Reporter’s notebook

Photo: Matthew Dembicki
  • Minnesota expands workforce grants
  • Credit to encourage students to take classes online
  • ED OKs 6 more state Perkins plans

Minnesota expands workforce grants

The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system this fall is expanding a scholarship program for qualifying students enrolling in programs that lead to jobs in industries in need of employees, such as healthcare, advanced manufacturing, information technology and more.

Enrollment in the state’s 30 colleges and seven universities for the summer session has been steady, but the system is bracing for a potentially significant hit on enrollment for the fall semester. One way it hopes to drive enrollment is to expand its workforce development scholarship program that is making nearly 2,200 scholarships of $2,500 each available to students who enroll in programs leading to high-demand occupations in certain in-demand industries.

Credit to encourage students to take classes online

Missouri’s Ozarks Technical Community College (OTC) this fall will cover tuition and fees for one online class in order to encourage students to enroll in classes that can be completed remotely.

The credit covers the tuition and common fees for one three-credit-hour online class beyond a student’s initial 12 hours. College officials also hope the credit will encourage students to remain in college and to take classes full-time.

“Students who take a full course load graduate at a higher rate and sooner than students who attend part-time,” OTC Provost Tracy McGrady said in press release. “This scholarship will keep our students moving toward success.”

The credit will be applied when students register for more than 12 online credit hours this fall.

OTC is also offering a $500 grant for education-related technology needs. Students enrolled in at least 12 credit hours (either in-person or online) for the fall semester can apply for the technology grant, which can be used for an array of purposes, including: computers or tablets; hardware, such as hard drives, monitors or keyboards; software or software upgrades; electronic textbooks or course materials; high-speed Internet or wifi; and more.

ED OKs 6 more state Perkins plans

Colorado, Florida, Kentucky, New York, South Carolina and Utah are the latest states to have their career and technical education (CTE) plans approved by the U.S. Education Department (ED).

To date, ED has green-lighted 31 Perkins state plans over the past month under the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V).

  • Colorado plans to leverage economic development regions to engage secondary-postsecondary partnerships in CTE program development.
  • Florida will expand apprenticeships and promote career readiness and workforce opportunities for students and working adults.
  • Kentucky aims to offer an associate degree and/or certificate for adult learners through its Work Ready Kentucky Scholarship program in in-demand career fields.
  • South Carolina will implement its Technical Scholars Program in several colleges that align with local labor market demands.

About the Author

Matthew Dembicki
Matthew Dembicki edits Community College Daily and serves as associate vice president of communications for the American Association of Community Colleges.