ETS Academic to Career Research Center Is Building Next Generation of Education Research

Educational Testing Service (ETS) draws upon its seven decades of expertise as a nonprofit educational assessment and research organization to pioneer innovative ways for people to show what they know and can do. Our belief in the life-changing power of learning is at the root of everything we do—our research seeks to inspire educational access and attainment and enable work opportunity for learners around the world. In particular, our Academic to Career Research Center is working to build bridges between education and workforce research to inform the best practices of tomorrow.

In an effort to maximize our organization’s impact on lives and communities, the ETS research agenda is focused on projects intended to address educational challenges most pressing for learners, educators, administrators, employers, and policymakers. One such challenge is to increase workplace preparedness and success. As part of our work to address this challenge, ETS is currently examining the career pathways and factors that support the success of high school career and technical students, and adult learners seeking to obtain skilled technical jobs. We are also synthesizing employer skill expectations across a range of job types. At the same time, we are conducting case studies that investigate how to optimize learning for adults in digital and blended-learning conditions, whether to promote literacy or employability skills.

Career technical education (CTE) is a major focus, as it is a conduit for learners to compete for and succeed in obtaining skilled technical jobs that result in entering meaningful career paths. Specifically, there is a need to understand (a) the decision-making mechanisms by which learners successfully enter CTE training, (b) the effective strategies for teaching and the contextual support students need to complete training, and (c) the factors associated with job placement and career advancement tied to skilled technical jobs.

We are excited to share some of our work in two sessions at the 2020 Innovations Conference:

  • In our panel “Career Pathway Choices and Predictors of Student Success,” we draw on data from a nationally representative, longitudinal study to explore the educational and job pathways students follow after high school, the role of CTE participation in predicting students’ pathways, and social and human capital factors that relate to the job outcomes in their pathways.
  • In our panel “Using New Technologies to Develop Essential Skills in Adult Learners,” we present two case studies of community colleges applying novel solutions to develop critical, but often difficult-to-instill, new economy skills in adult learners. Participants will learn how these schools applied technology to both literacy and soft skills development, and explore the challenges and benefits of this format.

At the Academic to Career Research Center we recognize the value of collaboration with community colleges, which are at the forefront of efforts to build affordable, high-quality education pathways to careers for adult learners. Stop by our presentations or booth (#201) at Innovations 2020 to meet our team and learn more about how your institution can partner with ETS to support innovations in community college education.

ETS is a League Platinum Partner and Innovations 2020 sponsor and exhibitor.

Publish Date: 
Tuesday, January 28, 2020