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Federal grant to boost C.O. computer science classes


The Oregon Department of Education announced Friday that the state has received a federal grant to expand and improve the transition of high school Career Technical Education students to postsecondary education and employment through apprenticeships in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields, including Computer Science.

Oregon is one of only six states to receive the Pathways to STEM Apprenticeship for High School Career and Technical Education (CTE) Students grant.

The Department will partner with STEM hubs and workforce development boards serving Lane, Deschutes and Jefferson counties to implement the $642,000 grant.

Those schools that are building or have approved CTE Computer Science programs of study will benefit from the funds to expand this particular career area. In Oregon, the statewide program created by the grant will be called the Oregon Pathways to Apprenticeship in Computer Science.

The Oregon Pathways to Apprenticeship in Computer Science ( OrPACS ) project will focus on four objectives:

· Increase the number of high school students who have verifiable competencies necessary to successfully transition into work, apprenticeship or postsecondary programs.

· Increase the number of rural high schools offering a pathway to a competency-based pre-apprenticeship program.

· Increase the number of historically underserved and non-traditional students who choose to enter a Computer Science pathway that leads to a competency-based pre-apprenticeship.

· Develop a statewide collaborative partnership of workforce investment boards, employers and educators to monitor and sustain the work of this project.

“Governor Brown has set a clear vision for every student to graduate with a plan for their future,” ODE Director Colt Gill said. “This grant helps us accomplish that goal by increasing access to computer science opportunities that are in high demand in Oregon, especially among rural students and those in historically underserved and non-traditional student groups.”

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