Johnson & Johnson Vision
Johnson & Johnson Vision, the University of California, Irvine's (UCI) Center for Educational Partnerships (CFEP), High School, Inc., and Valley High School launched a new Bridge to Employment (BTE) program in Orange County, California, USA in September 2020.The three-year program seeks to increase the number of young people enrolling in, attending, and completing higher education and pursuing Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Manufacturing, and Design (STEM2D) careers. The partners will provide a variety of academic enrichment, career exploration and readiness, higher education exploration & preparation, and community engagement and leadership opportunities including:
In June, the School of Education’s Center for Educational Partnerships (CFEP) received a Bridge to Employment (BTE) grant from Johnson & Johnson.
For the next three years, the CFEP will work with
60 ninth-grade students at Valley High School in the Santa Ana Unified School District. Students must be participants in either the Health or Engineering Academy that Valley High hosts via the High School Inc. Academies Foundation (HSI).
The CFEP, Johnson & Johnson, Valley High School, and HSI will provide a variety of program activities in the following areas: Academic Enrichment; Career
Exploration and Readiness; Higher Education Exploration and Preparation; and Community Engagement and Leadership.
“The BTE Program is a perfect example of the life-changing opportunities created for young people by bringing together K-12, the university, and our corporate partners,” said Stephanie Reyes-Tuccio, assistant vice chancellor, educational partnerships at UCI. “Both Valley High School and Johnson & Johnson have been longtime valued partners of CFEP and this program promises to build a bridge for promising students from Santa Ana to transition to the university and then pursue meaningful careers in STEM and healthcare.”
“This program takes the best of all approaches in supporting a student to be college and career ready,” said Ashley Cheri, program director for CFEP’s Early Academic Outreach Program (EAOP). “Through this collaboration, we are able to provide students early exposure to engineering- or health-related career options they may not have otherwise considered and to connect them with J & J coaches to help them throughout their high school journey.”
Valley High School is home to more than 2,000 students, of which 92 percent are identified as socioeconomically disadvantaged and only 34 percent of students are college and career ready.
“The Bridge to Employment Program will provide students with academic support and real-life experiences in engineering and health occupations. The connections these students make with other students in the program and with industry personnel will last through high school and beyond,” said Katherine Berger, principal of Valley High School.
“I want to thank Johnson & Johnson and UCI for bringing this program to Valley High School, and I am looking forward to seeing our BTE students flourish within the structures and support of our Health and Engineering Academies.”
One of the goals of the BTE program is for all its graduates to apply to at least one post-secondary institution and complete a financial aid application.
Valley High School Healthcare Academy students practice learning how to lay out instruments for minor surgeries: incision and drainage tray, suture and removal tray, and laceration and repair tray.
“The BTE Program is a perfect example of the life-changing opportunities created for young people by bringing together K-12, the university, and our corporate partners.”
Activities include, but are not limited to: transcript and interest/strengths assessment and analysis, hosting career readiness and foundational skills workshops, standardized test workshops, field trips and tours of college campuses, and community engagement events.
“Through the unique collaboration, students will
be provided a three-year learning experience with wrap-around support that integrates academics, skilled training, and work experience,” said Mary Tran, executive director of High School Inc. “I believe that every student is capable of greatness – and I hope that students that participate in this program not only leave with a sense of achievement but also take with them the confidence to step forward and challenge themselves to meet their fullest potential.”
This is the second BTE program partnership between the CFEP and Johnson & Johnson. From 2016-19, the CFEP and Johnson & Johnson worked with Santa Ana High School. A vast majority of the program’s previous participants cited mentoring and support for the college application process as the most effective or meaningful activity. Cheri said that the previous partnership is serving as a model for the BTE program with Valley High School.
“This opportunity to collaborate across institutions and corporations for the betterment of students is a prime example of what educational institutions should be working toward,” Cheri said. “To bring a major corporation, university, K-12 school, and community organization together to provide high school students college preparation support, early career exposure, and professional coaching is what makes this program model truly unique, and is what makes a student both college and career ready.”
The CFEP and UCI School of Education are taking several steps to improve career readiness. In February, the School of Education, in partnership with ETS, hosted executive leadership from school districts and community colleges, nonprofits, think tanks, and
businesses to discuss modern competencies and future workforce needs. The roundtable discussion sought ways to define and measure the types of modern competencies – such as critical thinking, collaborative problem solving, and interpersonal communication – that are aligned with the goals of Orange County education providers and the needs of local employers.
“As a world-class School of Education in the heart
of Orange County – the home to leading industry and a diverse citizenry of more than three million people – it is important that we are continuously exploring
how to prepare students to be successful in the 21st century workplace,” said Richard Arum, dean and professor, UCI School of Education. “This partnership will not only provide participating students with irreplaceable skills, relationships, and experiences, but will also help serve as a model for how to
best support our county’s K-12 students for their future needs.”
The CFEP creates collaborations and hosts programs, including the EAOP, that support preparation for and success in higher education. Established in 1976
by the University of California to increase the number of students from underserved communities who are given the opportunity to achieve a college education, the EAOP helps students prepare for college by ensuring they meet all UC and CSU admissions requirements. Through EAOP services, students
are provided the support necessary to plan for their academics, apply to college, complete financial aid applications, and successfully transition to college.
In 1992, Johnson & Johnson launched its Bridge
to Employment (BTE) initiative to inspire young people from disadvantaged communities to stay in school, excel academically, and elevate their career aspirations. BTE helps young people build solid futures and strives to increase the number of students who enroll in higher education, and increase the number of students interested in pursuing
careers in the Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Manufacturing, Design (STEM2D) or healthcare sectors.
By June 2023, the BTE Orange County program anticipates achieving the following End-of-Grant outcomes:
95% of BTE students who complete the BTE program will graduate from high school.
90% of BTE students will complete the graduation requirement of their specific CHANGE Academy.
100% of BTE graduates will apply to at least one post-secondary institution and complete a financial aid application.
80% of BTE students will report having the essential skills needed for college and career success.
90% of BTE students will feel connected to a caring adult associated with BTE and/or the school community.
90% of BTE graduates will enroll in a post-secondary institution.
100% of BTE graduates will have an Education and Career Plan (ECP) that focuses on post-secondary education options.