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ED Grant Application Deadline: Perkins Innovation and Modernization Grant Program

October 13, 2023

The purpose of the PIM grant program is to identify, support, and rigorously evaluate evidence-based and innovative strategies and activities to improve and modernize career and technical education (CTE) and ensure workforce skills taught in CTE programs funded under the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006, as amended by the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V), align with labor market needs.

Background: The PIM grant program, authorized under section 114(e) of Perkins V, supports evidence-based educational programs and practices to improve and modernize CTE. Raise the Bar: Lead the World[1] is the Department’s call to action to transform prekindergarten through grade 12 education through evidence-based practices and strategies that advance educational equity and excellence. Within this call to action is Raise the Bar: Unlocking Career Success, an interagency initiative across the U.S. Departments of Education, Labor, and Commerce, that reimagines how our nation’s high schools prepare all students to thrive in their future careers by providing students with accelerated and innovative opportunities to earn college credits and gain career experiences. This Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 PIM grant program competition advances the goals of Raise the Bar: Unlocking Career Success through priorities that seek to prepare all young people more equitably and effectively for further learning and economic advancement in rewarding careers.

With this competition, the Department seeks to support applicants that will build capacity among secondary education, postsecondary education, and workforce development systems to expand access to career-connected high school programs for more students. As described below, the four strategies, or “keys,” to career-connected high schools are evidence-based strategies that support students in the connections and transition between high school, postsecondary education, and careers. Under Absolute Priority 1, applicants will be required to describe the extent to which they are currently implementing career-connected learning and provide a plan for how they will increase the proportion of students who graduate from high school with these four keys to unlock their career success:

Postsecondary Education and Career Navigation System. Participation in a comprehensive postsecondary education and career navigation system that supports career exploration and education planning, provides information and assistance in pursuing further learning after high school, and includes the development and regular updating of a personalized postsecondary education and career plan (as defined in this notice) throughout high school;

Dual or Concurrent Enrollment. Postsecondary credits earned from dual or concurrent enrollment programs (as defined in this notice) within a clearly defined program of study (as defined in this notice) to give students a head start in earning a postsecondary credential;

Work-Based Learning. Participation in work-based learning opportunities (as defined in this notice) for which students receive wages or academic credit, or both; and

Industry-Recognized Credential. Attainment of an in-demand and high-value industry-recognized credential (as defined in this notice) so that every young person can earn a living wage after high school, open more doors to pursue further education, and live independently.

The four keys to career-connected learning are evidence-based [2] and have broad support. According to an analysis by the National Governors Association, at least 31 Governors focused in their 2023 State of the State addresses on expanding CTE and workforce development opportunities for high school students.[3] Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin advocated for strong partnerships between community colleges and high schools so that every high school student can earn an industry-recognized or postsecondary credential in high school.[4] Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt called for expanding dual enrollment programming so that high school students can more easily earn college credits. Montana Governor Greg Gianforte recommended expanding work-based learning opportunities that allow students to obtain on-the-job experience and apply that experience to their high school graduation requirements.[5] They join governors, such as Washington Governor Jay Inslee, California Governor Gavin Newsom, and Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, who have championed State investments in expanding and improving college and career pathways for young people through Career Connect Washington,[6] the Golden State Pathways Program,[7] and College Credit Plus,[8] respectively.