Spreading the word about the California Community College Guided Pathways began early this school year in the San Diego/Imperial Region. With his NAO robot in tow, Leroy Brady, the region’s ICT-Digital Media Deputy Sector Navigator, hit the road in August and September to visit San Diego Imperial Valley students.
His message was one many of these young adults needed to hear. The ICT-Digital Media Guided Pathway programs available at their local community colleges can help them improve their lives. Thanks to Brady’s efforts, 254 students and 31 parents and teachers heard his message loud and clear.
Brady’s first visit was to the San Diego Jobs Corps in Imperial Beach, located in San Diego County’s South Bay area. The Job Corps occupies 27 acres of land leased from the Navy, and houses more than 500 co-ed students from the San Diego Imperial Valley Region and Los Angeles. The program is administered by the US Department of Labor and helps young people ages 16 to 24 become employable and independent.
“Some Job Corps youth have finished high school while others are still completing high school requirements,” said Brady. “With this in mind, we emphasized the importance of selecting career options that provide meaningful life satisfaction, upward mobility and a livable wage.”
Over a series of presentations, Brady talked to the students about the Business Information Worker (BIW) pathway and the growing popularity of the IT Technician pathway as an entry to computer sales, support and cybersecurity. “We used the NAO robot to demonstrate career options and it brought a lot of interest to the presentation,” he said.
The Job Corp is another example of a non-traditional approach to attracting students that may be new to community college. The hope is that as these young people term out of the Job Corps in two years, they will see community college as an option for career fulfillment and success.
Brady also made Guided Pathway presentations to four high schools in September, including Brawley, Southwest, Calexico and Central Union. And he participated in a Higher Ed Week Parent Night at a local Mall.
Students learned how Guided Pathways can help them complete their chosen program successfully, and how the BIW and IT Technician pathways serve as career starting points. Brady always tells students that these two pathways contain tremendous options providing great career advancement, developing skills for employment while preparing them for transfer opportunities.
“An added benefit of these visits was the opportunity to meet and discuss Guided Pathways with the Imperial Valley ROP staff and Imperial Valley College faculty and administration,” said Brady.