Established in 2016, the Career Development Incentive Program (CDIP) incentivizes school districts and charter schools to provide industry-recognized certificate programs, internships, and pre-apprenticeship programs aligned with in-demand industries.
School districts have used these incentives – which provide up to $1,000 for every completion in pre-approved programs – to expand certification offerings, buy technology to offer different certifications, cover transportation to work-based learning experiences, and equitably expand access to the program.
All of the credentials issued are in high-demand fields such as business, consumer science, skilled trades, STEM, information technology, and healthcare science, all of which align with top industry jobs.
That said, demand for this program has far outpaced supply and the available funds, meaning that schools are receiving far less than is allowed per credential – and the program to turn down funding for qualified credentials due to lack of funds.
Since 2016, 32,000 credential requests have been funded (with over 44,000 total requests). In 2021-22, 12,573 total qualifying credentials/courses were reported. Only 9,130 were funded due to available appropriations, leaving nearly 3,5000 credentials unfunded. And districts received less than $500 per credential for those 9,130 certifications.
Currently, the Career Development Incentive Program is set to expire in 2024. Colorado Succeeds supports the reauthorization of the program with increased funding to allow districts to continue to expand opportunities for students.
Senate Bill 23-065, introduced by Senators Paul Lundeen and Jeff Bridges, would be reauthorized for 10 years and increase required funding from $1 million to $10 million annually to allow districts to receive closer to the maximum $1,000 amount allowed.
Due to the success of the program, the continued innovation of school districts, and the engagement of the business community in providing learners with valuable opportunities and creating industry-aligned certificates, the funding requests are growing.