Promising Practice: San Jacinto Community College District–Education, Training, & Support Services and Employment Strategies

Publication Date: January 10, 2020

Pasadena, TX

San Jacinto College re-engages and incentivizes students to complete their training.

In August of 2017, Hurricane Harvey devastated much of the Houston area, affecting many students and staff of the San Jacinto Community College District both financially and emotionally. After the storm, the college’s Health Career Pathways Partnership Visit disclaimer page HPOG program struggled to maintain its relationships with students. This took a major toll on the program’s ability to create successful pathways towards employment.

To address these issues, San Jacinto College made efforts to staff up after displaced staff and faculty caused high turnover. The College then set out to implement a student re-engagement strategy to bring participants back into the fold.

First and foremost, communication between students and case managers was key to re-engaging students. Through phone calls, personal emails and grant-sponsored events, the program was able to inform students of new support and incentive programs designed to reintegrate them back into the program. Several of these initiatives proved successful in getting students to return to their training programs and pursue healthcare careers. Chief among them were support programs related to access to transportation and technology.

With limited public transportation options available in the Houston metropolitan area, getting around the city proved to be a barrier to success. San Jacinto College issued gas cards for students to use for transportation to and from classes, clinicals, or job interviews. To be eligible for the assistance, students signed up for gas card events via Eventbrite and were issued cards based on the number of class and/ or clinical hours they attended, as well as the distance between their homes and school or work.

For other students, the ability to work remotely via laptop proved an effective means of reintegrating them back into the HPOG program. The college developed a laptop initiative wherein students received laptop computers on a loan-to-own basis, enabling them to participate in alternative modes of instruction on their own schedules. Students who are issued laptops are required to participate in supplementary Student Success and Ready or Not courses. These courses provide contextualized computer literacy instruction that students will carry with them into their careers. To “earn” and keep their laptops, students must attend healthcare training and document their participation in a work-based learning program.

Over a few short months, San Jacinto College’s re-engagement and incentive strategy reignited student interest in their HPOG program. Since December 2018, they have issued 197 laptops and 126 MiFi mobile hotspots. Already 8 laptops have been “earned” and one student in particular, who was subject for exit from the program due to inactivity, has been accepted into the Spring Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) program.

By providing additional support and incentives for students affected by Hurricane Harvey, San Jacinto College helped put students back on track to obtain healthcare employment.

This Promising Practice was self-identified by the grantee and information contained in this document was provided by the grantee.

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