Perspectives on the Scholarship and an Evaluation of Its Impact
The Kaiser Permanente Health Care Career Scholarship Program began offering scholarships to students in the graduating class of 2009 to help students pursue a postsecondary education and join the health care workforce. Specifically, the program is designed to increase college access and participation in the health care professions among students from diverse and/or economically disadvantaged backgrounds. To meet this goal, additional consideration is given to applicants who are the first in their families bound for college, in financial need, members of diverse/underrepresented groups, and/or bilingual.
During 2014–2015, Education Northwest worked with KPNW to conduct the first major external evaluation of the scholarship program in order to better understand its effect on recipients and inform program improvement efforts. This evaluation spans the scholarship program years from 2009 to 2014. The evaluation comprises two components: an analysis of survey data and a quantitative impact study.
Overall, the Kaiser Permanente Health Care Career Scholarship Program is a promising model—one KPNW should consider developing further. The scholarship successfully targets and awards funds to students underrepresented in the health care field, and it provides these students the added motivation to enroll in postsecondary education and make an early commitment to a health care profession. As one scholarship recipient pointed out, the recognition and support that accompany the award can make a substantial impact in a student’s life:
The scholarship made a positive difference in shaping my first year in college. Knowing that Kaiser believed in my ability to succeed motivated me to continue striving for academic excellence throughout my educational career.
In addition to reading the report, you can also see the evaluation's key findings presented through infographics.