What are the trends in career/technical education in public high schools?
Higher percentages of 2005 public high school graduates concentrated (earning 3.0 or more credits) in the areas of computer technology and agriculture than in any other occupational program area (3 vs. 2 percent or less of graduates). Thus, while graduates earned fewer credits on average in agriculture than in computer technology (0.2 vs. 0.6 credits), there was no measurable difference in the percentage of concentrators in these two areas (3 percent each).
About 21–23 percent of graduates in each year completed an occupational concentration, earning 3.0 or more credits in at least one of the occupational programs.
Some coursetaking shifts were detected, however, among the occupational program areas. In 2005, public high school graduates earned more credits on average and concentrated more often in five occupational program areas than in 1990: computer technology, health care, communications technology, child care and education, and protective services (0.04–0.25 more credits and 0.4–2.4 increase in percentage of concentrators). In contrast, 2005 graduates earned fewer credits on average and concentrated less often than 1990 graduates in three occupational program areas: business services, materials production, and other precision production (0.1–0.3 fewer credits and 1–5 decrease in percentage of concentrators).
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2008). Career and Technical Education in the United States: 1990-2005 (NCES 2008-035).
|Percentage of public high school graduates taking different types of career and technical education (CTE) coursework: 1990, 2000, and 2005|
|Took any CTE courses||98.0||96.6||96.6|
|Took any occupational courses||90.6||90.9||92.0|
|Completed an occupational concentration, total||22.8||21.8||20.8|
|Business services||6.7||3.8||1.9||Communications technology||0.3||0.6||1.2|
|Other precision production||0.9||0.4||0.2|
|Health care||0.6||1.9||2.1||Child care and education||0.3||0.6||0.7|
# Rounds to zero.
NOTE: Completing an occupational concentration is defined as earning 3.0 or more credits in any of the occupational programs. Not all concentrations are included on this table.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2008). Career and Technical Education in the United States: 1990 to 2005, Table 2.18.
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