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Delaware grants support 55 high school programs

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Wilmington, DE – Governor Markell announced $600,000 in grants for new high school pathway programs to expand a statewide effort that prepares students to excel in key fields that offer good job opportunities in the new economy.

Beginning next fall, the Governor’s Pathways to Prosperity initiative will serve more than 5,000 students in at least 55 pathway programs at 29 high schools. That more than doubles the size of the initiative from this fall, when it launched with 25 pathways in 15 high schools across the state, impacting more than 2400 students. For this second round of grants, the state has added pathways in computer networking, finance, and health care. Those are in addition to pathways in biomedical sciences, engineering, hospitality/culinary arts, IT/computer science, and manufacturing.

The Governor previously announced $500,000 in grants for pathways that started this fall. Moving forward, the state plans to provide districts the chance each September to apply for funds to start new pathways in emerging industry sectors.

“I applaud the district administrators, teachers, higher education leaders, and employers who have made it a top priority to provide these opportunities to our students,” Markell said Monday. “They have allowed this initiative to expand at an incredible rate, recognizing that these opportunities are vital to give all of our young people the best chance to reach their potential. Working together, we will ensure every student can not only participate but thrive in the job market into which they will graduate.”

Grant funds are used by school districts to implement career and technical education programs of study as part of a larger state effort to connect our public education system, post-secondary institutions, and our employer community. Students take hundreds of hours of specialized instruction and hands-on training, receiving the opportunity to graduate with work experience and college credit for courses that are most relevant to those industries. That means they can have a head start on getting a job and earning a degree.

Each program was developed in partnership with Delaware employers and institutions of higher education. The Department of Education is providing curriculum support for each pathway as well as training for teachers to successfully implement the coursework. In addition, the Department is working on agreements with Delaware colleges and universities to ensure that students who complete a program will be eligible for college credit at one or more institutions of higher education in the state.

The just-announced $600,000 includes some funds to help expand programs already underway this fall.

“This program epitomizes the collaboration among teachers, administrators, and the larger education community that is necessary to best support our students,” said Secretary of Education Steven Godowsky.

Districts use funding in a variety of ways to support students and staff, and to provide the services and materials required to offer courses and hands-on training opportunities.

“Today’s jobs simply do not look like those of decades past, which are increasingly outsourced to other countries or handled by machines,” said Markell. “However, incredible opportunities exist for those who can use that technology and for those whose abilities fit with the changing needs of growing industries. It’s our responsibility to ensure there are pathways to learning the skills for those jobs.”

New Grant Awards

Appoquinimink School District

Appoquinimink High School – Academy of Finance

Middletown High School – Academy of Finance


Caesar Rodney School District

Caesar Rodney High School – IT/Computer Science and Manufacturing


Cape Henlopen

Cape Henlopen High School – IT/Computer Science


Capital School District

Dover High School – Academy of Finance and Hospitality/Culinary


Christina School District

Christiana High School – Engineering and IT/Computer Science

Glasgow High School – Engineering

Newark High School – IT/Computer Science


Colonial School District

William Penn High School – IT/Computer Science


Delmar School District

Delmar High School – Academy of Finance and Manufacturing


Indian River School District

Indian River High School – Academy of Finance and Allied Health

Sussex Central High School – Academy of Finance and Allied Health


Milford School District

Milford High School – Allied Health and IT/Computer Science


New Castle County Vo-Tech School District

Delcastle Technical High School – Hospitality/Culinary

Howard High School of Technology – Computer Networking and Hospitality/Culinary

Paul M. Hodgson Vo-Tech High School – Computer Networking and Hospitality/Culinary

St. Georges Technical High School – Hospitality/Culinary


Polytech School District

Polytech High School – Computer Networking


Seaford School District

Seaford High School – Manufacturing


Smyrna School District

Smyrna High School – Allied Health


Sussex Technical School District

Sussex Technical High School – Computer Networking


A list of the first round of grant awards is available here.


New Pathways

Academy of Finance

The Academy of Finance engages students in the world of financial services through courses focusing on banking and credit, financial planning, accounting, economics, and entrepreneurship. Students gain career knowledge through a series of work-based learning activities that are conducted in school and outside of the classroom. Completion of the program and work experience is validated with a NAFTrack industry-recognized certification. Courses introduce students to a wide array of careers such as personal financial advisor, tax preparation specialist, accountant, financial analyst, loan officer, account representative, insurance agent, and claims representative.

Allied Health

The Allied Health pathway engages students in open-ended problem solving and the opportunity to earn college credit in areas like medical terminology and human anatomy and physiology. Students will acquire skills necessary to become a healthcare professional such as medical mathematics, communication, safety practices, legal responsibilities, and teamwork. In addition, students will develop technical skills such as performing a wound culture, measuring vital signs, collecting a throat culture, and performing a strep test. Students will become CPR certified at the completion of the program and will be prepared for a variety of careers in healthcare, such as respiratory therapist, nurse, physical therapist, dental hygienist, and medical lab technician.

Computer Networking

The Cisco Networking Academy includes opportunities for students to earn industry recognized credentials in networking administration such as A+, CCENT, and CCNA. Students will complete hands-on learning activities and network simulations to develop practical skills that will help them to fill a growing need for networking professionals around the world. Work-based learning experiences and industry-mentored projects are included throughout the program. These students will be prepared for careers in network administration, engineering, and security, as well as network architecture and software developer or engineer.


Previously Existing Pathways

Biomedical Sciences and Engineering

Students enrolled in the Biomedical Sciences pathway investigate, document, and analyze evidence to study the concepts of human medicine, physiology, genetics, microbiology, and public health. Students examine the structures and interactions of human body systems and explore the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of disease, while working collaboratively to understand and design solutions to the most pressing health challenges.

Students enrolled in the Engineering pathway engage in open-ended problem solving, learn and apply the engineering design process, and use industry-leading technology and software. Participants apply math, science, and engineering standards to hands-on projects and work both individually and in teams to explore a broad range of engineering topics, including mechanisms, structures and materials, and automation.

Hospitality Management/Culinary

Students in the Hospitality Management/Culinary pathway develop the management and culinary skills needed for success in the restaurant/hospitality industry. They can earn the ProStart Certificate of Achievement, which signifies a strong foundation in management and culinary skill that includes both technical knowledge and 400 hours of mentored work-based learning experience. Students develop industry-specific skills that can be applied to all aspects of the restaurant and hospitality industry along with the employability skills like leadership, accountability, teamwork, and responsibility. Paid work-based learning experiences are supported by the Delaware Restaurant Association.

IT/Computer Science

Students enrolled in the Computer Science pathway apply computational practices such as algorithm development, problem solving, and programming within the context of problems relevant to their lives. They are introduced to topics such as interface design, limits of computers, as well as societal and ethical issues. Students apply math and science to hands-on projects and explore the roles of computer scientists as they study the required technical skills, soft skills, educational pathways, and ongoing training required for computing careers.


Manufacturing Production & Logistics

Students enrolled in the Manufacturing Production & Logistics pathways learn about logistics, production assembly, welding, lock out-tag out, AC and DC electrical circuits, electrical motor controls, lean manufacturing, hydraulics & pneumatics, mechanical drives, and programmable logic controllers (PLCs). Students complete the Manufacturing Skill Standards Council (MSSC) National Certifications in production or logistics. Paid work-based learning experiences are available to students supported by the Delaware Manufactures Association and Delaware Technical Community College. This past summer, students received paid internships at Delaware companies like Agilent Technologies, PPG, Kuehne, and Siemens.

Manufacturing Engineering Technology

Students enrolled in the Manufacturing Engineering Technology pathway learn how to innovate, improvise, and invent solutions to everyday problems. Students explore how technological innovations result when ideas, knowledge, and skills are shared across an occupational cluster and amongst other fields of study. Students apply advanced applications in design with a focus on systems thinking, the impacts of technological development, and the use of industry-leading technologies in the creation of models, mock-ups, and prototypes to create engineered solutions to real-world problems.

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