ACTE Techniques January 2012 : Page 27

students reported challenges with CTE course-taking and scheduling—such as facing tradeoffs between taking CTE and academic core courses, Advanced Place-ment courses and non-CTE dual credit courses. For example, taking CTE courses instead of AP courses could cause grade point averages to suffer or make meeting core curriculum requirements difficult. Where not adequately addressed, these challenges are hampering efforts to inte-grate CTE and academic programs into seamless POS pathways. Conclusions Early observations from our study explor-ing the influence of South Carolina’s EEDA on student outcomes and the development of career pathways and POS contain some lessons for those planning to implement similar reforms. First, com-ponents of the reform are helping to build some of the foundations and framework considered necessary for the develop-ment and successful implementation of Perkins IV-defined POS and other career pathways. Added school guidance personnel have been essential to the early implementa-tion of this comprehensive school reform effort and in establishing several of the components for the foundation for POS. Through their efforts, and the efforts of other school personnel, EEDA has in-creased career exploration and planning opportunities for students in all of our eight sample high schools, with the man-dated IGP process playing a key role. The IGP process has allowed students to learn how to establish and track career goals, and to select and plan coursework for a career pathway or POS; helped reduce any historically present stigma associated with CTE; often facilitated academic-CTE discussions and interactions; and has helped to initiate discussion about how to integrate courses into seamless career/POS pathways. In addition to these positive factors, we found challenges to implementation www.acteonline.org across schools. These challenges often related to the amount of buy-in of the school and district to the reform policy and the level of resources for implemen-tation—both of which varied across sample schools. Implementation of such a comprehensive reform requires resources and commitment at the classroom, school, district and state levels. Local availability of jobs and job-shadowing opportunities in the specific communities, resources available within the school districts, declining state funding for EEDA and other educational services, and increased demands placed on school personnel all impacted implementation levels. Several of the sampled schools lack some of the basic resources necessary to design and implement an array of POS, and in some high poverty rural areas we found little potential for this situation to improve in the near future. Acknowledgments The work reported herein was supported under the National Research Center for Career and Technical Education (PR/Award No. VO51A070003) as administered by the Office of Vocational and Adult Education, U.S. Department of Education. However, the contents do not necessarily represent the positions or policies of the Office of Vocational and Adult Education or the U.S. Department of Education and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government. Catherine Mobley, Ph.D., is an associate professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Clemson University. She can be contacted at camoble@clemson.edu. Cathy Hammond, Ph.D., is a research associate at the National Dropout Prevention Center at Clemson University. She can be contacted at hammon3@clemson.edu. Cairen Withington, M.A., is a research associate at the National Dropout Prevention Center at Clemson University. She can be contacted at cairenw@clemson.edu. Sam Stringfield, Ph.D., is a professor in the Department of Educational and Counseling Psychology at the University of Louisville. He can be contacted at sam.stringfield@louisville.edu. Natalie Stipanovic, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the Department of Educational and Counseling Psychology at the University of Louisville. She can be contacted at nrkosi01@louisville.edu. Julia L. Sharp, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the Department of Mathematical Sciences at Clemson University. She can be contacted at jsharp@clemson.edu. Sam Drew, Ph.D., is the interim executive director at the National Dropout Prevention Center at Clemson University. He can be contacted at sdrew@clemson.edu. references Kalchick, S., and Oertle, K. M. (2010). “The Theory and Application of Contextualized Teaching and Learning in Relation to Programs of Study and Career Pathways.” Transition Highlights , 3(2). Urbana-Champaign, IL: University of Illinois Office of Community College Research and Leadership. Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE). (2010). Career and Technical Programs of Study: A Design Framework . Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Education, Division of Academic and Technical Education. Sharp, J. L., Mobley, C., Hammond, C., Withington, C., Drew, S., Stringfield, S., and Stipanovic, N. (2011). “A Mixed Methods Sampling Methodology for a Multisite Case Study.” Journal of Mixed Methods Research . Advance online publication. doi:10.1177/1558689811417133 Stipanovic, N., Lewis, M., and Stringfield, S. (in press). “Situating Programs of Study Within Current and Historical Career and Technical Education Reform Efforts.” International Journal of Educational Reform . Interested in exploring this topic further? Discuss it with your colleagues on the ACTE forums at www. acteonline.org/forum.aspx . Januar y 2012 Techniques 27

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