The Impact of Career and Technical Education on Post-school Employment Outcomes among Youth with Disabilities
Hunter, Cherise Janelle
McLaughlin, Margaret J
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Given the college- and career-readiness national education agenda and the demands of the 21st century labor market, the purpose of this study was to describe and compare the relationship between post-school employment outcomes and the completion of a secondary education career and technical education concentration among youth with disabilities. Specifically, this study examined the labor force participation, employment, wages, and receipt of fringe benefits up to 11 years after exiting high school among youth with disabilities who completed a CTE concentration as part of their overall high school course of study. Data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 which includes a nationally representative sample of youth who attended high school in the late 1990's and beginning of the 21st century was used. A subsample of this data containing youth with disabilities was utilized and their 2006 post-school outcomes were analyzed using logistic regression and ordinary least squares regression analyses. The results suggest that youth with disabilities who complete a CTE concentration in high school have a higher likelihood of participating in the labor force, being employed, and earning higher wages up to 11 years beyond exiting high school controlling for household income, race, ethnicity, gender, location, and marital status. However, the likelihood that youth would have a job that provided fringe benefits was reduced for youth who concentrated in secondary CTE. Academic achievement, academic course-taking, and postsecondary degree attainment mitigated the effects of CTE on post-school employment outcomes. These findings emphasize the importance of CTE being utilized as a course of study option for youth with disabilities, especially for youth with disabilities who choose not to obtain a postsecondary degree. The findings also support the need for secondary CTE programs to integrate standards-based academic curricula and increase the facilitation of youth with disabilities into postsecondary education.