New Study on Health and Safety Education in CTE Construction Programs

CTE Study


CTE programs in community and technical colleges and other post-secondary environments play an essential role in preparing new and young workers to enter the growing construction field. Because construction is a high hazard industry and new and young workers are at greater risk of injury, it is critical that students in CTE construction programs are provided with effective health and safety education.

Through a grant from CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training, UC Berkeley’s Labor Occupational Health Program (LOHP) and West Virginia University are conducting new research that will:

  1. Identify the elements of effective health and safety education in post-secondary CTE construction programs at two-year institutions, and
  2. Describe the extent to which health and safety education in these programs are incorporating these elements.

Schools that participate in the study are eligible to have their construction students apply for one of forty $500 scholarships to be awarded later this year (see below).

Surveys with Administrators, Instructors, and Students

In January 2016, researchers will begin contacting post-secondary CTE construction program deans, directors, and administrators at two-year institutions to ask for their school’s participation in the study. Participation includes 3 steps:

  1. Completion of an online survey by an administrator who can answer questions about the school’s construction program(s);
  2. Completion of an online survey by instructors in the school’s construction program(s); and
  3. Completion of a health and safety survey by students who are about to graduate from the school’s construction program(s).


$500 scholarships will be made available to construction students attending participating schools nationwide. To receive the scholarship, students from participating schools will need to apply, and a review board will select 40 students to each receive a $500 scholarship.

We are now recruiting administrators and instructors to participate in the study!

Please email if you are interested in participating.

Study Results

Results of this study will be used to develop guidelines and policy supports for CTE instructors and administrators to improve the quality of health and safety education in construction programs across the country.

Advisory Group

Members of the project advisory group include:

  • Letitia Davis, Director, Occupational Health Surveillance Program, Massachusetts Department of Public Health
  • Stephen DeWitt, Deputy Executive Director, Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE)
  • Mark Fullen, Associate Professor, West Virginia University, Safety and Health Extension
  • Kimberly Green, Executive Director, National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc)
  • Jenny Houlroyd, Industrial Hygienist, Center for Young Worker Health and Safety, Georgia Tech Research Institute
  • Tim Lawrence, Executive Director, SkillsUSA
  • Laura Lynch, Associate Professor Construction Technology, Kentucky Community & Technical College
  • Darlene Miller, Executive Director, National Council for Workforce Education (NCWE)
  • Tom Vessella, Director of Career & Technical Education, College of the Canyons
  • Andrew Wermes, Education Consultant, Skilled & Technical Sciences, Iowa Department of Education


The study is endorsed by:

  • Association for Career & Technical Education (ACTE)
  • Association for Skilled and Technical Sciences (ASTS)
  • American Technical Education Association (ATEA)
  • CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training
  • National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER)
  • National Council for Workforce Education (NCWE)
  • SkillsUSA

The research is funded by CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training through its National Construction Center cooperative agreement with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.