skip to main content
Return to Doing What Matters for Jobs and the Economy home page

« back to eShowcase

Practices with Promise Workforce Outcomes eShowcase

Learn how »

Practices with Promise Success Story

Submitted By: Paul De La Cerda, East Los Angeles College

East LA College Presents Operation Entrepreneurship: Project ESTEEM

  • Type of Practice: Data-Backed Decision Making
  • Type(s) of Users Served: Associate Degree Students, External Certification Seekers, Lifelong Learning Students, Returning Students, Skills-Builders Students
  • Sector(s): Small Business
  • Momentum Point(s) & Leading Indicators : MP 19, MP 22, LI 7 (click here for description)
  • Regions Involved: Los Angeles
  • Colleges Involved: East Los Angeles College
  • Other Organizations: City of Los Angeles Mayor’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development

The Challenge

According to a 2014 Brookings Institution report, the U.S. economy has become less entrepreneurial over the past 30 years. This trend, combined with high unemployment among veterans, prompted East Los Angeles College (ELAC) to develop “Operation Entrepreneurship: Project ESTEEM” (Ethics, Science, Technology, Engineering, Entrepreneurship, Mathematics) in order to:
• Provide a pathway to entrepreneurship as a viable career opportunity; and
• Braid entrepreneurship skills such as leadership development, research and analysis, critical thinking, and creative problem solving into traditional Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) courses.

The Solution

The Workforce Education, Engineering and Veterans Affairs departments at ELAC recruited highly motivated students to participate in the two-day Project ESTEEM workshop. Drawing on eight life lessons from the book “Who Owns the Icehouse: Eight Life Lessons From an Unlikely Entrepreneur”, participants were exposed to online animated lessons with video interviews of diverse entrepreneurs. Participants were also given an opportunity to explore and develop a potential business idea through peer-to-peer learning, presentations by real-life entrepreneurs, and other exercises designed to promote self-reflection, analysis, and discovery.


Participants of the program benefited from:
• Developing the mindset and skills to recognize and evaluate opportunities, regardless of life circumstances, and enable them to succeed;
• Identifying beliefs and assumptions that drive successful behavior by interacting with successful entrepreneurs who provided guidance, encouragement, and support.

The program received recognition from a U.S. Congress member and was heralded as a model by the Business & Entrepreneurship Center, a project of the Workforce and Economic Development program of the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office.

The Data

20 students – half of whom were veterans - participated in the workshop with 41% viewing the content online.

Supporting Information

Read more about Project ESTEEM here

« back to eShowcase


Common Metrics

Leading Indicators

LI 1 Alignment of skillsets within a program (or set of courses) to a particular occupation and the needs of the labor market
LI 2 Regionalization of stackable certificates aligned with a particular occupation ladder
LI 3 Alignment of a certificate with state-, industry-, nationally-, and/or employer- recognized certification
LI 4 Creation of a credit certificate from non-credit certificate
LI 5 Curriculum articulation along a career or multi-career educational pathway
LI 6 Updating the skills of faculty, teachers, counselors, and/or “supporting staff to student” to reflect labor market needs
LI 7 Integration of small business creation and/or exporting modules into for-credit curriculum in other disciplines

Momentum Points

Middle School Cluster
MP 1Completed an individual career and skills awareness workshop in middle school that included a normed assessment process and was in a Doing What Matters priority or emerging sector
Transition from Middle School to High School
MP 2Completed a bridge program between middle school and high school and revised student career/education plan
MP 3Completed a student orientation and assessment program while in middle school or high school
High School Cluster
MP 4Completed one course in high school within a CTE pathway
MP 5Completed two or more courses in high school within a CTE pathway
MP 6Completed a CTE articulated course
MP 6aSuccessfully completed a CTE dual enrollment course or credit by exam, with receipt of transcripted credits
MP 7Completed a program in high school within a CTE pathway
Transition from High School to College Cluster
MP 8Completed a bridge program between high school and college in a CTE pathway
MP 9Completed college orientation and assessment as a first-time community college student who entered a community college CTE pathway
MP 10Transitioned from a high school CTE pathway to a similar community college CTE pathway
MP 11Transferred from a high school CTE pathway to a similar CSU, UC or private/independent university CTE pathway
MP 12Completed a counselor-approved college education plan, for first-time community college students who enter a CTE pathway
MP 13During high school, participated in an internship, work-based learning, mentoring, or job shadowing program in a CTE pathway
MP 14Percentage of community college students, who participated in a high school CTE pathway, whose first math or English course was below transfer-level
Community College Cluster
MP 15Completed two courses in the same CTE pathway
MP 16Retention rate between Fall and Spring within a CTE pathway
MP 17Completed a non-CCCCO-approved certificate within a CTE pathway
MP 18Completed a CCCCO-approved certificate within a CTE pathway
General Education and Transfer Progress Cluster
MP 19Completed a work readiness soft skills training program (either stand-alone or embedded) within a CTE pathway
MP 20Completed college level English and/or math, for students in a CTE pathway
MP 21Completed the CSU-GE or IGETC transfer track/certificate for students in a CTE pathway
MP 22Completed requirements in a CTE pathway, but did not receive a certificate or a degree
MP 23Completed an associate degree in a CTE major
MP 24Completed an associate degree in a major different from student’s college CTE pathway
MP 25Transferred from community college to a four-year university in the same CTE pathway
MP 26Transferred from community college to a four-year university in a major different from their CTE pathway
Community College Transition To Workforce Cluster
MP 27Participated in a college internship or workplace learning program within a CTE pathway
MP 28Attained a job placement in the same or similar field of study as CTE pathway
MP 29Acquired an industry-recognized, third-party credential
Workforce Progress Cluster
MP 30Attained a wage gain in a career in the same or similar CTE pathway
MP 31Attained wages equal to or greater than the median regional wage for that CTE pathway
MP 32Attained wages greater than the regional standard-of-living wage
MP 33Participated in incumbent worker training or contract education in a CTE pathway (for example training for layoff aversion, meeting heightened occupational credentialing requirement, transitioning employees whose occupations are being eliminated, or up-skilling existing employees)
MP 34Exception


Close Window

Understand why regional collaboration is more important than ever.