Economic Opportunities Program
Economic Opportunities Program
Case Study: Motorola Moments
- Four week summer program to boost low test scores and provide professional development
- Weekly job skill learning opportunities
- 30 students each year for 2011 and 2012
- 72% reduction in students' need for developmental (remedial) courses
- 96% regular course retention through Spring semester
Motorola Moments: An Introduction
As a commitment to Skills for America's Future, Motorola Solutions joined the Choice Scholars Summer Institute at Harper College to provide lunch-and-learn opportunities, called Motorola Moments. Begun in 2011, these weekly lunches provide Choice Scholars students the opportunity to learn directly from Motorola Solutions employees.
Motorola Solutions employees offer Choice Scholars students industry knowledge on topics including critical thinking, innovation, marketing, communication, interviewing and lifelong learning. The Motorola professionals use examples from their work to help students connect class assignments with real-world tasks. They also instill confidence in students to pursue their future professions. With opportunities to hear from professionals in fields including chemistry, graphic arts/web design, nursing and biology, Motorola Moments positively shapes students' decisions about their career paths.
"This partnership is devoted to providing freshmen with the fundamental skills they need to thrive not only in an educational setting, but also in a professional setting. We are committed to jointly guiding students to be better-equipped in a professional area, making America more competitive on a global level"
-Marianne Stanke, Director Strategy at Motorola Solutions, Inc.
How the Program Works
For the past three years, Harper College, a community college in Palatine, Illinois, has operated the Choice Scholars Summer Institute, an academic and professional development program available to incoming freshman from communities surrounding Harper College. Choice Scholars invites students whose placement scores are just below the cusp of college readiness to a four-week program to help them develop skills in their identified areas of weakness.
The Choice Scholars Summer Program offers students an individualized study plan that will assist them in testing into college level courses. Students work with Harper College faculty and staff to gain technical proficiency and learn about various industries, culminating in a research symposium at the end of the four week program.
At the end of the program, students re-test on the college placement exams with the goal of placing into college-level courses and bypassing remediation. This program helps students avoid spending time and money on courses that will not count toward their college degree, and could potentially delay degree completion.
Motorola Moments fits in the Choice Scholars program by adding a new dimension to the classroom experience, contextualizing the basic skills students focus on in the academic part of the Choice Scholars program. Students learn tips to help them get a head start in the work place, such as how to dress for success or how social media profiles can potentially hinder a job search. Students also get to see examples of work, such as graphic design projects, from Motorola Solutions employees and hear about how the development process works.
"Coming to this program was one of the best decisions I've ever made. I have a lot more confidence, a lot less fear and the teachers are awesome!"
-Emma Bueso, 2012 Choice Scholars
Students earn directly from professionals about the challenges and rewards of various career paths, helping them develop a professional identity and make informed decisions about their future careers.
With this partnership, Harper College is able to offer valuable resources to incoming freshman, enabling them to prepare for careers before they even begin classes. The partnership also aligns the college with a major international company. As part of a community college network called Achieving the Dream, Harper College can use this partnership model to share strategies with other community colleges across the country.
Motorola Solutions employees who are selected to facilitate the Motorola Moments training sessions benefit from a new experience to share their expertise. The company as a whole has an opportunity to train and connect with potential future employees.
25 of 27 students completed Choice Scholars
Average GPA Motorola Recipients
Ten Students Received Motorola Scholarships $3000, each
Average GPA of Non Motorola Recipients
15 Students did not receive the Motorola Scholarships
Percentage of students requiring a developmental course
Initially, all 25 program completers required at least one developmental course (100%); at the end of the program, 7 of the 25 students needed a developmental course
28% (This is a 72% reduction in students needing developmental coursework)
Fall to Spring Persistence Rates
Of the 25 students who attempted courses in the Fall, 24 of 25 continued to Spring Semester
In 2013, Choice Scholars will be offered in the summer under a new name that reflects a more targeted approach in addressing community need. As an evolution of the Choice Scholars Program, we are targeting a partnership with Barrington School District 220 to focus on the achievement gaps with their Hispanic student population. The new name for the program is Adelante, meaning "Forward" in Spanish. Adelante's approach will model the best of Choice Scholars, while truly targeting the students most in need. By partnering directly with District 220, Harper can guarantee participation through direct referrals rather than relying simply on guidance counselor suggestions.
Skills for America's Future (SAF) is a non-partisan, employer-led initiative of the Aspen Institute. It is focused on creating a national network of partnerships among employers, community colleges, industry associations and other stakeholders. These partnerships are designed to ensure that American workers receive the necessary training to meet the skill needs of employers, giving them the opportunity to obtain and keep good jobs.
For more information about how your company can partner with community colleges and Skills for America's Future, contact Rene Bryce-Laporte at firstname.lastname@example.org