ED Opens $500,000 Competition for Rural HS Tech Training Projects
- By Dian Schaffhauser
and districts have until Oct. 8 to vie for funding to cover
development of programs to help students gain skills in advanced
technology. The U.S.
Department of Education will
choose up to five recipients, which will share equally in a $500,000
prize pool in the "Rural
Tech Project.". The
delivery methods are expected to use distance and blended instruction
in a competency-based model, to help high schoolers prepare for jobs that are "customized" for local needs.
encouraged to work with local employers and other partners in
developing their program proposals. Award criteria will issue points
in five areas:
of methodology used in the program design;
of the planning, with an emphasis on aspects such as budget,
hardware and software requirements, staffing and sources of
The extent to
which continuous improvement is embedded into the plan; and
relevance, whether for local or national employers.
will go to proposals that especially serve low-income students.
make the final cut will go through development of detailed program
plans prior to launch. They'll receive access to virtual resources
and other kinds of assistance "as they plan, run and refine
their programs" over the next two school years.
2023, finalists will be asked to document their outcomes as final
submissions. A judging panel will recommend a grand prize of an
additional $100,000 for one of the recipients.
Judging will be done by an independent panel of experts in competency-based education, technology education, distance learning, rural education, community engagement, education program design, and workforce development. The Rural Tech Project is from the Department's Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education, with support from Luminary Labs, a consultancy that works with corporate, nonprofit and government entities on innovation projects.
about the competition on
the Rural Tech Project site.
Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.