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Catherine Imperatore
Alexandria, VA
Research manager at ACTE. I write ACTE publications, follow data and research related to CTE and workforce development, and work with several projects to improve data sharing across education and workforce systems. You can reach me at
Recent Activity
From career decision-making influences to education and workforce data governance to the impact of loans on community college student outcomes, the following publications address topics of relevance to CTE. Adding Skills to the AA: The American Enterprise Institute has published research and recommendations on how community colleges can make associate... Continue reading
What strategies are states using to promote career advising and development? Are counselors using effective career advising strategies? Advance CTE and the American School Counselor Association have investigated these and other questions in the recently published The State of Career Technical Education: Career Advising and Development, including these research findings:... Continue reading
Last year saw a significant expansion of state CTE policy, with 49 states and DC enacting 241 CTE-related laws, executive orders, boards of education actions and budget provisions, as documented in State Policies Impacting CTE: 2017 Year in Review from ACTE and Advance CTE. The publication summarizes each state’s CTE... Continue reading
The national profile of CTE continued to grow in 2017, with nearly every state adopting new policies related to CTE and career readiness Join ACTE and Advance CTE on Wednesday, January 31 from 2:00-3:00pm ET for a webinar that will unpack findings from our joint publication, State Policies Impacting CTE:... Continue reading
Start the new year off with these recent reports and research about CTE, on topics ranging from rural CTE access to a new website that hosts information on a variety of credentials to how career readiness has fared in Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) plans. Expanding access for rural students:... Continue reading
ACTE has updated its Sector Sheet on CTE’s role in developing the workforce in the Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources Career Cluster® with the latest on occupational demand, talent shortages and exemplary programs. The Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources Career Cluster continuously evolves in response to changes in food consumption... Continue reading
ACTE’s fall reading list includes a variety of reports and resources relevant to CTE. Dual-enrollment Differences: A longitudinal study has found that dually enrolled students are more likely to earn a postsecondary certificate or degree than those who did not pursue dual enrollment. However, there are significant variations across states... Continue reading
CTE’s place in the community college mission is the focus of two new American Enterprise Institute (AEI) publications. The Path Less Taken: Barriers to Providing Career and Technical Education at Community Colleges argues that structures and policies disincentivize community colleges from growing their CTE programs. These barriers include state and... Continue reading
Two recent analyses conclude that CTE has little to no negative impact on college attendance and completion, and positively impacts high school persistence, on-time graduation and earnings. The benefits are stronger for more specialized CTE courses and courses taken later in a student’s high school career. In Linking the Timing... Continue reading
In addition to first-time, full-time students, the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) is now collecting data on three additional cohorts. This data will shed more light on so-called "nontraditional" students, who are an increasing proportion of the postsecondary student universe, including: First-time students attending part-time Non-first-time students attending full-time... Continue reading
Associate degrees, postsecondary certificates and apprenticeship certificates can all lead to higher earnings than bachelor’s degrees, particularly in CTE programs such as health, engineering and other technical fields. The American Enterprise Institute recently published an analysis of the return on investment five years and 20 years later for students completing... Continue reading
In order to learn how industry certification impacts student education and workforce outcomes, ACTE’s Certification Data Exchange Project has tested data-sharing processes between state education and workforce data systems and industry certifiers, created standardized tools and processes, and raised awareness about the importance of industry certification data. The project’s final... Continue reading
Rural innovations in work-based learning are described in a new publication from Advance CTE and its partners in the New Skills for Youth initiative. The report shares a number of examples of how states are helping their rural populations to engage in work-based learning, despite access, transportation and logistical challenges.... Continue reading
The following research and publications have been on our reading list as the leaves start to turn: Parents Want More CTE: Parents’ highest priority, in an American Federation of Teachers poll, is expanding access to CTE and other programs that prepare students for jobs—94 percent strongly or somewhat approve of... Continue reading
Research from Massachusetts and North Carolina points to positive results for students attending CTE high schools and career academies. An analysis from Massachusetts shows that students who scored just above the cutoff for admission to oversubscribed regional vocational-technical schools were more likely to graduate high school than those who just... Continue reading
Advance CTE has a new resource to help states assess and strengthen their policy for approving new CTE programs of study. The CTE Program Approval Policy Benchmark Tool describes elements of an effective state program approval policy and provides an assessment rubric that state leaders can use to identify gaps... Continue reading
These new publications describe the opportunities available in three industry sectors for which CTE prepares students: infrastructure, construction and nursing Infrastructure: The infrastructure workforce is facing shortages. The transportation sector will need 4.6 million workers by 2022 due to industry growth, retirements and turnover. And President Trump’s proposal for infrastructure... Continue reading
Work-based learning is integral to high-quality CTE, but access, logistics and safety issues all present challenges. In response, CTE programs are increasingly turning to simulated work-based learning, as documented in a new National Center for Innovation in CTE report. The publication defines “simulated work-based learning” as an immersive experience in... Continue reading
Twenty-seven percent of U.S. adults had an industry certification, a license or a postsecondary certificate in 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. This includes 18 percent with a license, 6 percent with a certification and 8 percent with a postsecondary certificate (some people had more than one... Continue reading
The federally appointed Commission on Evidence-based Policymaking has released their final publication, which recommends repealing bans on the collection and use of data, including student data, and supports sharing state earnings data as evidence of program effectiveness. According to the Commission, almost two-thirds of the public comments it received were... Continue reading
ACTE has updated its Sector Sheet on CTE’s role in developing the information technology (IT) workforce with the latest on labor market demand, talent shortages and exemplary CTE programs. Demand in IT is continuing, with a 12-percent increase in employment projected through 2024. Forty-one percent of U.S. tech firms are... Continue reading
As summer wanes, we’re catching up with surveys and reports relevant to CTE that have come out in the past few months: According to an EdWeek blog, high-risk students are significantly more likely to graduate if they attend a career academy, specifically the NAF (National Academy Foundation) program: 10 percent... Continue reading
A recent Business Roundtable survey of CEOs has identified three major categories of skills lacking in the workforce: Fundamental employability skills, including basic math, technical reading, communication, teamwork and problem solving Specialized skills in the trades, such as tool and die making, welding and electrical STEM skills, particularly in cybersecurity,... Continue reading
State strategies to support rural CTE programs are the focus of a new brief from Advance CTE. After describing the challenges of rural CTE—including a lack of resources, fewer local postsecondary institutions with which to partner and limited employers to support work-based experiences—the brief profiles how Nebraska, South Dakota, Idaho... Continue reading
At the end of August, a sample of CTE educators nationwide will begin receiving packets with questionnaires for CTE students and teachers. Continue reading