AIR to Lead Research Network on Career and Technical Education

Washington, D.C. - The American Institutes for Research (AIR) will lead a federally funded network designed to increase the evidence base on career and technical education (CTE) programs.

The Career and Technical Education Research Network is funded through the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), the non-partisan research and statistics arm of the U.S. Department of Education, with the goals of sharing information, building new knowledge, and assisting leaders and practitioners in their efforts to strengthen CTE policies and programs and improve student outcomes.

As the Network Lead, AIR will:

  • Coordinate with Network members to ensure goals are met and coordinate supplemental activities;
  • Carry out two research projects—an evaluability assessment to identify CTE programs or models that are most ready for rigorous evaluation, and a synthesis of research completed by Network members and others;
  • Conduct training for the next generation of CTE researchers and train state and district CTE policymakers and practitioners to use data and research to inform decisions, including the development of online modules; and 
  • Lead the dissemination and promotion of the Network’s activities, findings and products.

“As career and technical education programs grow in our nation’s schools, there is a greater need for rigorous research to identify programs that are best serving students,” said David Myers, AIR’s President and CEO. “We are excited to lead this new network and work with other organizations to increase what we know about the effectiveness of CTE programs and prepare others to conduct rigorous research in this important area.”

Katherine Hughes, a principal researcher at AIR, will serve as the principal investigator for this five-year, $5 million grant. Shaun M. Dougherty, associate professor of public policy and education at Vanderbilt University, will serve as co-principal investigator. Partnering organizations are JFF (Jobs for the Future) and the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE).

About AIR
Established in 1946, with headquarters in Washington, D.C., the American Institutes for Research (AIR) is a nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization that conducts behavioral and social science research and delivers technical assistance both domestically and internationally in the areas of education, health and the workforce. For more information, visit


Media Contact

Dana Tofig

Managing Director, Corporate Communications