Launching the Career Connected High School Grant Program: Opening New Opportunities for Students
The Career Connected High School Grant program was announced by U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona during the Unlocking Pathways Summit held in Auroa, Colorado on Thursday, August 10. The grant program will allocate $25 million aimed at empowering groups comprising local educational agencies, institutions of higher education, and employers to pilot evidence-based strategies that promote the integration and alignment of the last two years of high school and the first two years of postsecondary education. By doing so, the program seeks to improve postsecondary education and career outcomes for students across the nation.
As part of the larger Raise the Bar: Unlocking Career Success initiative, the Career Connected High School Grant program constitutes a cross-government effort to create pathways that enable young Americans to access well-paying jobs.
Objectives of the Career Connected High School Grant Program
The Career Connected High School Grant program sets forth several key objectives to guide its implementation. These objectives ensure that the program remains focused on enhancing educational and career opportunities for all students, particularly in fields that align with emerging job market trends. The primary objectives of the grant program include:
1. Integration of High School and Postsecondary Education
The grant program aims to facilitate a seamless transition from high school to postsecondary education by promoting integration and alignment between these two critical stages of a student’s educational journey. By fostering collaboration between local educational agencies, institutions of higher education, and employers, the program seeks to create a more cohesive learning experience that prepares students for the rigors of higher education and the workforce.
2. Improvement of Postsecondary Education and Career Outcomes
Through evidence-based strategies and innovative approaches, the Career Connected High School Grant program aims to enhance postsecondary education and career outcomes for students. By providing resources and support, the program seeks to equip students with the necessary skills and knowledge to succeed in their chosen career paths, ensuring they are well-prepared to meet the demands of the ever-evolving job market.
3. Creation of High-Quality Career Pathways
The grant program recognizes the importance of high-quality career pathways that lead to well-paying jobs. By investing in the development of new career and technical education (CTE) programs in high-growth fields such as clean energy, the program aims to equip students with the skills and training needed to excel in in-demand industries. Additionally, the program supports teacher training and the acquisition of new equipment necessary for launching these programs, ensuring that educators are equipped to deliver quality instruction.
4. Equity and Access for All Students
One of the key guiding principles of the Career Connected High School Grant program is to promote equity and access for all students. Recognizing the disparities that exist in educational opportunities, the program aims to address these inequities by providing additional support and resources to low-income students. This includes covering the costs of tuition, books, supplies, and other related expenses, as well as offering tutoring and academic support to ensure that every student can thrive.
Utilizing Grant Funds: Empowering Local Education Agencies
The Career Connected High School Grant program empowers local educational
agencies to utilize the grant funds in ways that align with the specific needs
of their regions. The flexibility offered by the program allows for tailored
approaches that address the unique challenges faced by each community. Grantees
have the opportunity to allocate funds for various activities, including:
- Additional dual enrollment classes that enable students to earn college
credits while still in high school.
- Financial support for low-income students, covering the costs of tuition,
books, supplies, and other related expenses.
- Tutoring and academic support programs to ensure that students receive the
necessary assistance to succeed.
- Transportation services to facilitate students’ participation in
work-based learning opportunities.
- Development of new career and technical education (CTE) programs in
high-growth fields, such as clean energy, to align with emerging job market