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The Perkins Grant at CCAC

The Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Improvement Act of 2006 ("Perkins IV") provides federal funding to CCAC for academic support staff, instructional equipment and professional development designed to help Career & Technical Education students achieve better grades, stay in school, graduate with an Associate Degree or Certificate so that they can get good paying jobs in High Priority Technical Occupational programs.

In fiscal year 2018-2019, the Community College of Allegheny County will receive $1,041,738 in Perkins Grant funding.

CCAC has over 130 Career & Technical Education programs designed for the students who wished to immediately join the workforce upon graduation. These programs include allied health and 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?

  • Student Support Specialists
  • Staff members who provide students with academic support services, study groups & workshops, and referrals to other existing college academic resources to boost grades, retention and graduation rates.
  • Employment Specialists in the Career Services Offices
  • Staff members who help students connect students to the job market and secure employment high-demand, high-wage careers.
  • 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:

  • 3D Printer, injection molding machine and vinyl cutter for Mechatronics, $6,800
  • Wheel alignment rack for Automotive, $29,200
  • Table saw for Technical Theater, $6,200
  • Simulation mannequins for Nursing, $68,500
  • Puritan Bennett 980 Ventilator for Respiratory Therapy, $32,400
  • Use of Force Simulators for Criminal Justice, $73,000
  • Virtual Environment in Radiation Therapy for, $204,000

In fiscal year 2018/2019 we are budgeted to purchase nearly $100,000 in equipment for respiratory therapy, $200,000 for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (Ultrasound) and over $100,000 for other programs such as Nursing, Automotive, Mechatronics and Electrical Engineering Technology.

Professional Development

CCAC has leveraged Perkins Grant funds to provide professional development opportunities to staff, students and faculty, including workshops for Nursing students and seminars for female students on non-traditional occupations.

High School Partnerships

Through Perkins, CCAC has created 75 Students Occupationally and Academically Ready (SOAR) articulation agreements with Pennsylvania technical high schools in 34 different technical programs (both the most in the state). These agreements allow well qualified secondary students to earn college credit in high school for their technical programs, allowing them to graduate with an Associate Degree sooner, with less college debt and to join the workforce with in-demand skills.

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.