The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development has awarded a Wisconsin Fast Forward Dual Enrollment Grant to WITC in the amount of $167,219 to train a minimum of 35 teachers toward certification of Higher Learning Commission Dual Enrollment standards in career and technical education areas. WITC will work with teachers from several school districts in their service area. Career and technical education certifications include healthcare, financial, accounting and multiple welding areas.

A total of $3.6 million was awarded to 14 technical colleges that will serve 209 school districts and more than 1,000 high school teachers across Wisconsin. These teachers will be trained in their relevant subject areas to achieve the same level of certification as instructors teaching the same courses at their local technical colleges.

“We are providing Wisconsin students with a leg up by providing access to post-secondary education before they graduate from high school,” said Governor Walker. “Through $3.6 million in Fast Forward Dual Enrollment Grants, more than 1,000 teachers, who serve students in 209 school districts, will receive credentials to teach their high school students technical college courses. This will help Wisconsin students better prepare themselves for a future in high demand fields, and it will save their family valuable tuition dollars.”

For students, dual enrollment provides Wisconsin’s youth the opportunity to earn college credits while still in high school, a cost and time saver for Wisconsin’s families. Students who are able to take on college-level courses while in high school are better prepared for the rigor of post-secondary education.

“Governor Walker’s Wisconsin Fast Forward program is investing in high school teachers, ensuring innovative dual enrollment programs continue to prepare students for high-demand jobs in growing industries,” said DWD Secretary Ray Allen. “This funding supports students’ access to post-secondary education while still in high school, accelerating their transition into the workforce and reducing the cost of receiving a higher education.” 

New program standards require high school dual enrollment courses to match the quality and integrity of those offered by the post-secondary institution, including the credentials of high school instructors who teach dual enrollment courses.

“This grant is an opportunity for WITC to overcome one of the primary barriers we have faced in trying to increase the number of dual-credit certified high school teachers–finding teachers with the relevant occupational experience to be an instructor,” said Jeanne Germain, director of career prep and k12 relations at WITC. “The ‘Fast Track Fridays’ professional development programs that will be funded by this grant will give teachers the chance to verify their competency to teach at the same rigor as our instructors through a tested experience model.”

The Wisconsin Fast Forward program encourages increased collaboration among Wisconsin’s workforce, employers, local or regional economic development organizations, workforce development boards, post-secondary institutions and private training providers to develop and execute business-led training programs. 

For more information, please visit dwd.wisconsin.gov.