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Author(s): Dustin D. Finch; Sean Owen, Ph.D.*; Cliff Thames; Ben Alexander
This study, a post hoc observational one, attempted to understand how to continue promoting equitable opportunities in career and technical education (CTE) for the state of Mississippi. We explored the enrollment patterns of Mississippi secondary CTE students by career cluster and career pathways associated with STEM careers over the last five years. Additionally, the enrollment patterns were compared to statewide enrollment patterns by gender and ethnicity. Also, we examined the proficiency results of students on the statewide CTE assessment by gender and ethnicity. Our secondary CTE student enrollment results are like previous reports of underrepresentation of nontraditional students in STEM-related career fields. Additionally, similar results were found when looking at the statewide CTE assessment data. However, there is an indication that CTE and non-CTE leaders effectively recruit underrepresented populations to STEM-related career pathways in the state of Mississippi, but more work is needed to allow access to all students.