Clemson, S.C. (January 26, 2016) – Kentucky is one of three states that will share a $1.5 million grant recently awarded to the National Dropout Prevention Network to increase student interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and manufacturing careers. The three-year-long project is designed to engage students underrepresented in STEM and manufacturing, with a long-term goal of higher graduation rates and a more educated, skilled, diverse and motivated workforce.
Kentucky students are among thousands of students in three states that were selected for the program, which also includes schools in urban New York City and rural Mississippi. Three organizations—The National Dropout Prevention Network, WIN Learning, and LightSwitch Learning—are partnering with the Toyota USA Foundation to implement the project.
“One of the National Dropout Prevention Network’s goals for the project is ensuring that every student graduates high school and is ready for college and career, and this program fits perfectly into that goal. We greatly appreciate Toyota USA Foundation’s commitment to providing career and educational opportunities to Kentucky students,” said Dr. Sandy Addis, National Dropout Prevention Center/Network Director.
The schools will use an online, Web-based career exploration and discovery of pathways system that will develop students’ college and career readiness skills and will assist them in obtaining certificates. Content, aligned with the 16 nationally recognized career clusters and other standards, will focus on manufacturing-related careers and STEM.
The program responds to a national crisis of under-skilled workers and mismatched skills between workers and 21st century workplaces. Strategies to increase graduation rates will also be a focus of the project.
“The Toyota USA Foundation is proud to support the National Dropout Prevention Network’s work to help students discover and explore their interests in manufacturing and STEM fields. By helping students cultivate these 21st century skills, we can help set them up for success in college and careers as well as strengthen the American manufacturing field overall.” said Michael Rouse, Toyota USA Foundation President.
Student participants will benefit from skills development, nationally recognized credentials and development of career plans. Teachers also will be trained to better understand real-world applications of what they teach, to serve as career mentors, to use educational technology, and to continue in those roles after the project period.
The project’s goal is to improve the graduation rates of participating schools by introducing middle school and freshman and sophomore high school students to the world of STEM and manufacturing, using online resources that can be used with existing individual graduation plans.
The following Kentucky schools have been selected for the Toyota grant project:
- Bryan Station High School in the Fayette County School District
- Scott County High School in the Scott County School District
- Cardinal Academy in the Scott County School District
- Scott County 9th Grade School in the Scott County School District
- Franklin County High School in the Franklin County School District
- The Academy in the Franklin County School District
About the National Dropout Prevention Center/Network (NDPC/N)
Established in 1986 with a mission to reduce dropout rates, the NDPC/N shares solutions for student success and dropout prevention through its clearinghouse function, active research and evaluation projects, publications, and a variety of professional development activities and conferences. The organization’s website—www.dropoutprevention.org—is the nation’s leading resource in providing effective, research-based solutions to engaging students and reducing dropout. The NDPC/N is housed in the Eugene T. Moore School of Education at Clemson University in Clemson, South Carolina.
For Additional Information Contact:
Public Information Director
National Dropout Prevention Center/Network