Defining Equity in CTE and Adult Education

Equity in Career and Technical Education (CTE) and Adult Education can be described as when all students, regardless of gender, location, or other factors, have equitable access to high-quality programs, program participation, and program outcomes. Equity in CTE specifically means that all students are able to participate, complete, and succeed in the CTE program of their choice.

Does this definition of equity resonate with you? Please share your feedback, comments, and experiences with this definition of equity and how equity plays a role in your professional life.

For more information and resources on advancing equity, please stay tuned for the Advancing Equity Toolkit which will be available on the Perkins Collaborative Resource Network (PCRN) this fall. 


Jessie and All, 
First, I love that we are talking about equity rather than equality. From a leadership perspective, it's  about how we allocate our resources to ensure that all students have equitable access to opportunities. Unfortunately, equity is increasingly difficult to reach as we become a more diverse nation with students entering their educational experience with a variety of needs. I'd like to believe that all of my leadership decisions are based on the concept of equity for all, but I'd like to add another layer to this question. How do you know (by solid measurement) when you have provided equitable resources for all? 

Kathy Tracey 

I think this is a good start on how I think about equity. The idea of providing access to an within CTE pathways and focusing outcomes is great start. In that last summary of the definition, I think in someone it gives institutions an out, particularly with the use of able in the text "Equity in CTE specifically means that all students are able to participate, complete, and succeed in the CTE program of their choice." Students may be able and may very well have access, but I think there has to be greater attention to institutional responsibility and focus on how effort will be placed to sustain and expand the success of those who experience the greatest outcomes and a commitment to closing outcomes gaps for those student populations that experience the greatest disparities in outcomes. 



CALDER (CENTER for ANALYSIS of LONGITUDINAL DATA in EDUCATION RESEARCH) has released a working paper titled, Career and Technical Education, Inclusion, and Postsecondary Outcomes for Students with Disabilities, which offers evidence supporting the inclusion of secondary learners with disabilities in CTE course concentrations. 

The abstract outlines the research premise.  We use longitudinal data on all high school students in Washington State, including postsecondary education and workforce outcomes, to investigate predictors of intermediate and postsecondary outcomes for students with disabilities. We pay particular attention to career and technical education (CTE) enrollment and the extent of inclusion in general education classrooms, as prior research suggests these factors may be particularly important in influencing the outcomes of students with disabilities.

It would be interesting to see a how the findings of this report compare to a study of adult learners with disabilities in CTE programs.  If you're familiar with any research efforts in this area, please share with us.


Mike Cruse

Disabilities and Equitable Outcomes Moderator