Gender Equity in CTE and STEM Education in Illinois Public Schools – A Pathways Resource Center Brief

by Asia Fuller Hamilton / Jan 20, 2015

Creating gender equity in the workplace begins with the preparation that students receive in the PK-12 education system. The latest brief, authored by Joel Malin, Asia Fuller Hamilton, and Don Hackmann of the Pathways Resource Center, examines Illinois high school student enrollments in Career and Technical Education courses, focusing in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) clusters and STEM Pathways, as defined by Race to the Top application parameters. The data revealed the following results:

  1. Significant gender-based inequities were found in certain career cluster areas, with more equitable patterns in others.

  2. Student enrollment in courses fitting within STEM career clusters included substantially greater male than female participation (64.1% male, 35.9% female)

  3. Non-STEM clusters showed reverse enrollment patterns (55.0% female, 45.0% male).

State, local, and federal policy makers and school leaders will find this brief helpful, as it provides suggestions for examining and changing inequitable practices in CTE STEM areas. To read this brief in its entirety, and others like it, please follow the link below or visit Pathways Resource Center (PRC).

Asia Fuller Hamilton is a graduate research assistant for the Pathways Resource Center (PRC). Ms. Fuller Hamilton is currently a PhD student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in Education Policy, Organization and Leadership in the division of Educational Administration  and Leadership. She can be reached at