Predicting Community College Outcomes: Does High School CTE Participation Have a Significant Effect?

Cecile Dietrich, Eric Lichtenberger, Rosemaliza Kamalludeen


This study explored the relative importance of participation in high school career and technical
education (CTE) programs in predicting community college outcomes. A hierarchical
generalized linear model (HGLM) was used to predict community college outcome attainment
among a random sample of direct community college entrants. Results show that even after
controlling for various pre-college and environmental factors, community college students who
had participated in a high school CTE program were either just as likely or more likely to attain
all of the outcomes measured in the study when compared to students from general curriculum
programs. Although high school CTE students who matriculated to community colleges were
significantly less likely to transfer to a four-year college with or without a credential as
compared with college prep students, they had significantly greater odds of earning an
associate’s degree or a certificate. Thus, among community college students, high school CTE
participation may help facilitate goals related to the completion agenda, which call for
increasing the number of individuals with quality postsecondary credentials.

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ISSN: 1531-4952