COSTA MESA, Calif., Nov. 17, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Roadtrip Nation, the pioneering nonprofit best known for its iconic green RVs and popular career exploration resources, today announced a new education resource to help community college students connect their passions with in-demand career pathways. Now available nationwide, the Roadtrip Nation Experience: Community College Edition brings project-based learning through storytelling to students and educators in the community college system. It is available at no cost through generous support from ECMC Foundation.
The course was piloted between January and March 2020 in three geographically diverse programs — Linn Benton Community College in Albany, OR; Montgomery College Takoma Park/Silver Springs Campus in Takoma Park, MD; and Project Self-Sufficiency in Newport Beach, CA, a nonprofit that supports low-income single parents through education and training. The Roadtrip Nation Experience focuses on demonstrating the diversity of opportunities within different interests and industries; sharing how professionals found unique, individualized career paths to success; and empowering career seekers to reach out to professionals in their community to gain inspiration and advice for their future.
"One pivotal step can spark confidence in a future career. This is about delivering messages to students that they don't often hear and showing them how to connect their interests to fulfilling future jobs," said Mike Marriner, president and co-founder of Roadtrip Nation. "Interviewing role models in their field of choice opens up unexpected possibilities and students learn about defining moments, both good and bad, that have made professionals who they are today. For some students, it has meant the ability to see and experience different options. For others, it has meant not being afraid to try something new."
Storytelling as a Basis for Learning
Rooted in powerful stories from Roadtrip Nation's award-winning public television series that captivates students, the Roadtrip Nation Experience: Community College Edition is a five-lesson video-based course that imparts critical social and emotional skills and builds social capital in students who are often disengaged and left behind. To translate passions into action, the program challenges students to identify a person in a career field that interests them, reach out using guided interview questions, and conduct an interview via video. These interviews may then become part of Roadtrip Nation's learning tools and inspiration for future students.
Five interactive digital lessons include:
- Introduction: What You're Interested in Matters
- Let Go: Shed the Noise and Listen to Yourself
- Define: Connect Your Interests to Careers
- Interview Project: Talk to a Professional for Advice
- Become: Overcome Roadblocks and Take Action
Pilot Program Results and Impact
"Seeing real-life examples of people who went to community college is very powerful," said Beth Jackson-Pardo, executive director of Project Self-Sufficiency, which was part of the pilot program in California. "It shows them the steps to achieving career goals, enhances their career preparation planning, and improves their skills regarding searching for a job. Career exploration and preparation for this [community college] population needs to be more than simply a resume workshop or job fair, and Roadtrip Nation's thoughtful and engaging course fills that gap." In California, 70 out of 116 total community colleges in the state are using Roadtrip Nation's other career exploration tools and video archive.
In initial results following the pilot program, students who "strongly agreed" that they have goals after completing the program increased 36 percent; and students who "strongly agree" that their future appears brighter than the past after completing the program increased by 20 percent. Additionally, after completing the course, there was a 30 percent increase in students who agreed that they can now identify resources and steps needed to reach their goals.
Special Focus on Supporting Community College Students Who Are Single Mothers
The Roadtrip Nation Experience: Community College Edition features content from Roadtrip Nation's new documentary "A Single Mom's Story," now airing on public television stations across the country. This program shines a light on uplifting stories that represent the strength and struggles of the 1.7 million single mothers across the U.S. who are working toward postsecondary degrees. In support of this new film, Roadtrip Nation is launching Together We Thrive, a live workshop series for single mothers and their supporters, running from November 16th to November 20th and featuring insightful conversations, essential resources, and inspiring stories. The final day of the series features a workshop for community college faculty and staff about how to implement the Roadtrip Nation Experience at their institutions. To learn more and register for the live workshop series, please visit this site.
ABOUT ROADTRIP NATION
Roadtrip Nation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that humanizes career exploration through story and empowers individuals to connect their interests to fulfilling lives and careers. Through its award-winning public television series, New York Times bestselling book "Roadmap," and educational programs and tools that provide visibility and insights into career possibilities and pathways, Roadtrip Nation gives people from all backgrounds confidence and belief in their ability to persist through challenges and define success for themselves. Roadtrip Nation has been showcased at the United Nations Social Innovation Summit, Clinton Global Initiative, NBC Education Nation, TEDx, Talks at Google, SXSW, and the Harvard Social Enterprise Forum. For more information, visit roadtripnation.com.
ABOUT ECMC FOUNDATION
ECMC Foundation is a Los Angeles-based, nationally focused foundation whose mission is to inspire and to facilitate improvements that affect educational outcomes—especially among underserved populations—through evidence-based innovation. It is one of several affiliates under the ECMC Group enterprise based in Minneapolis. ECMC Foundation makes investments in two focus areas: College Success and Career Readiness; and uses a spectrum of funding structures, including strategic grantmaking and program-related investments, to invest in both nonprofit and for-profit ventures. Working with grantees, partners and peers, ECMC Foundation's vision is for all learners to unlock their fullest potential. Learn more about ECMC Foundation by visiting ecmcfoundation.org and ECMC Group by visiting ecmcgroup.org.
SOURCE Roadtrip Nation