The U.S. Education Department this week released Perkins program data culled from state reports submitted for the 2020-21 program year, which is the first year to include data under Perkins V.
The information is presented in new dashboards containing enrollment and performance data for career and technical education (CTE) students at the state and national level, including areas of CTE concentration and breakdowns by gender and race/ethnicity.
In 2020-21, there were about 3.5 million participants in postsecondary CTE nationwide — a figure that has remained steady over previous years. Most of the postsecondary participants were females, who comprised 54% (1.9 million) of learners, compared to 46% (1.6 million) for males. That was up from 2019-20, when there were 1.8 million females and 1.7 million males. In 2018-19, the figures were 1.9 million females and 1.7 million males.
The top four career clusters among postsecondary CTE concentrators were: health science (28%); business management and administration (15%); law, public safety, corrections and security (8%); and information technology (8%). (See graph, below.)
The department notes the caveat that the Covid pandemic undoubtedly had some effect on the data, so use them cautiously. “For example, student participation in the state assessments used for the Perkins V academic indicators varied across states, and where student participation was low overall or uneven across student subgroups because of the pandemic, the assessment results may not be representative of the state or a particular subgroup,” it says.
More than 85% of the $1.4 billion appropriated to the Perkins program in fiscal year 2022 went to local formula funds. Of those funds, about 38% went to postsecondary institutions, with the bulk going to secondary schools (62%).