Health Occupations Pipeline Education (HOPE) 
Ventura County Health Care Agency (VCHCA)
Ventura County Office of Education (VCOE)

The HOPE Summer Explorers program provides equal and diverse opportunities for all local high school, community college and university students.


The HOPE program is on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic.



The Health Occupations Pipeline Education (HOPE) Student Programming is a collaboration between the Ventura County Health Care Agency (VCHCA) and the Ventura County Office of Education (VCOE). Central to the teaching team is the Family Medicine Residency Faculty and Residents supported by instructors from VCOE/Career Education Center. The programming is also supported by the Health Care Foundation for Ventura County, the Ventura County Medical Center Medical Staff, the Health Workforce Initiative, South Central Coast Regional Consortium and the Health Deputy Sector Navigator.

HOPE was created to provide equal and diverse opportunities for all local high school, community college and university students. In a few short years, HOPE has been instrumental in increasing educational opportunities, leadership and professional development for greater than 250 students in our community. The program is designed to provide authentic clinical exposure, insight into research and evidence, opportunity to explore professional goals and expand leadership opportunities regardless of student background. Equipment, supplies and VCHCA training facilities are used to train students and expose them to new and innovative skills which we hope will inspire them to continue their higher education in healthcare, while building our future workforce.

HOPE student programming includes Healthcare Career and Exploration opportunities provided by student participation in career training, career exploration, clinical practicums, projects, course credit, Capstone and /or research. HOPE programming is open to high school students through college and university. Students in high school include Transitional Partnership Program (TPP), Medical Assistants (MA), Healthcare Seminar, Healthcare Explorers while University students complete coursework for credit, Capstone, Healthcare practicums, Leadership practicums, Quality Improvement Projects and Research in collaboration with the long standing highly successful Summer Scholars program provided within the nationally recognized Family Medicine Residency located at the Ventura County Medical Center.

Our goal is to inspire the next generation of healthcare leaders for Ventura County.

The following programs are available:

  • HOPE Medical Assistant Clinical Coursework and Practicum Pathway – Contact VCOE/Career Education Center (limited enrollment; course credit) VCOE.ORG/CEC (805) 437-1420.  Available Fall, Spring, and Summer

  • HOPE Healthcare Seminar for high school students (attending weekly training with Family Medicine Resident Physicians) – Contact VCOE/Career Education Center (limited enrollment; course credit) VCOE.ORG/CEC (805) 437-1420.  Available Fall and Spring

  • HOPE College and University Students for course credit, research and Capstone – Contact your school’s Career Center (college or university credit may be available; college or university student affiliation agreement signed with VCHCA)

  • HOPE Summer Scholars, College and University Students – Apply online under Summer Scholars tab

  • HOPE Healthcare Summer Explorers - Explorers will be exposed to a variety of healthcare pathways during this 5-week, summer program.  Additionally, with training, students can transition into the VCHCA/VCMC Hospital Campus Volunteer Program. Example activities include learning in the Simulation Room, learning with manikins and models, running mock codes, learning suturing techniques, joint examination and injection, peak flow and spirometry, visiting the helipad and other facilities. Visiting clinical settings (clinics and hospital training locations) including the Family Medicine Residency Clinic, joining Medicine or Surgery morning report. The objective of the program is to expose participants to key skill sets, work ethics, disciplines and fundamental elements of diverse healthcare professionals in a dynamic health care delivery arena. The 5-week program overlaps with other student programming including our college and university level summer scholars programming such that all students will be learning in the training environment with Faculty and Resident Physicians. HOPE incorporates many Divisions of Ventura County Health Care Agency, Public Health, Behavioral Health, Medical Examiner’s Office, Healthcare for the Homeless and many departments including Surgery, Medicine, Obstetrics, Pediatrics, Pathology, Oncology, Phlebotomy, BioMed Diagnostics and Technology, IT and Health Information Management (HIM), Nursing, Respiratory Therapy and Physical Therapy.  Students complete compliance and confidentiality modules. Apply online below (limited enrollment)

  • Apprentice Training for HOPE programs is available for College and University Students - Apply online below (limited enrollment)



Important Dates

  • The 2020 HOPE Summer Explorers Program begins Monday, June 22, 2020, and ends Friday, July 24, 2020. All students are enrolled with VCOE/CEC and will receive high school credit (credit is assigned by the Administration of each high school).  Community College and Unversity Students may receive credit through their schools curriculum.

  • Application Filling P​eriod: Applications must be submitted on-line no later than Sunday, April 26, 2020.

  • Letters of reference due by: 5:00 pm, Monday, April 27, 2020.

  • Phone and in person interviews are planned: May 1 – May 15, 2019.

  • Students will be notified regarding participation by the VCOE/CEC HOPE Coordinator and Health Liaison by: Tuesday, May 26, 2020 (confirm participation by June 1, 2020).

  • All Summer Students (TPP, MA, Explorers, University and Summer Scholars) will be invited Friday, August 14, 2019 to view the Summer Scholars Research Presentations (OPTIONAL)

Letters of reference may be mailed to: Ventura County Office of Education, Career Education Center, 465 Horizon Circle, Camarillo, CA, 93010 Attention: Erica Spicer