DECATUR, Ill. (WAND) - In a partnership with Decatur Public Schools, Richland Community College is receiving a $240,000 grant for a career pathway program.
The Career and Technical Education (CTE) grant is coming from the Illinois State Board of Education. Funds will support a CTE Education Career Pathway Program.
RCC and DPS plan to work together to support the formalization of a high school program, which will encourage students to seek careers in the education profession. The final product will be an extension of the Richland Paraprofessional Program, which has been implemented through the Workforce Equity Grant and EnRich program at Richland.
Dr. Juanita Morris, director of institutional effectiveness and planning at RCC, said this program should held address a teacher shortage in DPS and across Illinois.
“This partnership with Decatur Public Schools doesn’t just benefit the schools, the teachers, the students, and their families, but also benefits the broader community and society," said Rev. Courtney Carson, RCC's executive director of external affairs. "In today's innovative, courageously creative and changing economy, pathways opportunities provide students with the vision, experiences, and skills they desire and need to be successful in life. Students are also more engaged in their studies if it's connected to things they might do or want to do in their career."
“Decatur Public Schools is looking forward to building this program pathway with Richland as just another extension of a great partnership," added Ashley Grayned, executive director of innovative programs and strategic planning for Decatur Public Schools. "It is vital to create a program that encourages education and focuses on recruitment and retention, continuing those life experiences and connections within our community. This grant will support the District’s Strategic Plan, which was already focused upon an exploratory teaching program. We are looking forward to helping our students jump start their futures in education.”