San Bernardino: It's Who and What You Know
CSU San Bernardino's nationally recognized CoyoteCareers program is preparing diverse STEM students for California's workforce. CoyoteCareers provides a unique cross-divisional collaboration that uses four distinct components to encourage service learning and student success: Tutoring in hard-to-pass courses, paid service-learning internship experiences, career development counseling, and alumni mentoring and networking.
A Title V grant awarded in 2007, began what is now an award-winning student success program targeting Hispanic and low-income students as they work toward completing their postsecondary degrees. A Learn and Serve America: Corporation for National and Community Service grant took the program one step further, allowing the California State University to promote service learning and community engagement in the STEM fields throughout the 23 campuses of the CSU. A major component of the initiative had the leadership team of CoyoteCareers develop a "how-to" manual, titled New Partnerships for a New Economy: A Guide to Effectively Preparing STEM Students for Careers of Choice, describing the program for other campuses to replicate. They have disseminated the manual to more than 300 people and hosted two symposia to present the contents of the manual to representatives from many CSU campuses.
Since the fall of 2007, nearly 650 STEM students have participated in Academic Career Education (ACE) workshops with topics ranging from résumé-writing, interviewing skills, and even a fashion show, exposing attendees to current business professional attire and appropriate clothing to wear at all stages of their job search. ACE workshops not only provide students applicable and relevant advice on the job search process, but also afford them the opportunity to connect with successful alumni.
"The CoyoteCareers project clearly demonstrates that collaboration across units and divisions is highly effective in achieving greater levels of student success" says Diane Podolske, CoyoteCareers Project Director. She also shares, "Providing students with connections to alumni professionals, as well as career exploration and preparation workshops and paid, major-relevant internship experiences clearly leads to stronger retention, graduation and career placement rates. That's what we want for all of our students at CSU San Bernardino."
Alumni have come back to the program in a number of capacities, such as workshop presenters, networking connections and mentors. Alumni who return to the program are well aware of the potential of CoyoteCareers participants. Talented, well-prepared and ready to enter the workforce, many alumni experts see the program as a pipeline to finding highly qualified individuals to place at their companies and agencies. The program has also enabled the Alumni Association to educate scores of students, also known as alumni-in-training, on what it means to be active alumni. Many previously unengaged alumni have returned to the campus to participate in many aspects of the program.
Approximately 25 percent of CoyoteCareers student interns have received employment offers as a result of their internship experiences. CoyoteCareers activities will continue and will be expanded to serve students in all academic disciplines along with new service-learning partnerships thanks to a new funding opportunity through the university's Student Success, Graduation, and Career Placement fee.
Science-credential candidates at CSU East Bay are cultivating ways to bring service learning into their high school science classrooms. After learning about service learning and observing several Math/Science Nucleus projects, Dr. David Stronck's fall 2011 credential candidates were inspired to create a service-learning project for their biology and chemistry students.
Led by Dr. Bude Su, a team of alumni and students in the School of Information Technology and Communication Design (ITCD) at CSU Monterey Bay assisted Natividad Medical Center in cutting time and costs through real-world application of their studies. The Medical Center's training module, in need of restructure, would have taken several months and cost more than $1 million to train 700 nurses and physician assistants in a new electronic patient charting system.
CSU Sacramento biology students are discovering the art of teaching in Dr. Kelly McDonald's BIO195T service-learning course. The course, designed for students interested in pursuing a career in teaching science to K-12 students pairs students with experienced science teachers from diverse middle schools and high schools throughout Sacramento County.
Thanks to a Title V grant awarded in 2007, CSU San Bernardino's nationally recognized CoyoteCareers program is preparing diverse STEM students for California's workforce. CoyoteCareers is a unique cross-divisional collaboration that connects and provides students with tutoring in hard-to-pass gatekeeper courses, paid service-learning internship experiences, career development counseling, and alumni mentoring and networking.
Professor Cynthia Darché Park at San Diego State University is passionate about increasing students' interest and achievement in the sciences and mathematics. What started as one course more than 20 years ago has become multiple service-learning course offerings for students pursuing degrees in education.