Career and Technical Education Access, Course-Taking, and Outcomes: Evidence from Ohio
Alexis Gable

About the research


NAEd/Spencer Dissertation Fellowship

Award Year



Harvard University

Primary Discipline

Educational Policy
While traditional vocational education focused on imparting technical skills to prepare students for post-high-school employment, 77 percent of high school students, both college- and career-bound, participate in today?s career and technical education (CTE). Recent federal legislation and the increased importance of preparing students to be college- and work-ready have led to a new statewide prioritization of CTE that is both academic and technical in nature. As CTE course-taking becomes more common, it is increasingly important that we understand how it is offered, who it is offered to, and the effects of encouraging students to pursue it. Using statewide administrative data from Ohio that follows students from high school to work, my dissertation explores differences in district-level CTE delivery, selection into CTE participation within districts, and the impact of CTE participation on high school and post-high-school outcomes. I explore these topics using a mixed-methods research design employing quantitative descriptive analysis (district- and student-level regression), qualitative analysis (interviews with school counselors), and a causal instrumental variables strategy. I focus on equity in CTE offerings and course-taking with the understanding that access, participation, and outcomes might differ for historically-marginalized students. This work contributes to existing literature by comparing in- and out-of-high-school models of CTE delivery, utilizing longitudinal data that captures college and labor market outcomes, and posing a plausibly-causal identification strategy using random assignment of students to counselors. Though this work is situated in Ohio, I argue that these results are generalizable to other states and can inform CTE policy-making across the country.
About Alexis Gable
Alexis Gable is a Ph.D. candidate in Education Policy and Program Evaluation at Harvard University. Her research focuses on the intersections between school and work. She aims to produce rigorous quantitative research with policy relevance and has worked closely with the Office of Graduate Success at the Ohio Department of Education for the past 3 years. Alexis is also a Partnering in Education Research Fellow at the Center for Education Policy Research and a data lead at Harvard Kennedy School?s Project on Workforce. In her dissertation, she explores how career-technical training in the US prepares students for work. Prior to her doctoral studies, Alexis worked as a researcher at the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern University. She received a bachelor?s degree in Social Policy and Economics from Northwestern University. Alexis was born and raised in Akron, Ohio.

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