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The SSRC Library allows visitors to access materials related to self-sufficiency programs, practice and research. Visitors can view common search terms, conduct a keyword search or create a custom search using any combination of the filters at the left side of this page. To conduct a keyword search, type a term or combination of terms into the search box below, select whether you want to search the exact phrase or the words in any order, and click on the blue button to the right of the search box to view relevant results.

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  • Individual Author: Dave, Dhaval M.; Reichman, Nancy E.; Corman, Hope; Das, Dhiman
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2011

    Exploiting variation in welfare reform across states and over time and using relevant comparison groups, this study estimates the effects of welfare reform on an important source of human capital acquisition among women at risk for relying on welfare: vocational education and training. The results indicate that welfare reform reduced enrollment in full-time vocational education and had no significant effects on part-time vocational education or participation in other types of work-related courses, though there is considerable heterogeneity across states with respect to the strictness of educational policy and the strength of work incentives under welfare reform. In addition, we find heterogeneous effects by prior educational attainment. We find no evidence that the previously-observed negative effects of welfare reform on formal education (including college enrollment), which we replicated in this study, have been offset by increases in vocational education and training. (author abstract)

    Exploiting variation in welfare reform across states and over time and using relevant comparison groups, this study estimates the effects of welfare reform on an important source of human capital acquisition among women at risk for relying on welfare: vocational education and training. The results indicate that welfare reform reduced enrollment in full-time vocational education and had no significant effects on part-time vocational education or participation in other types of work-related courses, though there is considerable heterogeneity across states with respect to the strictness of educational policy and the strength of work incentives under welfare reform. In addition, we find heterogeneous effects by prior educational attainment. We find no evidence that the previously-observed negative effects of welfare reform on formal education (including college enrollment), which we replicated in this study, have been offset by increases in vocational education and training. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Silverberg, Marsha; Warner, Elizabeth; Fong, Michael; Goodwin, David
    Year: 2004

    National Assessment of Vocational Education: Final Report to Congress (2004) presents a synthesis of evidence on the implementation and outcomes of vocational education and of the 1998 Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act (Perkins III). It examines questions about the effectiveness of vocational education in improving student outcomes, the consequences of new funding and accountability provisions for programs and participants, the implementation and quality of vocational education, and the extent of its alignment with other reform efforts. The report also provides options for the future direction of vocational education legislation. (Author abstract)

    National Assessment of Vocational Education: Final Report to Congress (2004) presents a synthesis of evidence on the implementation and outcomes of vocational education and of the 1998 Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act (Perkins III). It examines questions about the effectiveness of vocational education in improving student outcomes, the consequences of new funding and accountability provisions for programs and participants, the implementation and quality of vocational education, and the extent of its alignment with other reform efforts. The report also provides options for the future direction of vocational education legislation. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Levesque, Karen; Lauen, Doug; Teitelbaum, Peter; Alt, Martha; Librera, Sally
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2000

    Vocational education at the turn of the century is an enterprise in transition. This publication addresses the primary question about the size of the enterprise at the secondary and postsecondary levels and whether it is growing, shrinking, or holding constant over time. The report also examines high school transcripts and presents findings about the academic preparation of high school students who participate in vocational education, relevant school reform efforts, and transitions after high school. To set the context for understanding these findings, the report describes economic and labor market trends and their implications for vocational programs, as well as changing workplace practices and employer perspectives on worker skills and proficiency. (Author abstract)

    Vocational education at the turn of the century is an enterprise in transition. This publication addresses the primary question about the size of the enterprise at the secondary and postsecondary levels and whether it is growing, shrinking, or holding constant over time. The report also examines high school transcripts and presents findings about the academic preparation of high school students who participate in vocational education, relevant school reform efforts, and transitions after high school. To set the context for understanding these findings, the report describes economic and labor market trends and their implications for vocational programs, as well as changing workplace practices and employer perspectives on worker skills and proficiency. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Falk, Gene; Skinner, Rebecca R.
    Year: 2004

    The two pending welfare reform reauthorization bills passed by the House and reported from the Senate Finance Committee would revise the participation rules for counting vocational education toward the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) work participation standard, though in very different ways. Current law emphasizes work over education and permits full-time “vocational educational training” to be counted toward meeting federal TANF standards for only 12 months in a recipient’s lifetime. The House-passed bill would scale back full-time participation in this activity to four months. The Senate Finance Committee bill retains the current law 12-month limit, but provides options to states that could result in additional months of vocational education being counted. Both bills would expand states’ ability to count part-time vocational education for recipients who also work.

    Vocational education programs generally provide training for a specific occupation; programs of study vary greatly in their content and duration. Vocational associates degree programs convey a...

    The two pending welfare reform reauthorization bills passed by the House and reported from the Senate Finance Committee would revise the participation rules for counting vocational education toward the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) work participation standard, though in very different ways. Current law emphasizes work over education and permits full-time “vocational educational training” to be counted toward meeting federal TANF standards for only 12 months in a recipient’s lifetime. The House-passed bill would scale back full-time participation in this activity to four months. The Senate Finance Committee bill retains the current law 12-month limit, but provides options to states that could result in additional months of vocational education being counted. Both bills would expand states’ ability to count part-time vocational education for recipients who also work.

    Vocational education programs generally provide training for a specific occupation; programs of study vary greatly in their content and duration. Vocational associates degree programs convey a college degree and generally require about 60 credits or two years of full-time study, but shorter certificate programs are available. Vocational education is very common among postsecondary education students. In school year 1999-2000, 55% of students attending two-year or proprietary schools were in vocational education.

    The debate over revising TANF rules for vocational education continues a long running debate over the role of education in welfare-to-work programs. In the general population, higher levels of educational attainment translate into higher earnings. Welfare recipients tend to have lower levels of educational attainment than the general population. Yet the research on welfare-to-work programs finds that education-focused programs do not outperform programs that emphasize rapid attachment to jobs in raising employment and earnings of cash assistance recipients. This research, however, is not specific to programs that focus specifically on vocational education. Many welfare recipients do not have the prerequisites for postsecondary vocational education (i.e., they lack a high school degree). Moreover, many recipients who have such prerequisites participate in vocational education on their own (without a program mandate), which dilutes the measured impact of education-focused programs.

    The current debate takes place in a different context than welfare debates prior to TANF. TANF’s fixed funding provides states a strong incentive to reduce caseloads — even if Congress permitted more vocational education to count toward participation standards, states would still have the incentive to place recipients in activities that would speed their entry into jobs and exit from the welfare rolls. Further, the debate can be broadened to include part-time education and training for working recipients and other low-income parents. The majority of postsecondary students can be classified as “nontraditional” — with characteristics like TANF recipients (older, having dependents and often working). A key question is whether “targeted” programs of vocational or postsecondary education or programs that emphasize part-time education combined with work will be effective in achieving some of the policy goals — particularly raising incomes — which have eluded most evaluated welfare-to-work programs. This report will be updated as events warrant. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Kaya, Cahit; Chan, Fong; Rumrill, Phillip; Hartman, Ellie; Wehman, Paul; Iwanaga, Kanako; Pai, Chia-Hui; Avellone, Lauren
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2015

    OBJECTIVE: This study investigated the extent to which demographic characteristics, Social Security disability benefits, and vocational rehabilitation (VR) services influence competitive employment outcomes for transition-age youth with autism spectrum disorders (ASD).

    METHODS: The Rehabilitation Services Administration’s Case Service Reports (RSA-911) database for Fiscal Year 2011 was examined using a purposeful selection multivariate logistic regression analysis.

    RESULTS: Results indicated that participants who received on-the-job support, job placement services, rehabilitation technology, occupational/vocational training, other services, job search assistance, vocational counseling and guidance, and job readiness training from the state-federal VR program were significantly more likely to achieve competitive employment than were participants who did not receive those services. In addition, higher levels of educational attainment, receiving a greater number of VR services, and not receiving Social Security disability benefits were positively associated with...

    OBJECTIVE: This study investigated the extent to which demographic characteristics, Social Security disability benefits, and vocational rehabilitation (VR) services influence competitive employment outcomes for transition-age youth with autism spectrum disorders (ASD).

    METHODS: The Rehabilitation Services Administration’s Case Service Reports (RSA-911) database for Fiscal Year 2011 was examined using a purposeful selection multivariate logistic regression analysis.

    RESULTS: Results indicated that participants who received on-the-job support, job placement services, rehabilitation technology, occupational/vocational training, other services, job search assistance, vocational counseling and guidance, and job readiness training from the state-federal VR program were significantly more likely to achieve competitive employment than were participants who did not receive those services. In addition, higher levels of educational attainment, receiving a greater number of VR services, and not receiving Social Security disability benefits were positively associated with competitive employment outcomes. In contrast to findings reported in other studies of VR participants with ASD, gender was not associated with competitive employment outcomes.

    CONCLUSION: Overall, the number and type of VR services had more influence on competitive employment than did demographic variables or Social Security disability benefits. (Author abstract)

     

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