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In 2014, the first year of the Excellence in Action Awards, the Innovation Academy for Engineering, Environmental, and Marine Science at Foy H. Moody High School in Corpus Christi, Texas won in the Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics Career Cluster®.  

The program serves a diverse student body with learners being selected for the program after expressing their interest and being chosen based on a lottery system that isn’t tied to academic achievement. Once enrolled, learners have opportunities to participate in hands-on learning, advanced placement, and dual enrollment courses.

Hear from learners and the principal of Moody High School in this recent news segment celebrating their high enrollment numbers with nearly 300 learners accepted into their academy programs.

Watch the video here.

Learn more about the Innovation Academy for Engineering, Environmental, and Marine Science here.


Career Technical Education (CTE) was once known as vocational education and viewed as an alternative educational option for learners who were considered non-college bound. Now, there are high-quality CTE programs available to educate learners. A new report, The Evolution of Career and Technical Education: 1982–2013 from the American Enterprise Institute shares how courses and learners enrolled in CTE programs of study have changed over the past few decades. Included in the research is a look at the success outcomes according to the concentrator. The terms used in this report to categorize concentrators were “new-era” and “traditional vocational”.

The report recommends that policymakers take a closer look at the data to ensure programs are being promoted to the learners who need these opportunities the most. Key findings include the following:

  • Over the past several decades, CTE has progressed away from the stigma and stereotype of “voc-ed” as an academic dead end. However, the transformation from vocational education to CTE may have hidden, rather than solved, the durable challenges of vocational education.
  • Over 30 years, the percentage of graduates concentrating in “Traditional Vocational” occupational areas—such as manufacturing or agriculture—has fallen, while the percentage concentrating in “New Era” areas—such as computer science and health care—has grown dramatically.
  • Across many measures, including school engagement, academic performance, and college attendance, New Era CTE concentrators consistently show no measurable differences from average graduates, while Traditional Vocational CTE concentrators consistently fall below average.
  • New Era concentrators’ growth and relatively higher outcomes have had an outsized influence on CTE concentrators’ average outcomes, suggesting average improvements may be driven by compositional rather than programmatic effects.
  • For CTE to be successful, leaders (especially those currently developing state plans) must ask themselves not just whether CTE programs are producing adequate outcomes, but also whether CTE systems target the students who need them the most.

For a quick overview check out this video:

Read the full report here.

You can also read our full blog on this report here.

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