New Framework for Conducting CTE Return on Investment Analysis

Many states produce impressive statistics regarding career technical education (CTE) student performance, including high rates of technical skill attainment and high language arts and mathematics performance levels. Still, states and districts often fail to provide evidence of CTE’s return on investment (ROI) for communities and the economy. A recently released framework provides guidance for CTE evaluators seeking to show the positive impact of CTE programs on the economy.

In the study, Conducting Return on Investment Analyses for Secondary and Postsecondary CTE: A Framework, the National Research Center for Career and Technical Education (NRCCTE) finds that secondary CTE students receive positive returns at very little or no cost for secondary CTE. The study also reveals that postsecondary CTE participants yield short-term and long-term positive returns on investment.

Further ROI analysis of CTE programs is necessary to demonstrate the effectiveness and necessity of CTE within communities and across the nation. According to Deputy Director Pradeep Kotamraju, the NRCCTE recognizes the difficulty of conducting CTE ROI analyses and hopes to provide rigorous analysis alternatives for CTE stakeholders.


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