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Practices with Promise Success Story

Submitted By: John Cordova, Doing What MATTERS for Jobs and the Economy

Health Care Entree to Employment event links students, instructors, industry

  • Type of Practice: Student Engagement and Career Awareness
  • Type(s) of Users Served: Associate Degree Students, Counselors/Supporting Staff to Student, First-time Students, Higher Unit Certificate Students, Returning Students
  • Sector(s): Health
  • Momentum Point(s) & Leading Indicators : MP 7, MP 13, MP 27, LI 1 (click here for description)
  • Regions Involved:
  • Colleges Involved: Moorpark College, Oxnard College, Ventura College
  • Other Organizations: Venture County Office of Education, California Lutheran University, the Chamber of Commerce Workforce Education Coalition and numerous community business partners

The Challenge

Reading about a career of interest can shed some light on the industry, but meeting someone who actually works in the field is a much better way to gain a stronger understanding.

The Solution

On May 12, 2015, the Ventura County Office of Education, in partnership with the South Central Coast Regional Deputy Sector Navigator Health (Doing What MATTERS for Jobs and the Economy initiative), California Lutheran University, the Chamber of Commerce Workforce Education Coalition and numerous community business partners, hosted a two-hour networking and dinner event to introduce students interested in careers in the health care sector to professionals working in the field.

Students dressed in business attire and not only gained valuable information about career options, they also learned how to network in a professional setting. Teachers, students and professionals mingled before dinner, replicating a typical business conference setting. Business cards were exchanged and mentoring relationships were initiated.

Three students, a teacher, two or three industry professionals and a facilitator sat at each dinner table. A few guided questions were provided to start conversation and facilitators assured that everyone at the table had the opportunity to participate in the conversation. To help maximize their interaction with professionals, students sat at one table for dinner and rotated to a second table for dessert.

Students asked the professionals about their education, how they made career decisions, what job opportunities are available to students today and what advice they have for the next generation of health care professionals.


Approximately 30 students and 10 instructors from 13 Ventura County high schools, adult schools and community colleges attended the event. Almost 30 health care professionals also participated in the program, including physicians, hospital floor nurses, home healthcare specialists, pediatric occupational therapists, physician assistants, emergency room nurses, renal specialists, mental health workers, imaging techs, social workers, biotech manufacturers and chiropractors.

The Data

Feedback from the dinner was uniformly positive. Anecdotally, we can report that all of the health care professionals with whom we spoke following the event were impressed with the students’ poise, motivation to succeed and sincere interest in the information that the professionals shared. These business partners are looking forward to participating in the health care Entrée to Employment dinner next year.

Student comments were similarly positive. A number of students reported that professionals invited them to come to their offices and offered to be a resource for them as they pursue their careers. Other students said that the dinner made them aware of career opportunities that they had not previously considered.

The health care Entrée to Employment was an overwhelming success. Students felt that they had an opportunity to engage with professionals in the career field of interest to them, teachers were able to get first-hand information on careers available to their students and business community members left the event wanting to expand their involvement with the county’s students.

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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


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