April 22, 2009

Dozens of High School Students to Spend Time on Campus Gaining Exposure to Health Careers, College Life


Several schools and departments at Case Western Reserve University will collaborate to help 40 Cleveland and East Cleveland high school students gain exposure to health careers and campus life.

The high school students--from John Hay and Shaw high schools--are participants in the Bridging Pathways to Health Careers program, a collaborative project of Case Western Reserve, Cuyahoga Community College and Cleveland State University. The one-day annual conference--which rotates among the three colleges-- is geared toward local high school students interested in health careers, providing them with a day of information, inspiration, and connections to support that interest and help make their career goals a reality. This year's program will take place Thursday, April 23.

The program, which originated at Case Western Reserve as a health careers event, has always involved the School of Medicine, the School of Dental Medicine and the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing. However, according to Susan Wentz, director of the Office of Urban Health -Urban Area Health Education Center (UAHEC) at Case Western Reserve—which houses the Bridging Pathways program—this year's event has even more of a collaborative nature. The Office of the Provost, the College of Arts and Sciences, the Office of Undergraduate Admission, the Office of Multicultural Affairs, the Office of Student Affairs, and the Center for Community Partnerships are involved in this year's event. "There's more involvement than ever across campus. It's exciting because this is a program that touches the entire campus, and it was important to make sure that the entire campus was engaged," Wentz said.

The morning will begin with a welcome from Deputy Provost and Vice President for Academic Programs Lynn Singer, followed by a talk from Associate Vice President for Student Affairs G. Dean Patterson. The 80 high school students will then tour the Case Western Reserve campus and attend information sessions on the college admissions and interview process. The students will then break for a healthy lunch courtesy of Bon Appetit, and Andre Mickel, associate professor in the School of Dental Medicine, will serve as the keynote speaker.

Following lunch, the students will break out into individual groups to visit different colleges on campus and talk with administrators, professors and Case Western Reserve students about academic fields such as physical therapy, music therapist, dentistry, licensed social work and audiology. In some instances, students will participate in hands-on-training via simulation exercises.

Throughout the day, undergraduate and graduate students will lead the high school students on campus tours. Wentz said that it was important for the high school students to interact with college students because they can probably relate well people who are just a few years older. The high school students will have an opportunity to ask the college students about the academic and social aspects of college life, as well as how they've gone about choosing their majors. "It's a long way from high school to that ultimate career. This can help give them some of those answers," Wentz said about the significance of a program like Bridging Pathways.

Diana Smith, education program director of UAHEC, mentors students interested in primary health care and helps place medical students into community agencies and programs. She said Bridging Pathways is especially important for high school students who might potentially be first generation college students. "We need to reach out to the kids that some people don't think are going to make it. We want to expose students to what it's like to go to college. It doesn't matter what world you come from. There are opportunities out there."

In addition to Cleveland State and Cuyahoga Community College, other partner organizations for this year's event are the Cleveland Hearing & Speech Center, the Cleveland Clinic Foundation and the Cuyahoga County Coroner's Office.

For more information contact Kimyette Finley, 216.368.0521.

Posted by: Kimyette Finley, April 22, 2009 03:03 PM | News Topics: Administration, Campus Life, College of Arts and Sciences, Community Outreach, Conferences/Symposia, Faculty, Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, Provost Initiatives, School of Dental Medicine, School of Medicine, Staff, Students, features, news

Case Western Reserve University is committed to the free exchange of ideas, reasoned debate and intellectual dialogue. Speakers and scholars with a diversity of opinions and perspectives are invited to the campus to provide the community with important points of view, some of which may be deemed controversial. The views and opinions of those invited to speak on the campus do not necessarily reflect the views of the university administration or any other segment of the university community.