Vocational Education Course Taking and Post-High School Employment of Youth with Emotional Disturbances

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Wagner, M., Newman, L., & Javitz, H. (2016). Vocational education course taking and post-high school employment of youth with emotional disturbances. Career and Technical Education for Individuals, 1-12. doi:10.1177/2165143415626399


Data from the National Longitudinal Transition Study–2 (NLTS2) were used to examine the patterns of career and technical education (CTE) course taking in high school by students receiving special education services for emotional disturbances (ED). Descriptive analyses indicate the extent of such course taking by students with ED and their engagement in a concentrated program of occupationally specific general education CTE, a level of CTE course taking that early research has linked to improved post–high school employment outcomes. Propensity scoring methods were used to determine the extent to which either type of CTE course taking was related to higher odds of full-time employment after high school and whether results differed with the length of time post high school. There was a significant positive effect for participating in a concentration of occupationally specific CTE in the first 2 post–high school years, but effects were non-significant for later years. Results showed no benefits of CTE course taking overall. The implications for high school programming and transition planning are discussed.

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