Perkins Funding 101
Did you know that $1.3 BILLION is available each year to support your career and technical education (CTE) program? It’s true, and it’s available through the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (or Perkins for short).
The Perkins program is run through the US Department of Education, and funding is available “for the development and implementation of career and technical education (CTE) programs”. Typically a state agency is awarded the Perkins grant, and then distributes the money to vocational programs within the state such as middle and high schools, CTE centers, college programs, etc.
These days, special emphasis and competitive preference is being placed on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) career education initiatives due to acute workforce demands. For example, there will be 3.5 million available jobs in STEM by 2025, with 2.4 million STEM jobs unfilled (Bureau of Labor Statistics). To address the need for qualified workers schools and employers across the USA have created pipeline programs, internships, online career exploration systems, and other workforce development initiatives. While many STEM career exploration resources exist some can be very time consuming, difficult to find or use by students independently, and not always engaging. But there is a solution that is EFFORTLESS for you, and super fun for students…..
How To Get CTE Grants
STEP 1: Conduct a needs assessment of your institution, school district, community, or region.
Before you ask for a dime, it is critical that you have a solid understanding of where you are at, where you want to go, and what you need to get there. Specifically:
- What needs have you identified?
- What data do you have to demonstrate/understand the need(s)?
- What are your strengths?
- What are your priorities, and how are they connected with local, regional or state efforts?
- Who are your partners, and what does each bring to the table?
- What resources do you have?
- What more do you need to achieve your goals?
STEP 2: Construct a strong grant application.
Also referred to as a proposal or narrative, the grant application is where you make your case for what you have, what you need, and how it will be a gamechanger for your CTE program. The most powerful proposals have these two key factors:
- Alignment – Your application must directly and clearly align your intended program and goals with the purpose and goals of the grant program. In other words, how does what you want to accomplish match what the Perkins program wants to accomplish?
- Catch 22 – This one is tricky. Your proposal needs to demonstrate need, but it also needs to demonstrate that you are fully capable of getting the job done. The more comprehensively you define your needs, proposed solutions, and alignment to the grant opportunity, the more reviewers will believe in your capacity to deliver what you promise, and know exactly how their financial support will ensure it happens.
- Leverage – You likely already have innovative things going on in your CTE program. Be sure your proposed project builds upon past or ongoing efforts. Doing so demonstrates expertise, experience, initiative, and commitment. Where possible, also leverage other sources of donated dollars – local, state, federal, foundation, PTO, etc. The amount of money raised doesn’t matter as much; what does matter is proving you are responsible with donated funds, and prove that you have used donated funds to push the needle in CTE already.
STEP 3: Apply!
Congrats! You have done a ton of hard work, and now you are ready to submit your application! Different states have different application avenues. To get all the info you need for your area see the Perkins Collaborative Resource Network.
What To Buy With Your CTE Grant
WOOT WOOT – you got funding for your CTE program. NICE! Now you are looking to purchase and integrate the most innovative, effective STEM career exploration resources, but may not be sure where to start. Good news! A proven and effortless STEM career exploration system exists, is ideally suited for your Perkins funding, and saves Program Directors like you an average of 632 hours of work annually. It’s called the Career In STEM® Explorer, and here’s how it saves you a mindblowing amount of time:
- Students discover tremendous opportunities in STEM without your help using hundreds of digital STEM career exploration resources accessed in a fun and easy way. The Explorer empowers students to make their own decisions and build their resume through independent inquiry-based activities that mimic those of real STEM professionals.
- Stay engaged whether in-person or distance learning. The Explorer is fully customized & branded to get and KEEP students engaged in STEM AND your program. With exciting new careers added weekly, exclusive monthly STEM career challenge, and fully white-labeled Explorer system of your own it’s like having a personal STEM career counselor at your students’ fingertips, at a mere fraction of the cost.
- Guaranteed results delivered to you every step of the way through our effortless implementation system – monthly Stats Reports, essential student career interest data, custom created communication and marketing templates, standard alignment charts, and MUCH more!
The Explorer system helps you effortlessly and consistently engage your middle & high school students in STEM career exploration, and is the perfect way to effortlessly address STEM career exploration priorities for Perkins and other CTE grants. The Explorer system was specifically created for and in partnership with college & career readiness programs to quickly and easily empower your students to discover STEM, dream big, and design a future they love. Guaranteed!
>> Click here to get your FREE Quick Start STEM Career Exploration Kit, and test the Explorer system for yourself!