DIFFERENCES AMONGST THREE TYPES OF COURSETAKERS IN CAREER AND TECHNICAL EDUCATION FOR ATTENDANCE AND MATH ACHIEVEMENT IN HIGH SCHOOL
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The purpose of this study was to analyze the differences in attendance and academic achievement amongst three groups of career and technical education (CTE) students. CTE participants were divided into three groups based on levels of CTE participation and CTE occupational focus. The three groups were (a) coursetakers, (b) explorers, and (c) concentrators. The CTE students were enrolled during school years 2010–2011 to 2013–2014 and took the Oregon Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (OAKS) math test in their junior year. The analysis revealed no significant differences amongst the three groups, p = .437. The mean attendance for 4 years was nearly 96% for explorers and just over 94% for concentrators and coursetakers. No significant differences were found amongst CTE groups for overall GPA, p = .675, and for CTE GPA, p < .086. However, differences between overall GPA and CTE GPA were significant, p < .000, favoring CTE GPA. Nonsignificant differences on the OAKS math test, p = .95, were found for the three groups. This study also revealed that students susceptible to chronic absenteeism were heavily represented amongst the study participants; thus, the results may indicate that CTE encouraged positive peer relationships, enabling a higher attendance rate and allowing the cohort to achieve slightly better GPA and OAKS math test scores than non-CTE students at this school. In particular, students who were identified as special education, minority, or economically disadvantaged did as well or better in attendance and academic achievement than did their other CTE counterparts.