Berges Success Story:

Ranken Technical College

A Century of Real-World Success

How do you best prepare students for real-world success? Ranken Technical College begins by treating students as professionals from day one. For each hour of classroom instruction, our students spend at least three hours in a lab or a shop setting, becoming proficient in the skills they need to excel in their careers. With this extensive practical experience, Ranken graduates are highly trained and fully equipped for successful careers in automotive, architecture, construction, electrical, information technology, and manufacturing.

  • Approximately 40% of Ranken credit students are enrolled in computer science/IT and engineering courses, which generally fall under the definition of STEM.
  • Student surveys have shown that across all degree programs, 95% of graduates attain full-time employment in their field.
  • It is estimated that each Ranken student (including STEM) have 5-6 job offers by the time they graduate!
  • Employer demand: 500 employers registered for our last job fair, a new record.

Learn 2 Earn

Conceived by Ranken Technical College in 2016 and supported by The Berges Family Foundation, Learn 2 Earn (L2E) is a STEM talent pipeline development and incentive funding strategy. The overarching concept is to provide a pathway of early engagement activities for secondary school students; providing exposure to actual STEM fields while allowing middle and high school students to earn and save college scholarship credits.

L2E Reaching 6th-12th Grade

The overall L2E goal is to provide a wide variety of activity options and times that allow each secondary or middle school student, over a six-year period, to amass up to $10,000 in scholarship credits to attend Ranken Technical College. Combined with federal resources and financial aid, such as that provided by STAR, most students would essentially be eligible to attend Ranken cost-free for a two-year degree. L2E enforces certain constraints, e.g. credits are non-transferable and expire two years after high school graduation, or equivalent. Learn 2 Earn’s motto is, “Building the bridge between play and work!”

L2E reaches out to students as young as 6th grade to inform them of the program, with actual enrollment/credit earnings designed for 7th-12th grade (six years).

Various amounts of scholarship credits are earned by successfully completing STEM activities such as Summer Career Academy, FIRST Robotics competitions, and SkillsUSA. A database has been developed to track individual ‘banked’ credit totals.

Berges STEM Initiative Woven Together

To launch the program, the design calls for participants to be recruited from selected partners including Marian Middle School, Hawthorn Leadership School for Girls, and Girls Scouts of Eastern Missouri, who also happen to be part of the Berges STEM initiative. Over time, the strategic plan for L2E is to encompass many more schools across the St. Louis region, and eventually be replicated statewide.

“The future of our region, state, and nation, is dependent upon our ability to produce a diverse and skilled STEM workforce for the 21st century…programs such as Learn 2 Earn, supported by the Berges Family Foundation, is helping to develop the pipeline necessary to meet that need.” Stan H. Shoun, President, Ranken Technical College

Encouraging Others

The Berges Family Foundation was an early contributor and supporter of L2E and a strong proponent of the program from the very beginning. Their vision and support have been instrumental in tying together various elements and activities of STEM and bringing together the sponsoring organizations and educational institutions under the umbrella of L2E whose goals are to assist and encourage students interested in STEM education and careers.

We greatly appreciate any donations and financial assistance, as well as volunteerism, to ensure Ranken Technical College continues its century-old legacy of providing the gold standard in hands-on technical education to even more students.