California distributes $108.6 million to create regional career education pipelines

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California’s groundbreaking K-16 Education Collaboratives grants program will provide new pathways to career opportunities for students in their local communities, addressing long-standing issues of equity in higher education and participation in the labor market

SACRAMENTO — The Department of General Services (DGS), Office of Public Schools Construction and the California Community College Foundation announced the top six awards — totaling $108.6 million — for the regional grants program for K-16 education, in a $250 program. million investments in the 2021 Appropriation Act. This program is a key part of a statewide strategy to cultivate regional economies, strengthen career education pathways, and ensure that education, skills training and workforce programs work in partnership to provide greater access to education and employment opportunities for all. “We are creating new regional pipelines – from K-12 schools to higher education to the workforce – for California students that will prepare our children for the jobs of the future in their communities. This critical collaboration will help close equity gaps and provide more resources to help our students achieve their career goals directly in their own communities,” Governor Gavin Newsom said. As communities across the state strive to transform our cradle-to-career public education system — expanding Universal Transitional Kindergarten, expanding after-school programs, improving access and affordability of college studies, and more – regional collaborations will serve to mobilize action and promote implementation. Along with priorities like the Community Economic Resilience Fund and the Cradle-to-Career Data System, California is building partnerships and structures to ensure policies translate into improvements on the ground. “The Department of General Services is proud to help administer this innovative program that will bring together regional partners to better serve all learners in California, ensuring equitable pathways to meaningful careers,” said DGS Director Ana Lasso. “As the state’s chief commercial officer, DGS is thrilled to see the collaboration, system changes and improvements that result from timely investment.” The top six prizes of approximately $18.1 million each, for a total of $108.6 million, will be awarded to the following collaborations (summaries of each collaboration can be viewed on the Regional K-16 Education Collaborations Grant Program website):

  • Central San Joaquin Valley: Central San Joaquin Valley K16 Partnership (Fresno-Madera Collaboration and Tulare-Kings Collaboration). The partnership brings together Fresno-Madera Collaborative and Tulare-Kings College & Career Collaborative – with partners including the Fresno County Superintendent of Schools, State Center Community College District, Fresno State and UC Merced – to develop four occupational education pathways in the field of health. care, education, business management, and engineering/computer science, with the goals of increasing the number of graduates with post-secondary degrees and certifications in these high-paying disciplines, closing equity gaps and economic disparities, and improve graduation rates and time to graduation at all institutions.
  • Northern State: Northern State Together (Shasta Tehama Trinity Joint Community College District). North State Together (NST) brings together partners from across the region – including the Shasta-Tehama-Trinity Joint Community College District, Shasta County Office of Education, CSU Chico and UC Davis – to expand access to education, regional support networks and sectoral inter-partnerships. They plan to improve college and career readiness, create career path programs in healthcare and education, and streamline transitions between educational institutions and the workforce. .
  • Kern County: Kern Regional K16 Education Collaborative (Superintendent of Kern County Schools). The Kern K16 Regional Education Collaborative aims to prepare students for the global economy by dismantling longstanding social and economic inequalities in the region, removing barriers to student success, and improving educational outcomes. The collaboration brings together partners – including the Kern County Schools Superintendent, Kern Community College District, CSU Bakersfield and UC Merced – to develop pathways in healthcare, education and engineering/computer science in emphasizing the promotion of inclusive institutions to better serve historically underrepresented students, streamline pathways to degrees and ease student transitions, and increase access to resources that meet basic, digital, and financial needs.
  • Redwood Coast: Redwood Coast K16 Education Collaborative (California State Polytechnic University Humboldt). The Redwood Coast Collaboration brings together partners from across the region – California State Polytechnic University Humboldt, Sonoma State University, Humboldt County Office of Education, Redwoods Community College District, UC Davis and ProjectAttain! – develop a strong academic culture in the region by creating career paths for education and healthcare, specifically focused on increasing attendance and completion of AG courses and improving retention rates in higher education, especially for Native American and socioeconomically disadvantaged students in the region.
  • Orange County: OC Pathways to and Through College and Career (Orange County Department of Education). OC Pathways aims to promote career and college readiness for students in the Orange County area by developing and expanding career education opportunities. This project brings together partners—the Orange County Department of Education, Rancho Santiago Community College District, CSU Fullerton, and UC Irvine—to implement high-quality programs in the areas of education, healthcare, business management, and engineering/computer science that provide career preparation and college credit by leveraging regional work partnerships, reducing institutional barriers, offering rigorous and relevant professional technical training courses and college credit opportunities for all students.
  • Sacramento: Sacramento K16 Collaborative (Los Rios Community College District). The Sacramento Collaboration brings together partners from across the region — including the Los Rios Community College District, CSU Sacramento, UC Davis, and the Sacramento County Office of Education — to develop and expand student career paths in healthcare and engineering. They plan to invest in structures supporting college readiness and transitions between educational institutions, develop a regional data-sharing system, and provide targeted support to historically underserved students.

The program provides funds to enhance or create collaborative efforts between the University of California system, the California State University system, community colleges, K-12 school districts, and partners in Workforce. The collectives participating in the program undertake to create two professional paths based on the following sectors:

  • Health care
  • Education
  • Business Management
  • Engineering or IT

Collaboratives must also commit to implementing four of the seven recommendations drawn from the Recovery report with equity to promote student success. The seven recommendations are:

  • Improve the diversity of faculty, staff and administrators
  • Cultivate an inclusive, engaging and equity-focused learning environment
  • Retaining students with inclusive support
  • Provide high-tech, high-touch advice
  • Support college readiness and early credit
  • Subsidize internet access for eligible students
  • Improving college affordability

The program offers two phases for submitting applications to award a grant in each of the 13 Community Economic Resilience Fund or CERF regions.

The Department of General Services also intends to work with three other regions that submitted applications during this first round of funding to solicit additional information for a revised application in hopes of selecting a single strong recipient for each. region. A second phase of funding is also available for regions that need more time and planning to establish collaborative partners or to determine their program goals. Information on the second round of funding is available at Regional K-16 Education – Collaborative Grants Program (k16collaborative.org).

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