The Effects of Career and Technical Education: Evidence from the Connecticut Technical High School System

Dr. Shaun Dougherty, Associate Professor, Public Policy & Education, Department of Leadership, Policy & Organizations, Vanderbilt University


Friday, April 24, 2020 - 2:00pm CDT


Friday, April 24, 2020 - 3:30pm CDT


Via Zoom (Pre-registration is required for this event; listed below)

Pre-register for this event here.

This research examines the effect of admission to 16 stand-alone technical high schools within the Connecticut Technical High School System (CTHSS) on student educational and labor market outcomes. To identify the causal effect of admission on student outcomes, the authors exploit the fact that CTHSS utilizes a score-based admissions system and identify the effect of admission using a regression discontinuity approach. They find that male students attending one of the technical high schools are approximately 10 percentage points more likely to graduate from high school and 8 percentage points less likely to attend college, although there is some evidence that the negative effects on college attendance fade over time. They also find that male students attending a technical high school have quarterly earnings that are approximately 31% higher. There is little evidence that attending a technical high school affects the educational or labor outcomes of women.

Shaun M. Dougherty, Ed.D. is an associate professor of public policy and education at Vanderbilt’s Peabody College. He uses quantitative research methods to evaluate the impact of educational policies and programs, and emphasizes understanding how the requirements, incentives and behaviors that those policies produce develop human capital and promote equitable outcomes. Dr. Dougherty is a national expert on career and technical education, with additional expertise in accountability policy. He has received research funding from IES, the Smith Richardson Foundation, and the Institute for Research on Poverty, which also recognized him as an Early Career Scholar.In addition, he is a faculty fellow with the Tennessee Education Research Alliance and a faculty adviser to the Strategic Data Project through the Center for Education Policy Research at Harvard University.

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