Pathway to the Future: How Workforce Development and Quality Jobs Can Promote Quality Care Conference Package. Efficacy of Tutoring to Reduce Health Care Occupation Bottleneck

05/01/2004

Grant amount: $224,088

Leveraged amount: $456,091 in cash contributions from public and private sources.

Grantee: Capital IDEA, Austin, Texas

Key partners: In Austin: Austin Community College; Seaton Healthcare Network; St. David's Healthcare Partnership; Austin Heart; Worksource-Greater Austin Area Workforce Development Board; In San Marcos: Central Texas Medical Center.

Grant activities will take place in Central Texas.

Challenge
A Department of Labor-funded research project in Central Texas found that candidates for health care occupations had a very high failure rate in a key prerequisite course, Anatomy and Physiology I (A&P I). About one-third of students interested in health care careers were eliminated by A&P I. Taking A&P I multiple times delays admission for approximately one-quarter of the students.

Addressing the Challenge
With its $224,088 grant, Capital IDEA will test a strategy that starts tutoring the first week of classes in order to: (a) Increase the success rate of students, thereby reducing the extra expense of tuition, counseling, child care, and time associated with students repeating the course; (b) Accelerate graduations; and (c) Increase the success rate of disadvantaged students. Rather than take remedial action after students fall behind, the tutoring will raise their chances of enrolling in a nursing or allied health occupation.

Projected Outcomes
The Capital IDEA project will increase the percentage of students achieving a C or better in A&P I from 50 percent to at least 70 percent. Students achieving a B or better will rise from a baseline of 25 percent to at least 45 percent. Removing this bottleneck will then enable students and lower-skill hospital employees to advance to the career training courses much more quickly, thus addressing recruitment and retention issues of health care employees.

Sustainable Impact
Capital IDEA is a joint effort of Austin Interfaith and leaders in the business community, including the area's two largest hospital systems. Along with Austin Community College and local Workforce Investment Boards, a firm foundation for continuing the model will be in place after federal funds have been expended.

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