical job skills during a December 12 session at the Education Writers Association’s “Pathways to Good Jobs: Higher Ed’s Changing Role in Social Mobility” seminar.
The participants were:
How Can We Widen the Pathway to the Middle Class?
Webinar offers background on "middle skills" research and training programs.
One of the most important goals of America’s education system is to launch citizens into “middle class” jobs that pay enough to provide economic security. But the number of those jobs have been shrinking, and the skills needed to land the remaining middle class jobs are changing faster than many traditional educational or training programs have been able to match.
No School, No Work, No Chance
The federal Job Corps program is falling short in serving millions of young people who are otherwise disconnected from pathways to meaningful employment, a Washington Monthly investigation finds
(EWA Radio Episode 268)
The only federal program intended to help disconnected young adults find meaningful job training has turned into a $1.7 billion boondoggle. That’s the big takeaway from a new investigation by Anne S. Kim of Washington Monthly.