Grant opportunities are providing Pickaway-Ross Adult Education with avenues to assist high school students on a career path.
Adult Education has applied for the Regional Education Partnership Grant that will bring to life two curriculum pathways. High school students can receive a one-year head start in earning an advanced credential in nursing through a dual-enrollment nursing pathway.
Dual-enrollment programs that award post-secondary credit to high school students are not new, but students, and the region as a whole, will reap greater benefits from this concept if the district and its partners work together to leverage the unique characteristics of the career-tech education (CTE) system for a dual-enrollment nursing pathway.
Specifically, Pickaway-Ross secondary students could add post-secondary credit to the diploma/credential package they currently receive and get advanced placement within Adult Education’s LPN-to-RN (depending on typical or accelerated pathway) program.
The CTE system’s practical, jobs-focused approach to education means that, at each tier in the nursing profession, students will always have the option to step directly into a career or pursue more education if needed. Further, the district will work with local post-secondary institutions such as Ohio University-Chillicothe, Rio Grande and Shawnee State to ensure that Pickaway-Ross’ Adult Education LPN and RN completers can then apply their existing education toward degree-track nursing programs at local degree-awarding institutions.
Adult Education also is participating in a grant program that helps students overcome financial barriers to short-term programming. The program provides no-cost credentialing opportunities for unemployed individuals and underemployed incumbent workers to pursue new careers.
To be eligible for program funding, a credential must be shorter than one year and address a worker shortage within the local labor market.
For the proposal, Adult Education chose to fund eligible credentials (STNA, NCCER Core, Phlebotomy) with high regional demand and the greatest reported likelihood of labor gaps in the next five years.
Pickaway-Ross administrators believe that offering no-cost short-term credentialing for these in-demand jobs can help increase the region’s average education level, improve workforce participation and partially alleviate labor shortages within the eligible careers.