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Perkins Career & Technical Education Grant

The Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V) provides CCAC with federal funding for student support staff, instructional equipment and professional development for faculty and staff.  The goals of the Perkins Grant are to help Career & Technical Education students earn better grades, remain in school, and graduate with an Associate Degree or Certificate as well as the skills necessary to pursue employment in current or emerging high priority technical professions, while supporting gender equity across all career pathways.

In fiscal year 2021-2022, the Community College of Allegheny County will receive $1,066,066 in federal Perkins Grant funding.

CCAC has over 120 Career & Technical Education programs designed for students to immediately join the workforce upon graduation. These programs include a wide variety of allied health programs, Nursing, skilled trades, union apprenticeships, Culinary Arts, Criminal Justice, Accounting and many more. A complete list of CCAC's CTE programs can be downloaded here.

How are Perkins Grant Funds Used by CCAC?

  • Perkins Career & Technical Education Student Support Team
      • Provide students with academic support services, study groups & workshops, and referrals to other existing college academic resources to boost grades, retention and graduation rates.
  • Career Specialists in the Career Development and Planning office
      • Help students connect students to the job market and secure employment high-demand, high-wage careers.
  • In fiscal year 2019/2020, Perkins funded staff members interacted with over 2,600 Career & Technical Education students, providing nearly 7,000 service contacts.
  • Instructional Equipment - over the past three years, CCAC has used Perkins Grant funding for more than $1 million in educational supplies in academic programs that promise strong industry growth and family-sustaining wages. Equipment purchases including:
      • Over $100,000 in equipment for Nursing, including simulators, pumps, hospital beds and defibrillators
      • Over $550,000 in ultrasound equipment the Digital Medical Sonography program
      • Nearly $25,000 in stenography equipment for the Court Reports program
      • A $5,700 3-D printer for the Multimedia Program
      • Over $90,000 for ventilators and related equipment for the Respiratory Therapy program
      • $43,000 for a Fanuc robot for Electronic Engineering Technology
      • Over $10,000 for supplies for Supportive Services
  • Professional Development – over the past three years, CCAC has used Perkins Grant funds to provide professional development opportunities to staff, students and faculty, including:
      • workshops for Nursing students
      • seminars for female students on non-traditional occupations
      • Staff and faculty attendance at state and national conferences such as Integrated Learning Conference, the National Summit on Education Equity, Association of Career & Technical Educations’ Vision Conference and the National Career Pathways Conference

High School Partnerships

CCAC’s Perkins Grant staff have created credit transfer agreements that allow well-qualified graduates of Career and Technical high schools to earn college credit for the work completed in high school.  More local agreements will be coming on line during the course of AY20/21.

Labor Market Data

Perkins Grant funding has enabled CCAC to invest in labor market research tools for students and counselors, including Career Coach, a software program available to students to aid in their job search and career exploration; data includes available openings in the Southwestern Pennsylvania region, wage trends and academic programs at CCAC that provide the necessary credentials for entry-level positions. College counselors can administer the Kuder Journey career assessment tests to help students choose a career path.

Due to federal grant guidelines, the Perkins Grant staff members cannot assist students with developmental coursework. Furthermore, the Perkins Grant does not provide funds directly to students, but instead funds a variety of programs designed to help Career & Technical Education students succeed.

For more information about the Perkins Grant at CCAC, please contact Norm Downey ( or (412) 237-4670)