CollegeQuest has brought 25 motivated students to the College of St. Joseph campus for the summer.
CollegeQuest To Health Careers, a program of the Northeastern Vermont Area Health Education Center and the Vermont AHEC Network, is a six-week college-enrichment program with a focus on health care careers. The program, in its third year, is for students entering their senior year of high school, who are from families of modest income or first-in-family college students.
“The students have well-defined goals. They have done a considerable amount of research on the fields they want to enter. Which is really exciting. The more sophisticated they are, the further we can go with what we are teaching,” said AHEC Executive Director Nicole LaPointe.
The program gives students a taste of college life while they work on different curriculum tracks including health careers exploration and human biology. While the academics are rigorous, students also get a chance to network with other students with similar interests.
One of the better parts of the program is “learning to make new friends and putting yourself out there,” said Elizah French, one of the students.
This year health careers exploration has been expanded to allow more trips to RRMC and for students to go on three college visits.
Health career themes covered during the program include a new module where students will see a panel from Rutland Regional Medical Center, a cross-disciplinary group where students will talk about how individuals health outcomes are related to many things beyond the health care that they receive. Student will have the opportunity to practice some of their skills and develop a care plan.
This effort to teach the most current issues in health care follows The Vermont Blueprint for Health, which calls for community health teams that are comprised of health and human services professionals that helps meet the needs of patients with complex conditions.
“This prepares students for the type of practice environment students will enter when they get ont he other side of college,” LaPointe said.
Students are getting a lot out of the program.
“ I am definitely going into a health profession. Getting to know the different opportunities I may not have known about before will help me decide,” said Bryne Sidney, one of the CollegeQuest students.