HELENA— The Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education and the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation announce the availability of iGraduate Montana Challenge Fund grants for the 2018-2019 school year. Grants of up to $10,000 are available to communities through a competitive application process.
The iGraduate Montana initiative is in partnership with the Office of Public Instruction and the Montana Department of Labor and Industry. This is a new initiative that leverages the successes and lessons learned from Graduation Matters Montana. iGraduate Montana continues a focus on high school graduation, and expands the scope to include workforce development activities, such as connecting students to high-demand career pathways, and/or post-high school education opportunities.
Local school districts, post-secondary institutions, non-profit organizations, and tribal governments are eligible to apply for funds. Priority will be given to applications that show partnerships between local school districts, families, post-secondary institutions, non-profit organizations, and employers. Priority will also be given to projects that focus on supporting struggling students to succeed in high school and transitioning them to post-secondary education opportunities.
“Montana will be facing challenges over the next ten years to address anticipated workforce shortages due to our aging population and strong economy. These grants will play a vital role in helping students understand the importance of graduating from high school and continuing on to either a college or an apprenticeship program,” said Clayton Christian, Commissioner of Higher Education.
“To be relevant in the 21st Century, the learning environment must include a full range of options for youth. That starts with students making use of technology to expand their academic options and integrating career readiness programs, with the ultimate goal of giving our youth the knowledge and skills to pursue their dreams. iGraduate Montana is uniquely designed to meet these goals,” said Mike Halligan, Executive Director of the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation.
“The iGraduate Challenge Fund grants will strengthen existing partnerships and grow new ones as we all work to build for the next steps in a students’ life. We must prepare all Montana students to be college, career, and community ready,” said Elsie Arntzen, State Superintendent.
Applications and additional information can be found at: http://www.mus.edu/iGraduateMontana/