September 6, 2012

RTI International to Lead National Career, Technical Education Center

Highlights

  • RTI will establish and lead the National Center for Innovation in Career and Technical Education.
  • The center will be based in Research Triangle Park, N.C.
  • The center will conduct research to inform how career and technical education programs operate and provide training for educators and administrators.
  • The contract, worth $9.2 million, is funded by the U.S. Department of Education Office of Vocational and Adult Education.

Media Contacts

  • News@rti.org
  • Lisa Bistreich-Wolfe
    919-316-3596
  • Kami Spangenberg
    919-485-5606
Laura Knapp
Laura Knapp

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – RTI International has been awarded a three-year contract to establish and lead the National Center for Innovation in Career and Technical Education.

The center, based in Research Triangle Park, N.C., will conduct research to inform how career and technical education programs operate and provide training for educators and administrators.

The contract, worth $9.2 million, is funded by the U.S. Department of Education Office of Vocational and Adult Education.

As administrative leader of the center, RTI will work with project partners to assess the impact and expand the delivery of career and technical education within secondary, postsecondary and adult education programs nationwide.

“There is a pressing need to strengthen the role of career and technical education in America,” said Laura Knapp, a senior research economist at RTI and the project’s director. “The research and training activities performed at the center will help expand the benefits of applied learning to a larger population of students.”

The center’s research efforts will focus on evaluating programs of study and career pathways, curriculum integration, technology-enabled learning, and professional development. The findings will be used to help refine education and workforce development systems and guide recommendations for program improvement.

Additionally, the center will offer training for community college administrators and educators to promote best-practices and improve student achievement within career and technical education programs.

“This center will serve as the premier source of research and guidance on career and technical education policies, practices and impact,” Knapp said. “Our team of highly qualified technical experts will work with educators, policy makers, and professional organizations to turn research findings into practical, actionable intelligence.”

RTI will work closely with project partners MPR Associates, Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, ConnectEd: The California Center for College and Career, FHI 360, Laurium Evaluation Group, Coverent, Workforce Enterprise Systems, Mercury Labs, IT-CNP, and Windwalker Corporation on developing and implementing the center’s agenda.

Four professional associations, the Association of Community Colleges, the Association for Career and Technical Education, the National Association of State Directors of Career and Technical Education Consortium, and the Career Academy Support Network, will provide support by informing and promoting the center’s mission.