By Kelly Vedi and Victor Phu, 2018 Summer Master of Public Policy Intern from UC Berkeley?s Goldman School of Public Policy

We thought it would be a good idea to write about Strive San Jose’s journey with data. There is a dream world of data that we would love to foster.

We want to know the demographics of our students who are currently engaged in work-based learning experiences to serve our most underserved students. We want to know which businesses are actively serving our youth to elevate best practices across our partnerships.

Ultimately, we want to know if the work-based learning experiences offered in the Silicon Valley increase their graduation rates and develop their work-readiness skills, in order to prepare them for the workforce.

We are in the process of answering these questions and in this blog post we will tell you a little about our areas of focus and our goals within them.

First, what data do we want to collect? There’s a lot of ways to slice and dice this but we’ll break this down into these categories:

Who are we serving? How are we serving them? What is the outcome?

WHO WE ARE SERVING

Basic descriptions of who we are engaging. On the business side that means the number of employees, location, and industry. For students, that’s demographics including ethnicity, gender, grade, free/reduced lunch, foster youth, CTE pathway, and homeless/at-risk.

The demographic characteristics are essential to align our efforts to support the most underserved and disadvantaged youth in San Jose. Moreover, we want to connect students to specific employers that align with their career interests and school curriculum to provide the comprehensive work-based learning experience.

HOW ARE WE SERVING THEM

The work-based learning experiences we provide in collaboration with business partners that are responsive to student needs. We base our activities on the work-based learning continuum--a research-based instructional strategy that prepares students for success in postsecondary education and careers.

We are seeking to track the percentage of the students who are receiving these high-leverage activities and the total number of work-based learning experiences that are implemented throughout the academic school year. Tracking these metrics will help us evaluate the quality of our effort in providing these services, and identify potential gaps in our service allocation.

WHAT IS THE OUTCOME

The long term impact that assess the quality of our strategies, coordination, and services in improving student achievement and business productivity.

For businesses, are businesses able to access local pipelines of talent? How many local youth are they hiring and retaining? How many of these youth come from CTE programs?

For students, we are interested in their graduation rate, employment rate, earnings, certification and other markets of academic and economic success. Moreover, we want to know if they meet California Department of Education’s Standards for Career Ready Practice and U.S. Department of Labor’s Work-Readiness Competencies. These metrics will help us evaluate the quality of our work-based learning experiences to improve future implementation.

Developing this data framework is essential to assess our effectiveness as a workforce intermediary in aligning the local workforce and education systems to benefit schools, employers, and students. In collaboration with community leaders, we will make ongoing efforts to improve our service and process and scale Strive San Jose to more students and businesses.

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