INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) today awarded 97 schools and community partners with more than $57 million in Explore, Engage and Experience (3E) grant funding. The grant will aid Indiana’s schools and local partners as they work to strengthen, expand and create effective career pathways throughout students’ K-12 learning.
A full list of school districts and partners receiving the grant to implement in the 2022-2023 school year can be found here.
“Throughout students’ 13 years in K-12, we must do everything possible to ensure students are empowered to develop the knowledge and skills needed to pursue their purpose, whether that leads to employment, enrollment, or enlistment leading to service,” said Dr. Katie Jenner, Indiana Secretary of Education. “In order to do this, in elementary and middle school we must make sure students can read, are immersed in STEM, and are provided opportunities to explore and engage in a variety of careers. Then empowered by these foundational skills, students must have access to earn postsecondary credentials of value and complete high-quality work-based learning while in high school.”
Funding for Indiana’s 3E grant is allocated as part of the state’s federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief III plan. Originally slated for $25 million, the total grant funding was expanded to more than $57 million due to an overwhelming response in strong applications from across the state.
The grant focuses on increasing the number of students experiencing work-based learning and earning high-value credentials while in high school, such as the Indiana College Core, an associate degree, or a career and technical education industry certificate. The grant also encourages schools to expand access to career exploration and engagement opportunities for students in elementary and middle school.
To support these goals, schools, nonprofit organizations, education service centers, higher education institutions and employers were encouraged to collaborate on plans to implement locally-driven, strategic career pathways for their students. These plans identified positive, measurable outcomes for students, including increased access, enrollment and completion of a Next Level Program of Study, the Indiana College Core or a Graduation Pathway high-value credential.
Research shows a direct link between a student’s educational attainment and their quality of life, civic engagement, health, employment, and living wage.