Clark State Community College has received early approval of funding from the Perkins Collaborative Resource Network, making it the first post-secondary institution to receive Perkins funding under new guidelines.
Clark State will receive $251,777.42, available to the College for fiscal year 2020-21.
Perkins funding is a federal grant in place to offer support to career and technical education (CTE). In the state of Ohio this funding is primarily provided to the secondary system (K-12) and approximately 11 percent to post-secondary/adult programs.
“This year began the fifth iteration of Perkins funding,” said Crystal Jones, assistant dean of business and applied technologies at Clark State. “One major change in this iteration, was the required completion of a Comprehensive Local Needs Assessment (CLNA) with a focus on supporting special populations and subgroups while focusing on equity and access gaps.”
Jones said Clark State’s leadership team worked directly with the College stakeholders, including students, graduates, parents, secondary partners, workforce boards, local agencies and various populations, to determine the special populations and subgroups.
“We engaged our stakeholders throughout this process, and the suggested changes came from them,” she said. “The leadership team hosted five webinars sharing data and encouraged stakeholders to respond with ideas, suggestions, experiences and more.”
The local leadership team included ten Clark State employees and two representatives from secondary partners. The team worked for more than nine months to complete the process and evaluated student performance in CTE; program quality and labor market alignment; progress toward implementing CTE programs of study; recruitment, retention and training of CTE educators; and improving equity and access.
“Each institution had to complete their own application, but since there was some overlap in the assessment, we collaborated with Greene County Career Center and Springfield Career and Technical Center,” said Jones.
The Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 (Perkins IV) is a principal source of federal funding to states and discretionary grantees for the improvement of secondary and postsecondary career and technical education programs across the nation. The purpose of the Act is to develop more fully the academic, career and technical skills of secondary and postsecondary students who elect to enroll in career and technical education programs.
“The goals for Clark State are to bridge the gaps identified through the various parts while supporting our CTE students and programs to continue being successful,” said Jones. “Equity and access are included in each part as well as its separate part.”