Rhode Island Innovation and Equity Grants Engage Underserved Students in Hands-on Learning Opportunities

CTE Equity Grants are part of Rhode Island’s larger statewide career education strategy: Prepare Rhode Island (PrepareRI). PrepareRI is the statewide career education initiative that unites many partners including; Rhode Island government, private industry leaders, the public education system, universities, and non-profits around a common strategic plan to improve youth career readiness. PrepareRI aims to close the gap between what students learn in school and what they need for high-demand jobs. The initiative was built on the belief that all young people, regardless of their previous background or intended career, need some form of postsecondary credential and practical work experience to be successful.

The Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) awarded nearly $1.2 million in CTE Innovation and Equity Grants, funds to be used by new and existing career education programs to help expand access for historically underserved students. Eight recipient schools spread out across the state would each receive roughly $150,000 in funding for two years.

Equity Grants help address current equity gaps and create opportunities for students who have not traditionally participated in high-quality CTE opportunities.

PrepareRI is one of the most ambitious plans in the nation to improve youth career readiness. Funding provided from this program created many opportunities for students in Rhode Island including: program to increase female participation in technical education opportunities, creation of an agriculture and life science program aimed at recruiting student with specific learning disabilities, creation of a center for excellence in STEM and IT, starting with a CISCO IT pathway that targets female students and students of color, creation of business and finance program, working with local finance experts in an internship program, creation of two new CTE programs in IT and Computer Science for grades 6-8, a new electrical program and expansion of summer exploratory program with work- based learning opportunities, development of new curriculum and summer enrichment camp targeted at English Language learners.

To learn more visit Rhode Island Department of Education: