Students from 17 schools in western Iowa and eastern Nebraska visited the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha last night. U-N-M-C Vice Chancellor Bob Bartee says the students will be taking part in what’s called the High School Alliance, a first-of-its-kind educational venture for the hospital. Bartee says the competition for the three-dozen slots was stiff.
“These students were selected,” Bartee says, “They first had to apply themselves, work with their counselors and their parents and then we then took the pool who had applied and we selected them on a random basis, a random sample. We literally drew names out of a hat. We thought that was the fairest way to do that.”
The 36 students are taking part in the program designed to give high school juniors and seniors an opportunity to take college-level courses in preparation for careers in health care. Classes range from human anatomy to bioscience and biomedical research. “We are going to be offering duel enrollment through UNO for all but one of these courses,” Bartee says. “We expect to have a high degree of standards for these students and we also hope they challenge our faculty and learn a lot from our faculty as well.”
He says the students’ entire support network has to be involved in the process, so siblings, parents, aunts and uncles were also part of last night’s introductions. Bartee says, “For success, a lot of the determinates and the studies show that it starts in the home and we want to guarantee that from the very beginning, the parents and their friends and relatives are going to be committed to helping the student in this process.”
Beginning in the 2010-11 school year, students can take classes through the program that aren’t available in the traditional high school setting. He says the Alliance will “provide students with the opportunity to observe, shadow and work alongside world-renowned health care professionals and researchers at UNMC.”