BTE Around the World
Panamá City, Panamá
Grant Period: 2011 – 2014
Welcome to our Community
Building on successful BTE programs South America and Puerto Rico, Johnson & Johnson, Junior Achievement, the University of Panamá, and José Dolores Moscote Institute (middle grades and high school) launched the BTE-Panamá program in January 2012.
To increase the number of students enrolling in tertiary education and pursuing health careers, the program widened and complemented school offerings and provided healthcare-focused programs to 50 students from 10th grade enrolled at José Dolores Moscote Institute in the 2012 school year. BTE program activities included:
- Academic Tutoring. University students recruited by Junior Achievement provided academic support to BTE students.
- Service Learning. Students created artwork or video clips to promote diabetes awareness and prevention. This activity helped the students recall the concepts they learned about diabetes, biochemistry, and the endocrine system, as well as learn about creative approaches to develop, deliver, and disseminate knowledge, particularly to those most at risk of developing diabetes now or in the future.
- Personal Finance & Career Lectures. Professional advisors provided practical information about personal finance and demonstrated the economic benefits of staying in school. BTE students gained information from IFARHU (governmental institution who offer scholarships and soft loans to Panamanian students in order to afford their education). In addition, the University of Panama informed BTE students about the different programs and degrees offered at the University. The importance of identifying education and career goals based on values, interest and student’s skills was also discussed.
- University Tours. BTE students participated in tours of the University of Panamá facilities.
- Tutoring for University Exam. Teachers from the University of Panamá (medicine faculty) offered classes to BTE students on Saturdays, strengthening students’ knowledge in biology, physics, chemistry and mathematics.
- Work Readiness Sessions. Students learned the “16 Success Skills” and demonstrated high-level work readiness skills, including communication, professionalism, work etiquette, resume writing and interviewing, among others. The sessions culminated with students applying their new skills in a team-based project and presentation centered on the history of Johnson & Johnson (J&J), its products, and consumer assumptions.
- Tours & Job Shadowing. BTE students toured several health-related workplaces, including Johnson & Johnson and Panamanian Hospitals, in order to become familiar with various health care careers. BTE students also spent a day “shadowing” J&J employees.
An evaluation of BTE-Panamá saw student impacts in the three core areas of BTE. Consider the following:
- Academic Enrichment: BTE students’ overall grade point average (GPA) and Spanish grades, as reported by the school, improved significantly from Baseline to Year 3. Higher percentages of BTE students graduated from high school (95.5% compared with 88.9% in the comparison group). Nearly all BTE students reported in the Year 3 survey that BTE had motivated them to work harder in school and to feel good about the future, and a solid majority reported that the program had provided an advantage when they applied to higher education or a job.
- Career exploration and work readiness: In the surveys, BTE students (unlike comparison students) showed a significant improvement from Baseline to Year 3 in the self-rating of their time management skills. All BTE students who completed the Year 3 survey agreed or strongly agreed that BTE had prepared them to achieve their career goals, and nearly all agreed or strongly agreed that BTE had increased their knowledge of health and science careers. The BTE group exhibited a statistically significant increase from Baseline to Year 3 in the percentage of students reporting that an adult had given them career advice. The comparison group did not show such a change.
- Higher education exploration and preparation: At program completion, all BTE students (100.0%) reported having plans to attend higher education right after completing upper secondary school. 89% of these graduates have been accepted into a 4-year institution of higher education, and 11% have been accepted into a 2-year institution of higher education.
Due to the success of the BTE “job shadow” opportunities, Junior Achievement Panamá obtained a grant from the Caterpillar Foundation to implement the program in 26 classrooms in 2 provinces.