FINDLAY - Area high school students are jump starting their careers in the health care field by taking college classes at the Owens Community College Findlay Campus.
The classes are offered through a partnership between Millstream Career Cooperative, Owens' Center for Development and Training (CDT) and the Tech Prep Health Technologies Program.
"The nine students involved with Tech Prep this year are very excited to be part of this and we're already seeing even more interest for next year," said Jeff Walton, Tech Prep Coordinator for Millstream Career Cooperative.
"We are very pleased to be part of the Tech Prep program as it allows high school students to combine education with real-world applications. Students see the direct relationship between what they learn and their jobs, " said Joe Conrad, Director of Health/Wellness Programs for CDT.
This semester, Millstream juniors and seniors interested in health careers are attending chemistry and health technology laboratory classes each morning at the Owens Findlay Campus. The classes provide the basic technical and academic education necessary for entry into occupations such as nursing, occupational and physical therapy, dental hygiene, dietetics, medical assisting and nurse aide/hospice.
The students receive CPR and First Aid certification. There also are opportunities for job shadowing.
"We find that students really respond to real-world experience when you bring it into the classroom," Walton explained. "And by attending classes at Owens Community College in the morning, and then returning to their own high schools in the afternoon, they're still able to participate in their home school activities."
The participating students are: Emily Bower, Genesis Hankenson, Kizarh Keels, Kristina Myers and Barbie Vermillion, all of Findlay High School; Kristen Stuard and Michelle Tong of Vanlue High School; Shawna Forsyth of Arcadia High School and Amanda Gibson of Cory-Rawson High School.
Janice O'Connell, R.N., is the Millstream instructor for the Tech Prep Health Technologies program.
This collaborative effort also saves Millstream from duplicating facilities or spending large sums of money equipping labs with equipment already available at the College. Tech Prep students further benefit by being able to make use of many of the College's facilities, such as computer labs.
"Our students couldn't ask for a greater benefit than to learn on all of this state-of-the-art science and health equipment," Walton said. "We are maximizing state funds in a most efficient, cost-effective manner."