Beyond Marketing to Stealth Recruitment: Creating ICT Pathways from High School to College and Work for Underrepresented Groups
The Central California Coast region includes four community colleges that serve large numbers of rural, Latino/a and female students. However, few of these students receive training in computer and information technology fields, despite being in close proximity to the high-technology hubs of Silicon Valley and San Francisco.
This project will build technical education pathways that motivate and prepare rural, high school students from underrepresented groups to enter and stay on two information and communications technology (ICT) pathways: Networking, and Software and Systems Development.
The project will pilot test an approach that involves building strong, sustainable partnerships and infusing ICT skills into digital media high school classes using media computation and aligning them with college classes and workforce needs. This "stealth recruitment" approach is in contrast to most efforts that take a marketing approach that tries to convince students of the value of ICT classes; instead it leverages students? interests in digital media and contextualizes their learning. The approach will be developed and pilot tested by two community colleges, in partnership with high school teachers, employers, and intermediary organizations.
This intervention has the potential to contribute to our understanding of how to effectively bring together high school, community college, and industry representatives to build strong, sustainable partnerships and coherent pathways into ICT, and how to infuse deep ICT learning into digital media classes. The project will also determine whether a stealth marketing approach is effective for recruiting a more diverse student population into ICT courses and preparing and motivating them to meet workforce needs.
Te work is designed to address a shortage of US workers trained for a high-technology workforce by targeting students in CTE courses that are using computers but not already considering an ICT field. Other impacts include providing training, support, and resources for high school teachers in ICT, and for college faculty in recruiting and retaining underrepresented students. If effective, the project will result in a scalable strategy to increase the number and diversity of students, including those from rural settings, that consider and pursue ICT training and jobs.