Three New National Research Consortia Launched

FARMINGDALE, N.Y., March 6, 2015 – As talk about being “college and career ready” continues to dominate many education debates, several collaborating organizations announced today that they are forming new research consortia to ensure a strong national discussion among parents, educators and counselors, and students on career pathways.  Three research consortia will work collaboratively to explore students’ aspirations toward a range of careers in specific areas and some of the influences on those aspirations.

The National Association of Biology Teachers, SkillsUSA, and the Educational Research Center of America (ERCA) will examine students’ aspirations toward a range of health/science careers.

SkillsUSA, the Manufacturing Institute, and the ERCA will focus on career paths that grow out of Career and Technical Education (CTE).

Destination Imagination, the National Girls Collaborative, the National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity, and ERCA will delve into students’ aspirations toward a range of STEM careers.

Feedback from students through surveys will also be compared and contrasted with trends and opportunities in each of the career areas.  The participating organizations have agreed to a multi-year engagement that will help use the data to better prepare students for their careers ahead.

“Science teachers, and especially biology teachers, are often the first to introduce students to the possibility of a health/science career.  By conducting this research with our consortium partners, we can learn more about how students view the health and science related opportunities that exist today, and those we envision for tomorrow,” said Jaclyn Reeves-Peppin, Executive Director, National Association of Biology Teachers. “This data can only help teachers, parents and counselors better support students as they pursue their educational and career aspirations in these fields.”

“SkillsUSA is pleased to join the Manufacturing Institute and ERCA in this research consortium and in recommending this survey to CTE students and educators,” said Tim Lawrence, Executive Director, SkillsUSA.  “It will enable us to better align our services with student needs and prepare them for careers ahead.”

“Future research is needed to examine the individual components of the perseverance construct (brain optimization, mindfulness, emotional intelligence, and self-determination), and their relationship to creativity and 21st century skill development.  We are excited to be a participant in this research consortium to measure students’ career and educational aspirations and their perceptions about creativity and STEM careers. This data will be invaluable in framing a national discussion,” commented Dr. Chuck Cadle, CEO, Destination Imagination.

“As the economy evolves, students, parents, guidance counselors, and educators continue to look for the best opportunities for today’s learners,” ERCA Executive Director Ed Doody said. “With this new research initiative, we expect to better inform all involved in the process about career paths, focusing on both what is needed today and what is needed tomorrow. And there are no better partners to lead such an effort than our collaborators.”

About Destination Imagination

Founded in 1982, Destination Imagination (DI), a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit, is cause driven to ready students world-wide for college, career, and life beyond school through opportunities that promote and support creativity, imagination, contextual learning, arts appreciation, STEM-based skills development, and entrepreneurship leading to an engaged and future-ready student population. Learning how and when to be creative, how to build cross-cultural teams, how to manage budgets and risk, how to present a compelling proposal, and how to manage a project from beginning to end will provide students with the necessary skills to become the next generation of problem finders and solvers, innovators, cross-cultural collaborators, entrepreneurs and leaders. To learn more, see:

About The Manufacturing Institute

The Manufacturing Institute is the authority on the attraction, qualification, and development of world-class manufacturing talent. The Institute is the place where we exceed expectations and deliver results to help close the skills gap. For more information on The Manufacturing Institute see:

About National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity

The National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity (NAPE) builds educators’ capacity to implement effective solutions for increasing student access, educational equity and workforce diversity. Every person is able to fulfill his or her potential through equal access to and equity in educational options that lead to the entire spectrum of career choices. NAPE focuses on:

• Research-based approaches to program development and public policy using data to drive effective implementation.

• Responsiveness to the changing needs of the educational community and stakeholders.

• Innovative solutions to deliver cutting-edge equity strategies in an ever-changing learning environment.

• Collaborative efforts to engage with a wide range of partners to reach STEM, CTE, and special populations. For more on NAPE, see:

About NABT

Since being established in 1938, the National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT) has been the recognized “leader in life science education” by empowering educators to provide the best possible biology and life science education to all students. Thousands of educators have joined NABT to share experiences and expertise with colleagues from around the globe; keep up with trends and developments in the field; and grow professionally. For more information about NABT, please visit

About National Girls Collaborative

The National Girls Collaborative Project (NGCP) brings together organizations that are committed to informing and encouraging girls to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). By facilitating collaboration, sharing resources, and providing professional development, NGCP maximizes access to shared resources, strengthens the capacity of programs and organizations to effectively engage girls in STEM, and uses the leverage of a network to create the tipping point for gender equity in STEM. NGCP currently supports 31 Collaboratives in 39 states and indirectly serves over 8.5 million girls. For more on the National Girls Collaborative see:

About SkillsUSA

SkillsUSA is a not-for-profit association that serves more than 300,000 member high school, college and postsecondary students — and their instructors — in trade, technical and skilled service instructional programs. SkillsUSA partners with educators and students and with business and industry to help ensure the United States has a well-prepared, rising skilled workforce. SkillsUSA has the active support of more than 600 companies, trade associations and labor unions at the national level. SkillsUSA has had more than 11.6 million annual members since its founding as the Vocational Industrial Clubs of America in 1965. SkillsUSA programs teach leadership, citizenship and character development to complement technical skill training. The organization emphasizes respect for the dignity of work, ethics, workmanship, scholarship and safety. For more information on SkillsUSA, see:

About ERCA

For nearly 20 years, the Educational Research Center of America (ERCA) has pursued a mission of helping high school students and their families to identify a college- and career-ready pathway. ERCA helps families identify student options on career pathways to life success, including two- and four-year college opportunities. Through a partnership with and the support of ASL Marketing, ERCA provides introductions to post-secondary institutions. Additionally, as part of its mission, ERCA annually awards postsecondary scholarships to deserving students seeking to improve their communities and society at large. Working in concert with partner organizations engaged in education and workforce development, ERCA’s research has a singular objective; motivating students to explore career pathways relevant to their interests, education and passions. For more information, visit and follow @ERCAResearch on Twitter.

Media Contact:

Ed Doody, Executive Director, ERCA