The Exploratorium of Healthcare Careers (EXPLORE HCC) Workshops is an evidence-based program designed to travel between area schools in Tuolumne and Calaveras Counties, providing hands-on health literacy and healthcare career information to inform and inspire underrepresented and disadvantaged students about new and expanding opportunities in the fields of healthcare while enhancing their health literacy. A Pilot Program in Tuolumne County was funded in 2015-2016 through the California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD “Mini-Grant” 14-5404) with matching funds from Tuolumne County Behavioral Health Department (TCBHD), the Sonora Area Foundation (SAF), and the Economic Prosperity Council of Tuolumne County (EPCTC). The California Workforce Investment Board (WIB) along with OSHPD expanded funding in 2016-2017. This novel program was designed as a Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) based initiative aligned with Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) to provide hands on engagement for 7th – 9th grade students. This demographic was selected because they have not yet seen their guidance counselors, and have more flexibility in selecting a curriculum that will position them for post-secondary education leading to a career in healthcare.
Preliminary results of survey data consisting of pre and post survey questions developed by OSHPD and HealthLitNow (HLN) reflect a 33% increase in the percentage of students interested in a career in healthcare after experiencing the EXPLORE HCC program. The data further indicates an increase in student health literacy. These data and all related supporting documentation including a Final Report of the Pilot Program are available at www.EXPLOREHCC.org.
To learn more visit the Exploratorium of Healthcare Careers website