School to Career Connecting Activities

  • Description
  • Funding History
  • Proposals

The School to Career Connecting Activities program funds school-to-career programs for high school youth, targeted primarily for those scoring low on state tests. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) distributes funds for public-private job partnerships through the state's 16 Workforce Investment Boards. Connecting Activities are designed to give students more learning hours by extending the classroom into the workplace and providing students with supportive one-to-one mentoring relationships.

According to a DESE research brief: "Connecting Activities links students and teachers with local employers to create applied learning opportunities through structured internships and career exploration activities in a number of areas, including health care, engineering, finance, journalism, web design, and public safety. The goal of Connecting Activities is to help students graduate from high school with the academic, technical/technological, and workplace skills needed for success in college and careers. Upon graduation, students are able to make a more informed decision about the education they will need to be successful in a variety of career paths, including college, technical training, apprenticeships, and more. Students participate in worksite learning experiences during the school year and summer."

Connecting Activities grants require at least a 2:1 private match for funding wages of students working at a private sector place of employment. However, the private matching has exceeded this level in recent years. According to DESE, in FY13 private employers matched the $2.87 million Connecting Activities appropriation with $11.9 million in wages for youth jobs. Since 2008, over 11,000 students per-year on average have gained job experience through the Connecting Activities program.

Updated January 2016

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