California STEM educators in grades kindergarten through grade fourteen, it's time to freshen up those rejected grant requests; the state is finally coming around to seeing it your way : the legislature has set aside a quarter-billion dollars ($250,000,000) to "fund specialists in work-based learning, as defined in Section 51760.1 of the Education code."
How can we be sure Section 51760.1 is talking about STEM ed? Well, here are the first few lines of that section:
For purposes of this section, "work-based learning" means an
educational approach or instructional methodology that uses the
workplace or real work to provide pupils with the knowledge and
skills that will help them connect school experiences to real-life
work activities and future career opportunities.
Now if that isn’t a perfect description of the inherent virtues of STEM learning for young learners, what is? What learning component is more likely to provide students with the skills they will need when they enter the future job market? Woodworking, maybe? Film? Hey, both laudable endeavors but not guaranteed the multi-million openings expected in science, technology, engineering and math in the next few years.
The name of this new program is the California Career Pathways Trust (CCPT). Assembly Bill (AB) 86, Chapter 48, Statutes of 2013, established the CCPT in state law. A school district, a county superintendent of schools, a charter school, and/or a community college district (which explains the "grade 14") may apply for a CCPT grant. With the CCPT the state hopes to motivate and facilitate career pathways programs connecting students with businesses likely to need more trained and immediately trainable employees in the coming years. Again, doesn’t this sound like a call for more STEM students? Only the burgeoning tech industry can guarantee huge numbers of job openings in the near future.
For more information on the California Career Pathways Trust contact one of the consultants listed below:
Mindi Yates, Education Programs Consultant, Career and College Transition Division, by phone at 916 319-0458 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Neil Kelly, Education Programs Consultant, by phone at 916 322-0374 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
Work up a new grant or freshen up the old one; with this much money on the table it's worth taking another shot. What have you got to lose--except maybe your school’s rightful share of that quarter million? Go for it!