november 12, 2003

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RCC preparing students for health field careers

Redlands has partnered with Yukon High School, Canadian Valley Technology Center and INTEGRIS Canadian Valley Regional Hospital to develop a career focus program of study for Yukon High School students interested in careers in the health sciences.

"Each of the partnering institutions understands the critical shortages that our country is facing with health care workers and wants to make a difference by contributing its services," says Jackie Bilyeu, Cooperative Programs Coordinator for Redlands Community College. "We want to begin exposing students to the vast opportunities in the health care field starting their sophomore year of high school."

Yukon High School students selected for the Medical Professions Academy will follow a health science plan of study throughout high school taking courses such as Medical Terminology, Medical Careers, First Responder and Applied Health. Upon completion, they will receive certifications in First Aid, CPR and First Responder. Students will also have the opportunity to earn up to 15 college credits from Redlands during their junior and senior years. During their senior year they will have the opportunity to complete a mentorship program at INTEGRIS Canadian Valley Regional Hospital or other health care facilities.

"Seventeen juniors and seniors from Yukon High School, who participated in the pilot program, have already experienced various health care professions by interning this past semester at different health care facilities. All of the students said the experience influenced them greatly and most felt like it was a confirmation of what they had dreamed for themselves - a career in the health care industry," said Dana McVay, Project Director at Yukon High School.

Redlands was able to provide the pilot program through a one-time Tech Prep Health Cluster supplemental grant, funded through the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act.

"The grant helped the pilot program get started, which in turn spurred interest from other schools," according to Bilyeu. "We are now working with Park View Hospital, El Reno High School and Union City High School to start another program. The need is great and these partnerships can benefit not only the student but also our communities."

The new program is an after school activity called Club Scrub, which is an acronym for Science Careers Revealing Unlimited Boundaries (SCRUB). Thirty nine students have been selected for the club including thirty five from El Reno High School and four from Union City High School.

"These students will all have an individual plan of study in order to be better prepared for college allied health degree programs," added Bilyeu. "They will do individual mentorships at Park View Hospital, a four day camp at Redlands next summer and will participate in monthly activities to enhance their learning plan."

Contact: Jill Warford, 1-405-422-1257