New California Funding Available for Career Programs

Monday, February 3, 2014 -- Vanessa Berentson

There is new funding available in California, and we want to give you the inside scoop on what it is and how to get it.

What is it?
The state of California’s new program, California Career Pathways Trust, allocates $250 million in grants to schools that are helping students decide what their next step is after high school. As of January 21, 2014, schools can apply for funding under this program. These one-time competitive grants are intended to enable schools to:

  • Create a career pathways program that connects students with businesses and community organizations by creating regional collaborative relationships
  • Include career-relevant curriculum that are aligned to high-need, high-growth, or emerging regional economic sectors

There are more details on what a career pathways program entails on the California Department of Education website

How do I apply?

To apply, simply go to the California Department of Education website and download the application. The due date is March 28, 2014.

Why does it matter?

According to the ACT report, The Condition of College & Career Readiness (2013), the five fastest-growing career fields based on 2010–2020 annual projected job openings are in education, computer/information specialties, community services, management, and marketing/sales. However, the percentage of 2012 ACT-tested high school graduates interested in careers in these fields was less than the projected demand of jobs. In three particular fields—education, computer/information specialties, and marketing/sales—the projected job demand was more than twice the potential supply. Perhaps this is because students aren’t learning about these career paths early enough to make a decision to pursue them after high school.

When I started college, I majored in architecture because I had enjoyed a drafting class in high school.  Fast forwarding to my sophomore year in college, I realized that architecture wasn’t right for me. Instead, I graduated with a degree in public relations and am now a marketing specialist. It’s stressful for a young adult to make decisions about his or her career and switch majors halfway through college. I still wonder if I had been able to take courses in marketing, finance, or forensic science during high school, would I have chosen a different path?

Luckily for students today, there are grants like the California Career Pathways Trust to provide better resources for students in helping them decide what they want to do after high school and to invest in rigorous courses that prepare them for success. Help your students find their path earlier than I did with Edmentum’s Career Technical Education courses, 32 courses designed to help students figure out what their next steps are.