Wisconsin's 16 technical colleges will receive $23.1 million from the U.S. Department of Labor to enhance and expand information technology educational programs and help workers in industries, including health care and manufacturing, that increasingly require advanced IT skills. Northcentral Technical College in Wausau is the leader of the technical college consortium.
The Applied Research Center, along with UW-Stout Assistant Professor John Killingsworth of the construction program, will serve as the third-party evaluator for the Wisconsin grant. The tasks include document analysis, surveys, interviews, focus groups and classroom observations. The evaluation aims to provide evidence of the effectiveness of the proposed program changes and data that can be used for program improvement.
"This is a tremendous grant for UW-Stout and the Applied Research Center," said Chancellor Charles W. Sorensen. "It shows the respect the center has across Wisconsin for the quality of its staff and the expertise it brings to assessment practices."
Meridith Drzakowski, Applied Research Center director and assistant chancellor for Planning, Assessment, Research and Quality, said the grant is an "excellent opportunity to build on the evaluation expertise the Applied Research Center has established by serving as the evaluator for more than 25 grant-funded programs at the national, state and institutional level.
"We look forward to partnering with Northcentral Technical College, the other Wisconsin technical colleges and UW-Stout faculty, to provide the consortium with data that officials can use to meet their program goals," Drzakowski said.
The Obama administration issued $474.5 million in grants to support 190 projects in approximately 183 schools in each state across the U.S., including the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
The grants were awarded through the U.S. Department of Labor's Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) program.
For more on the Applied Research Center, go to the website.