The challenge: How can we communicate the efforts of multiple educational institutions working together to create pathways for students to college and career in one coherent story?
The lesson: sometimes people tell their own story best. When a project like East Bay Career Pathways is rooted in establishing relationships, building a community, and serving others, its narrative should reflect that by shining a spotlight on the people who made it possible.
In 2014, the East Bay Career Pathways (EBCP) consortium, led by the Peralta Community College District, was awarded a $15 million grant from California Department of Education to develop a network of K-12, community college, and workforce intermediary organizations. The work aimed to connect the groups to build ‘career pathways’ that would link high school and college-aged students with the skills, resources, and training needed to take advantage of opportunities to work in in-demand fields in their community. This work is particularly needed in the Bay Area, where growing prosperity has not been shared by all, and often overlooks local communities. As their grant work drew to a close, EBCP partnered with Full Court Press to find a way to tell this story and share their successes.
The initiative was led by the Peralta Community College District, and EBCP Director Rebecca Lacocque, and engaged several other regional educational, workforce development, and technical assistance partners. Through a concerted, collective effort, they built a solid regional foundation that will continue to support the development of high-wage, high-demand career pathways like engineering and biomedical sciences to prepare local high school and community college students to work in these fields.
This East Bay regional effort engaged a network of school districts, community colleges, local businesses, workforce development boards, and chambers of commerce, all working together to better prepare students for the high-tech, in-demand jobs of the future. This forward-looking, holistic approach to improving student achievement outlines a clear goal, but the web of partnerships and relationships across different sectors made it a complex story to tell simply.
FCP worked closely with the Peralta Community College District and EBCP Director to summarize and clarify the EBCP work of coordinating so many different groups working together to tackle a problem into a succinct, memorable narrative. Ultimately, much of the EBCP consortium work was centered on relationship-building and establishing partnerships, so FCP worked to emphasize the human impact of the work by gathering stories of counselors, teachers, members of the business community, and students who shared in the success of EBCP. You can view the final report in its entirety here.
Now, after three years, the Peralta Community College District will be passing the torch to a new EBCP lead. Congratulations to everyone working tirelessly to build a brighter future for East Bay students.
Tags: advocacy, Alameda County, allies, communications, east bay, Education, higher education, human impact, narrative, oakland, public policy, social change, stories, storytelling, visual imagery, workforce readiness