Anthony Perry

IDSS Postdoctoral Associate Anthony Perry wins Best Paper Award

December 16, 2021

“Motivational Pathways into Postsecondary Computer and Information Systems,” was awarded best paper at the 2021 Association for Career and Technical Education CareerTech VISION conference in New Orleans, Louisiana. The ACTE is the largest national education association dedicated to the advancement of education that prepares youth and adults for careers.

Perry’s paper uses a nationally representative, longitudinal dataset to investigate the motivations of students to pursue two-year or four-year Computer Information Systems (CIS) postsecondary education after high school. Both educational pathways are aligned with a critical workforce need in high demand, high paying computing professions.

The results indicate that both groups are motivated by having a parent in CIS occupations, early aspirations to work the CIS field, and taking computing courses in high school. However, taking advanced math classes in high school and the higher affective perceptions of high school math class are associated with increased odds of pursuing a four-year CIS pathway but not two-year CIS pathways.

As policy-makers envision and design educational pathways with multiple access points into CIS education and occupations, these results indicate that designing for student engagement in mathematics coursework is critical to ensure all students have the opportunity to participate in this high-growth, high-paying sector of the workforce.

Anthony Perry is a postdoctoral associate in IDSS researching the ways in which America’s high school system enables or inhibits access to high quality STEM and CTE curricula and student experiences in those pathways. He is focused on examining the systems which enable high quality STEM education across the country in order to scale and sustain change. He has more than a decade of experience as an educator in formal and informal contexts.

MIT Institute for Data, Systems, and Society
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
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Cambridge, MA 02139-4307