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Belk Center for Community College Leadership and Research Selects 2022 ECMC Foundation Postsecondary CTE Research Fellows

CTE Fellows

Eleven new ECMC Foundation Fellows from institutions across the United States have been selected to join the Postsecondary Career and Technical Education Research Fellows Program at NC State University, sponsored by ECMC Foundation. 

The program, which is part of ECMC Foundation’s CTE Leadership Collaborative, was initially established in 2018 through a three-year, $2 million grant intended to enhance and strengthen postsecondary Career and Technical Education (CTE) research to improve student success. Since 2018, the Postsecondary CTE Research Fellows Program at NC State has supported a total of 47 research Fellows at the graduate and postdoctoral levels at 31 universities and institutions across the country to successfully publish, obtain grants, present, and further their careers in faculty and research positions. As a result of the original ECMC Foundation grant, Fellows completed 25 publications, more than 125 presentations, and have obtained funding to support additional research to explore postsecondary CTE. 

A four-year, $1.3 million grant was awarded in 2022 to continue developing Fellows through 2025.

“We are so excited for the opportunity to continue this valuable program of developing and strengthening the pipeline of Postsecondary CTE researchers; there are no other programs in the country that provide professional development for scholars focusing on CTE,” said Associate Teaching Professor Michelle Bartlett, who is the project’s co-principal investigator. 

The 2022 ECMC Foundation Postsecondary Research Fellows and their sponsors are listed below: 

  • Catherine Chloe, sponsored by Professor Patricia McDonough at the University of California, Los Angeles
  • Rooney Columbus, sponsored by Associate Professor Peter Riley Bahr at the University of Michigan 
  • Kimberly Rogers Davis, sponsored by Assistant Professor Yu April Chen at Louisiana State University
  • Cara Ann DeLoach, sponsored by Assistant Professor Adela Soliz at Vanderbilt University
  • Andrew R. Diemer, sponsored by Evan Rhinesmith, director of Policy Research in Missouri Education at Saint Louis University
  • Jessica S. Goldstein, sponsored by Joshua McGee at the University of Arkansas
  • Micara Lewis-Sessoms ’20EDD, sponsored by Michelle Bartlett at NC State University
  • Natalie Millar, sponsored by Associate Professor Rebecca Lester at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution
  • Felix O. Quayson, sponsored by Associate Professors Edward C. Fletcher Jr. and Christopher Zirkle at The Ohio State University
  • Steven C. Smith, sponsored by Professor Mark M. D’Amico at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Jackson Yan, sponsored by Associate Professor James Bartlett at NC State University

Fellows will participate in two training institutes focused on postsecondary CTE research, webinars focused on research methods and a mentor program, as well as the ECMC Foundation CTE Leadership Collaborative Convening, which will bring together ECMC Foundation Fellows from all parts of the CTE Leadership Collaborative.  

“The curriculum from the program will prepare these Fellows to conduct and publish research, write grants and communicate their findings to wider audiences, while their research projects, collaborating with other Fellows on research and working with their mentor provides hands-on research experiences to develop deeper learning to advance their careers,” said Associate Professor James Bartlett, who is the principal investigator on the project.   

Each of the research Fellows will also complete a research project focused on postsecondary CTE. For example, the project from Rooney Columbus, a doctoral student at the University of Michigan, will examine the influence of changing labor market conditions on community college students’ persistence decisions within CTE programs of study. This project will use county- and industry-level data from the U.S. Census with student-level administrative records from the Colorado Community College System. The project will contribute insight toward the goals of community college students and the range of outcomes that constitute success in sub-baccalaureate CTE programs. 

Other projects will address topics that include labor market outcomes of students who complete CTE coursework at community colleges, the role of work-based learning plays in short-term CTE credentials, the impact of a grant that covers 100% of student tuition and fees on postsecondary and workforce outcomes, and the impact of a college counseling program in a rural high school setting on college-going and engagement in postsecondary CTE.  

“This group of Fellows have passion for conducting research in order to make significant impacts around equity and workforce outcomes that can ignite change and economic improvements,” Michelle Bartlett said. “I look forward to working with the Fellows over the next year and watching their research projects add valuable contributions to the field.”