(Cicero, IL) Morton College received good news on the renewal of its Perkins Grant for $358,720 in Fiscal Year 2022.
However, the real story is about how Morton College accomplished its renewal. Morton College, which uses Perkins Grant funding for a variety of technical education and health science educational needs ranging from equipment, professional development and faculty, exceeded state standards in all three of the grant’s major performance indicators.
“That’s the really interesting component of it,” said Michael Rose, Morton College’s Associate Dean for Strategic Initiatives, Adult and CTE. “By the state standards, we did pretty well. That was good to see.”
The three major performance metrics are Postsecondary Retention and Placement, Earned Recognition Postsecondary Credential and Nontraditional Program Enrollment. Grant reviewers take into consideration whether the institution meets or exceeds those standards, according to Rose, in deciding where funding goes.
Postsecondary Retention and Placement looks at the percentage of students placing into the workforce. The state benchmark is 69 percent. Morton College’s actual level of performance was 80.58 percent, exceeding the state standards by 11.58 percent.
Earned Recognition Postsecondary Credential and Nontraditional Program Enrollment reflects the number of students coming away with a degree or certificate. The state benchmark is 70.1 percent. Morton College’s number was 79.84 percent, exceeding the state standards by 9.74 percent.
Nontraditional Program Enrollment studies the percentage of students entering fields traditionally dominated by one sex, like in men in nursing or early childhood education or women in automotive technology or welding.
The state standard is 9.6 percent. Morton College’s rate is 12.08 percent, which is 2.48 percent above the state benchmark.
“The two programs that helped us get there was the number of men in nursing and women in law enforcement,” Rose said. “We’re happy with this number, but obviously this is an area Morton College is looking to improve.”
Rose attributes Morton College’s success to its top-notch faculty’s innovative approaches to program expansion, such as supporting student organizations such as the Association of Latino Professionals for America, creating affiliation agreements with four-year universities and colleges, developing internship partnerships and establishing pathways to employment.
“Student organizations like ALPFA are vital to ensuring all students receive the support needed to find employment following their studies,” Rose noted. “Morton College also is making a concerted effort to create affiliation agreements with local four-year institutions that provide our students with an opportunity to receive career advising and mentoring while still enrolled here.”
Rose also pointed to a partnership with the Ford Motor Company where students in automotive technology participate in Ford career days. Ford dealership representatives come on campus to meet students and explain career options.
Perkins Grant funding is a source of federal funding to states for the improvement of secondary and postsecondary career and technical education programs across the nation, according to the U.S. Department of Education’s website. Funding develops the academic, career and technical skills of secondary and postsecondary students electing to enroll in career and technical education programs.