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Moraine Park Technical College has reallocated a portion of its Non-Traditional Occupations (NTO) grant to be used to benefit high school classrooms and encourage students to explore non-traditional career options. Non-traditional occupations are defined as careers that currently employ 25% or less of one gender.  

Previously, these grant dollars were used to help recruit college-aged students into programs that qualified as NTO. This change will allow high school teachers to partner with Moraine Park to promote NTO and encourage more students to explore these career opportunities in a high school dual credit class.  

“The goal with this change is to showcase these career options to students earlier,” Sally Ruback, enrollment communication and student recruitment manager at Moraine Park, said. “By directing these grant dollars to our district high schools, we can partner with teachers to promote both dual credit classes and NTO. This will be done through classroom presentations in areas such as math, English, science, and business.”  

Students who participate in dual credit classes also have the opportunity of earning college credit. High schools within Moraine Park’s district are eligible to participate in this grant program. Currently, partnerships are being formed to help influence the NTO exploration of skilled trade, health care, and early childhood occupations.  

“Many of the programs that qualify as NTO also have a high demand for skilled workers in the field,” Ruback said. “Our goal is to help fill those gaps in our local industries, and we can help do this by partnering with our high schools to expose students to these careers. There is also a significant benefit to students who choose to take college credit classes in high school. This opportunity helps to develop life skills to be more self-sufficient and well-rounded adults.”  

Currently, the College has 12 classes from nine area schools that will receive funding for NTO dual credit classes next fall. Each class will receive $1,000.  

“The grant money will go directly into the teacher’s classes to enhance the learning environment,” Ruback said. “This program provides reimbursement toward the purchase of materials, supplies, textbooks, software applications, or equipment for the dual credit class. Our NTO partnerships will directly benefit the students in our district, which is extremely exciting.”    

Moraine Park’s district schools that are interested in exploring dual credit options should connect with the K-12 Department at k12@morainepark.edu.   

For more information on dual credit, visit morainepark.edu/k-12.

Kristina Haensgen
Written by Kristina Haensgen
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