Ranken Technical College is Awarded $825,000 NSF Grant in Partnership with St. Louis Public Schools to Create New Education Concept (C3)
September 8, 2017 - St. Louis, MO - Ranken Technical College today announced a new partnership with St. Louis Public Schools. The core of this new partnership is an $825,000 National Science Foundation (NSF) Grant that was recently awarded to fund this unique education alliance over three years.
Ranken will partner with the St. Louis Public Schools to implement the C3 – City Career College concept. C3 will create clearly defined, accelerated career pathways to employment in advanced manufacturing and information technology. This should not only increase the number of students pursuing degrees in these educational fields, but will also allow students to earn an associate degree at the end of their thirteenth year (or first year of post-secondary education).
Over the next decade, two million of nearly three million plus manufacturing jobs are expected to remain unfilled due to retirements, changing technology, global competition and the fact that relatively few students are pursuing science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers. The talent shortage especially impacts two fields: Advanced Manufacturing and Information Technology (IT). The Manufacturing Institute recently conducted a study in which 82% of manufacturers reported a moderate or serious skills gap, and 74% of manufacturers report that the skills gap has hurt their ability to expand. A similar gap exists in the IT industry.
Beth Bender (Ph.D.) Associate Superintendent of College & Career Readiness stated, “The St. Louis Public Schools have long understood the opportunity and benefits that come from education and training at Ranken Technical College. So, being a part of the NSF Grant really excites us as this will allow us to more effectively connect our students with a college that provides not only a valuable education, but direct career connections upon graduation. We hear time and again about the ‘skills gap’” and good paying careers going unfilled because there are no candidates. This grant is another step toward providing our students with such opportunity and that is why we do what we do!”
Grant funds will allow both Ranken and the St. Louis Public Schools to hire additional C3 staff to ensure the success of the new partnership. The program will include new staff specifically focused on selecting, recruiting and preparing high school students for the program, as well as student mentors and program tutors.
“C3 is an exhilarating new partnership and a great example of Ranken’s evolving education model,” said Ranken Technical College President Stan Shoun. “We are excited to be working closely with the St. Louis Public Schools system. This grant will help ensure that more students graduate with degrees in the high demand fields of Information Technology and Advanced Manufacturing. This new education model will not only serve the St. Louis market well, but is also a model that would work well across the U.S.” added Shoun.
About Ranken Technical College
Ranken Technical College is a private, non-profit, degree-granting institution of higher learning whose primary mission is to provide the comprehensive education and training necessary to prepare students for employment and advancement in a variety of technical fields.
About St. Louis Public Schools
The district serves just under 27,000 students residing in the City of St. Louis, a majority of whom represent low-income families. Students attend one of the district’s 46 elementary schools, 8 middle schools, 16 high schools, or 6 alternative education sites. C3 strengthens the district’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) program, which gives high school students the opportunity to explore real-world career paths.