Flint offers new path to a health career
With predictions of a major shortage of health care workers in the near future, a unique new high school alternative, run by the Genesee Intermediate School District (GISD), will open on the campus of the U-M-Flint with a goal to prepare high school students for health careers.
Last year, Gov. Jennifer Granholm and the Michigan Department of Education announced grants to create six new “Middle College” high schools in Michigan to help prevent students from dropping out and prepare them for expanding employment opportunities in the health care field.
Beginning in fall 2007, the GISD, Genesys Regional Medical Center, the Greater Flint Health Coalition and the C.S. Mott Foundation will partner with U-M-Flint to open the doors of the Genesee Early College for the first class of students who will begin developing a health-related career track.
“Our hospitals are eager to help create these new high schools because they have ever-increasing demand for skilled employees,” Granholm said when announcing the $2 million in grants.
For the 2007-08 school year the program is available to 80-100 11th graders.
“The Genesee Early College will focus on health science careers to provide students with new learning experiences and opportunities while earning a high school diploma and 60 transferable college credits,” says U-M-Flint Acting Chancellor Jack Kay. “It is in response to the Cherry Commission recommendations regarding dual enrollment and early middle college expansion in the state of Michigan.”
While the program addresses the governor’s interest in high school reform, it also is in response to the Cherry Commission recommendations regarding dual enrollment and early middle college expansion in the state of Michigan. It is a grade nine-13 program, in which students can earn high school diplomas and up to 60 credits earned toward an undergraduate degree.
The program provides real-world experience. It also allows participants to take part in an academic and student-life culture that only can be achieved at a top-notch university. Once they complete the program, students may move to any of the Greater Flint Educational Consortium higher education institutions in Genesee County.
“There is an economic importance to invest early and accelerate the academic and career preparedness of students,” said GISD Superintendent Thomas Svitkovich. “According to early college research, students with 26 college credits earned toward a degree are 85 percent more likely to complete their college program.”