BTE Around the World
Ambler, Pennsylvania, USA
Grant Period: 2011 – 2014
Welcome to our Community
Janssen Biotech Inc. in partnership with Montgomery County Community College and Wissahickon High School (WHS) developed a comprehensive BTE program aimed at preparing the Ambler, PA community’s under-represented (low-income, low ethnic representation, and students with disabilities) and moderately performing students (grades in the C/B range and/or students who are enrolled in less rigorous math and science classes) to pursue college and understand career options available in the health sciences and STEM fields.
Launched in September 2012, the BTE program focuses on “STEM for Tomorrow” – a mnemonic device that reminds students of the goals of the program and reinforces the idea of opportunities in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math. Program activities include:
- Soft Skill Development. BTE students participated in discussions and practice sessions to build “soft skills” (inter and intra personal skills) necessary for success in the workplace and post-secondary environment (e.g. stress management, self-regulation, organization, verbal and non-verbal communication skills, business etiquette, diplomacy, persistence). Soft skill development included: soft skills workshops, field trips, and community service.
- Team Cooperation & Collaboration. BTE students learned how to successfully work with a team and had opportunities to practice effective teamwork strategies, team management and creative/flexible thinking for group problem solving. This involved: team-building events or group experience.
- Exploration of Careers. BTE students were exposed to a multitude of career areas, which enabled students to understand the work, skills, and preparation for at least three different career options that match the student’s interests, abilities, and values. Students also participated in career inventories, research and development days, field trips, job shadowing, career days, and career portfolios.
- Math/Science Focus. Students participated in experiential science activities at Janssen Biotech, Inc, where they learned about specific science careers.
- Financial Literacy. BTE students and parents received financial literacy instruction, which covered topics such as the correlation between higher education and lifetime earnings, the cost of college, the financial aid process for college, finance, debt prevention and personal management, and how to complete the FAFSA.
- Transition to Post-Secondary Education. BTE students had the opportunity to participate in a variety of activities that support “successful transition” to post-secondary education, including the “Ready, Set, Go to College” workshop series and higher education tours and tasters, as well as Dual Enrollment – the ability to take introductory courses at the College.
An evaluation of BTE-Ambler saw impacts in all three core program areas. These outcomes include:
- Academic Achievement: Fifty seven percent of the BTE students took at least one higher education course while none of the comparison group students did. This far exceeds the goal of 25 percent of BTE students taking a higher education course.
- Career Exploration and Readiness: BTE students had a marked growth in the percentage giving themselves positive ratings for writing (from 72..2 percent to 83.3 percent), presentation skills (83.3 percent to 88.9 percent) and working independently (from 83.3 percent to 91.7 percent). There was a statistically significant increase in the percentage of BTE students reporting knowledge of the skills necessary for health/science careers (from 63.2 percent to 82.8 percent).
- Higher Education Exploration and Preparation: 100 percent of BTE students were planning to pursue higher education, including 92.7 percent of BTE students planning to attend 4-year institutions. Moreover, 100 percent of BTE students had been accepted to higher education institutions