Posted: February 13, 1997

Contact: Doug Anderson,, 651-201-1426

Nine grants totaling $700,000 to encourage educational innovation and reform have been awarded by the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) and the Minnesota Department of Children, Families and Learning through their Tech Prep program.

The grants will support such initiatives as new assessment methods for learners, creative uses of labor market information, partnerships with businesses and community organizations and preparation of youth for well-paying employment in technical careers (click here to see attached list).

The awards, ranging from $60,390 to $91,500, have been presented to Tech Prep programs at local school districts, technical colleges and consolidated community and technical colleges around the state.

The awards are the result of federal and state School To Work legislation that broadens the focus of educational reform across the United States. In 1990, the U.S. Congress enacted the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Applied Technology Act to strengthen vocational education. The legislation was intended to increase the technical skills of the workforce, integrate academic and occupational education and prepare all learners for employment in an increasingly global, technologically advanced and competitive marketplace.

The legislation created the Tech Prep program (Title III of the Perkins Act) and earmarked funds for all of the states. Minnesota receives approximately $1.7 million dollars annually for this effort.

Besides encouraging educational innovation, Tech Prep provides youth with employment and educational options other than immediate employment after high school or a four-year baccalaureate degree. Students participate in the program during their last two years of high school and the first two years of college (a "2+2" program), earning an associate of applied science degree. Built on tested curricula of applied academics in math, science and technology, the program is intended to provide students with skills for well-paying jobs in technical fields.

In Minnesota, the program is administered jointly by MnSCU and the Minnesota Department of Children, Families and Learning. Currently, the program provides funds to 27 consortia of technical colleges and consolidated technical and community colleges and local school districts in the state to develop articulation agreements, design curriculum, provide teachers and counselors with training and serve special populations.