The Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) has announced Rhode Island is one of six states to be awarded a STEM apprenticeship grant from the U.S. Department of Education. This $500,000 grant will fund the launch of the Rhode Island Youth Apprenticeship Program, an apprenticeship program that starts during senior year, with more than 100 students statewide placed in apprenticeship positions in cybersecurity and data analysis by 2022.
The Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) announced today that Rhode Island is one of six states to be awarded a STEM apprenticeship grant from the U.S. Department of Education. This $500,000 grant will fund the launch of the Rhode Island Youth Apprenticeship Program, an apprenticeship program that starts during senior year, with more than 100 students statewide placed in apprenticeship positions in cybersecurity and data analysis by 2022.
Participating students will work with CVS Health as the lead employer to start, with the Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI) serving as the primary instruction provider.
PROVIDENCE, RI -- More than 350 supporters of work-based learning attended the Prepare Rhode Island (PrepareRI) Summit at Rhode Island College. Participants included representatives from eight area colleges and universities, educators from 45 school districts and public charter schools, community organizations that serve opportunity youth, and business leaders from health care, cybersecurity, wind energy, hospitality, and more.
At North Providence High School, motivated students are getting a jump-start on college and career by enrolling in one of two career and technical education programs, offering them the opportunity to earn college credits and hands-on job training while in high school.
“We have 15-year-olds sitting in college courses,” says Melissa Caffrey, director of the school’s “P-Tech” health care program. “The model provides multiple opportunities for kids to take on high school, college and career all at the same time.”
An inter-agency task force that includes the Rhode Island’s Governor’s Office launched PrepareRI in 2017 “to create a K-12 education system that is aligned with the demands of colleges and employers.” The state is creating new ways students can receive high school and college credits: through internships as well as through traditional career and technical programs.
The two top officials from the Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) spent about two hours touring various pathway programs offered at the Warwick Area Career and Tech Center (WACTC) at Toll Gate High School on Tuesday afternoon. They both left with very positive impressions of what they had seen.
“Warwick is a perfect example of someone who has been in this space for a very long time and is also staying on top of the game to keep their offerings fresh and exciting,” said Ken Wagner, Commissioner of the Elementary and Secondary Education for RIDE.
It’s been said that if you love what you do, you will never have to work a day in your life. It’s a lesson that one Mt. Hope High School student has learned early, thanks to an enrichment class and a statewide initiative to introduce Rhode Island students to the skills they need for well-paying jobs.
PrepareRI is an ambitious plan to improve youth career readiness. It is a partnership between the state government, private industry leaders, the public education system, universities, and non-profits across the state.
In reality, he said the program recognized that he is, “disabled but not at a disadvantage. As someone who is visually impaired, PrepareRI gave me the life-changing opportunity to compete and gain skills and experience that will give me a head start in my career field – without feeling like I’m at a disadvantage.”
“This is a phenomenal program,” Bove added. “They genuinely wanted to see us succeed. I’ve never participated in a more rewarding experience in my entire life.”
More students than ever are being exposed to career pathways, as early as middle school. More students are exploring those careers through internships and hands-on CTE classes. More students are challenging themselves with advanced coursework, and more students are earning college credits, at no cost, while still in high school.
Rhode Island has more programs to challenge and engage our students, and more opportunities for students to thrive.
Rhode Island is changing the way students learn technical skills and preparing them for jobs of the future. Prepare Rhode Island is a new effort to make sure high school students are ready for the working world.