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Concurrent enrollment grant expands opportunities for high school students



New workforce preparation and college-credit earning partnerships between high schools and colleges are helping to prepare students for in-demand careers and their postsecondary next steps. Administered by the Minnesota Office of Higher Education, the Concurrent Enrollment Grant program (CEGP) funds the expansion or creation of career exploration opportunities through concurrent enrollment classes that students can take within the walls of their high schools, which provides increased access and exposure to in-demand careers. Students simultaneously earn high school and college credit while learning relevant career-focused coursework.

With the assistance of the CEGP, Harding High School of St. Paul Public Schools has partnered with Bethel University to offer a new Health Career Pathway. Designed by industry leaders, the Health Career Pathway is part of Harding’s International Baccalaureate (IB) Career-related Programme, allowing students to gain a broad look at healthcare and prepare for their life after high school, whether they plan to pursue a health-related credential or enter directly into the workforce. The Intro to Healthcare course will cover ethics, healthcare communication, and field experience and offers the same content and academic rigor as the course offered on the Bethel campus.

With a largely diverse student population, Harding IB Coordinator Daniel Weyandt said many students are interested in the healthcare field and the school has already seen immediate impacts. “By far, our most popular interest in the Career-related Programme is healthcare,” said Wayandt. “When we want to give access to education, we want to remove as many barriers as possible, and transportation has been a massive barrier. We’ve been working for years to expand this kind of opportunity for our students at our high school.”

“By allowing them to take all these healthcare prerequisites in the high school, Harding students are going to be ready to walk right into a nursing program or other programs after they graduate,” shared Jamie Shady, Harding high school counselor. “It’s a great option for career exploration, a money saving perspective, and the best part is that they don’t even have to leave our building.”

Staples-Motley High School students will benefit from a partnership with Central Lakes College, offering a new machine tool concurrent enrollment course. With growing interest from students and multiple prominent local businesses that provide workforce opportunities, the hands-on classes provide an approachable introduction to the machining career field as a whole.

“We’ll be providing stackable certifications that will allow students to build their skills and meet different levels of entry,” said Sheila Hoehn, dean at the Central Lakes Staples campus. “Collaborating with high school is very important to Central Lakes, and it’s a win-win for all those involved.”

The CEGP is part of the Minnesota Office of Higher Education’s Grants and Workforce Initiatives division. Learn more about the CEGP at Concurrent Enrollment Grant Program ( New high school and college concurrent enrollment partnership proposals are accepted annually with a new application process to launch tentatively in spring 2025.

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