Tech Prep grants are awarded to states, which in turn allocate funds to consortia consisting of secondary and postsecondary institutions. These consortia help students attain a common core of required proficiencies in mathematics, science, reading, writing, communications, economics and workplace skills through applied, contextual academics and integrated instruction, in a coherent sequence of courses. Tech-Prep programs are designed to lead to an associate degree or postsecondary certificate in a technical career field and, where appropriate, link to courses of study at four-year institutions. Consortia establish agreements encompassing at least two years of secondary school and at least two years of postsecondary education, and must include a public or private nonprofit institution of higher education. The postsecondary institutions are predominantly community and technical colleges. (http://www.ed.gov/programs/ctesbg/index.html) Additionally, some programs included in the section on direct funding to community colleges, such as GEAR UP, make state, as well as institutional, awards.