Special Populations Collaborative

Effective Practices for Nontraditional Students

El Camino College Nontraditional Support

Heidi Cabral, Program Administrator

310-660-6780 or hcabral@elcamino.edu

Target population: Women interested in careers non-traditional to their gender

Goals: To support and encourage women of all ages in advancing their education in nontraditional career sectors.

Description: The program started in July 2004 and includes several activities: 1) One-on-one counseling and a peer support network that meets bi-monthly. The peer support group features a women in the trades speaker and tours of local business/industry; 2) Tutoring in English and Math to improve college-required skills and knowledge; 3) Mentoring by current women students enrolled in industry/technical career areas; 4) Outreach to local employers to develop apprenticeships for program participants; 5) Celebration of Women’s Month by featuring a panel presentation of women in non-traditional careers and touring local business/industries; 6) Outreach to local high schools and adult schools by producing a “fashion show” featuring women in non-traditional occupational work clothing, describing the skills and knowledge needed for employment, and the background of the model (who is employed in a non-traditional occupation); and 7) Partnering with Tech Prep, the College’s Robotics Academy and Career Center, as well as local businesses to promote and support the program. The program is in the process of forming an Advisory Committee. Since the program is not quite one-year old, it is still in the process of planning and implementing activities that meet the needs of women wanting to enter nontraditional occupations.

 Staffing: Program Administrator, Outreach & Recruitment specialist, two English tutors, two Math tutors, and volunteer program mentors.

Facilities, equipment, materials: The program is in the process of securing a dedicated room to act as a program center.

 Cost, funding source: The program is funded entirely through VTEA.

 Outreach and marketing: The program and its activities are marketed to local high schools and adult schools, the One-Stop Centers, and local businesses through flyers and networking.

 Evidence of effectiveness: Approximately 25 women participated in the program this year. Participants have been consistent and enthusiastic about the program and the support that it offers them. Some are preparing to enroll in college by improving their language and math skills, and some are taking courses leading to employment in nontraditional occupations.

 Suggestions for replication: Lynn Shaw at Long Beach City College has been an inspirational and invaluable mentor to the program’s start-up and operations.