A country's productivity and economic competitiveness relies upon education, specifically postsecondary training which is fundamental to students' upward mobility in a thriving and progressive economic culture (Haunshek & Woessmann, 2012; Bailey, Jaggars, & Jenkins, 2015). In order to maintain the economic stability of the United States for future generations to come, job qualifications will require that at least 71% of careers in the 21st century be accompanied by a vocational certificate or licensure, associate’s degree, or bachelor’s degree by the year 2020 (Lindsay, J., Davis, E., Stephan, J., Bonsu, P., & Narlock, J., 2016). Despite several years of state and national efforts, the United States is not producing enough adults with the prescribed postsecondary credentials to meet the national workforce requirements (Bidwell, 2015). “Knowledge and skills remain paramount for the prosperity of our nation’s economy, but as we move further into the 21st century, some form of postsecondary learning and credential attainment is necessary to hold a good job, contribute as a citizen, raise a family, and contribute in meaningful ways to communities” (Bailey et al., 2015). Career and Technical Education (CTE) must become a national priority in secondary and postsecondary education to ensure the United States will continue to compete on a global scale in the 21st century and beyond.
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"Case Study: Career Pathways in Rural Kansas Redesign Schools,"