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$2 Million Grant from ECMC Foundation Will Enhance Research on Career and Technical Education

October 02, 2018

By Cherry Crayton, North Carolina State University College of Education

The ECMC Foundation has awarded the NC State College of Education a $2 million, three-year grant to enhance and strengthen postsecondary Career and Technical Education (CTE) research at universities nationwide through the establishment of the CTE Research Program at NC State-Sponsored by ECMC Foundation.

Nationally, the focus of career and technical education research has been at the secondary level, said James E. Bartlett, II, Ph.D., the project’s principal investigator and associate professor of workforce and community college education at the NC State College of Education. “However, we know that over two-thirds of the jobs in the future will require some form of postsecondary education beyond high school and the success of students in postsecondary career and technical education is critical to meet labor market demands.”

The CTE Research Program at NC State-Sponsored by ECMC Foundation will provide resources for new scholars to be able to focus their research efforts on postsecondary career and technical education, as well as create a network of resources for scholars to continue their work. In addition to receiving financial support for their projects, ECMC Fellows will be supported to participate in two research institutes and online professional development, and they will be assigned nationally recognized scholars as mentors.

“The program will support a community of researchers excited to study postsecondary CTE and recruit between 15 to 18 postdoctoral and doctoral researchers each year,” said Michelle Bartlett, Ph.D., project co-principal investigator and teaching assistant professor.

Ideal fellows will come from a range of postsecondary institutions and a variety of academic disciplines, such as education, economics, sociology and business.

“We are excited about the opportunities that the CTE Research Program at NC State–Sponsored by ECMC Foundation will create for rising CTE researchers,” said Peter Taylor, president of the ECMC Foundation. “In addition, the research they uncover will increase the knowledge base necessary to grow the field and support strong student outcomes.”

In addition to James Bartlett and Michelle Bartlett, other NC State Education faculty working on the project are co-PIs Audrey Jaeger, Alumni Distinguished Graduate Professor, and Rey García, professor of the practice.

With colleagues across the college, the project team will

  • create a community to engage and support postsecondary CTE researchers,
  • engage postsecondary CTE scholars and leaders to create professional development,
  • implement a mentor program for the postsecondary Fellows,
  • provide support to disseminate research related to postsecondary CTE, and
  • create a structure to support CTE Fellows as they seek employment as postsecondary CTE researchers.

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