Special Populations Collaborative

Effective Practices for Single Parents & Displaced Homemakers

Cabrillo College – Fast Track To Work Program

Title: Fast Track To Work Program

Name of College: Cabrillo College

6500Soquel Drive, Aptos, CA 95003

College Contact: Dena Taylor, Program Manager

831-479-6147 or detaylor@cabrillo.edu

Target population: CalWORKs students and Workforce Investment Act (WIA) funded students seeking success in postsecondary education and high wage – high demand occupations. A majority of students are single parents and economically disadvantaged. A high percentage of participants have learning disabilities. Thirty-five to 40 percent are Latina.

Goals: To support student success in the post-secondary educational environment, and to prepare students to successfully compete for and enter high wage – high demand occupations.

Description: The program acts as a one-stop center for the program’s participating students – students are oriented to college academic programs and support services, and needs are assessed. An educational plan is developed, work study jobs are offered, childcare assistance or referral is provided, student cohorts (e.g. students enrolled in specific or related occupational areas) are assembled, and on-going technical assistance is provided to help students achieve their educational and occupational goals. Tutoring is offered to students with learning disabilities or academic challenges, and referrals are provided for life challenges (e.g. housing, car repair, domestic violence, etc.). Students are also encouraged to enroll in two for-credit courses focusing on work readiness and financial literacy. The program has received support from the community, with residents funding sports/activity scholarships for the children of participants, donating children’s and young adult books, and contributing to fundraising events that help the program deliver high quality services.

Staffing: A Program Manager, Services Coordinator, Program Specialist, County Eligibility Worker, one or tow part-time Academic Counselors, and Student Workers.

Facilities, equipment, materials: Classrooms

Costs, funding source: TANF and CalWORKs funds distributed through the Chancellor’s Office, county grants, funding from other public and private foundations, and community donations.

Outreach and marketing: The program is promoted through local agencies (e.g. county welfare/public assistance, workforce investment boards and one-sTop).

Evidence of effectiveness: In a 2001 follow-up survey of program graduates (n=52), ten percent had transferred to a four-year college or university. Of the remaining graduates, 87 percent were employed at an average hourly wage of $15.02, and 13 percent were actively seeking employment. Graduates with the highest hourly wages were employed in desktop publishing, software development, census evaluator, personal chef, medical surgery nurse, and electronic technician occupations.

Suggestions for replication::

· Communicate and collaborate with other college and regional CalWORKs programs. Attend workshops and networking events to gather and share information.

· Join the CalWORKs Association (Alfred Ramirez, President, 818-240-1000, ext. 5018) and become an active member.

· Become knowledgeable about private nonprofit organizations that are advocates and/or provide research and information that can benefit your program (e.g. The Western Center on Law and Poverty).