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Grant Helps Struggling Students Overcome Hurdles to Careers in Health Care

December 10, 2010

Overcoming obstacles so that a career in health care is a real possibility is the goal of a new grant-funded academic enrichment program for St. Louis Community College students.

“Intro to Health Careers” is an intensive 16-week program that will help students struggling with math and reading skills that are necessary to succeed in BIO:111 Introductory Biology I, a required gatekeeper course for all allied health majors. The program is slated to begin next semester and serve up to 15 students.

Creating and offering developmental classes to help students complete allied health gatekeeper courses is the final component of the $500,000-plus Caring for Missourians grant.

To be eligible for the program, students must need developmental assistance and score at the :020 or :030 level on the Accuplacer assessment. The program will include developmental math, English and reading courses. Classes will be taught at the William J. Harrison Education Center.  The first eight-week term will concentrate on :020 curriculum classes and :030 classes; some lab work will be the focus of the second eight-week term.

According to Karen Bailey, acting director of the Harrison Center, student success is the ultimate goal. Tutoring and mentoring services also will be available. After successful completion of these introductory courses, students will be able to enroll in BIO:111.

"The program will better prepare students to succeed in BIO:111, and then they will be better able to succeed in their designated allied health program," Bailey said. "We're hoping to give them a leg up, a better opportunity.

"Students will be attending class every day with the same group – a learning community of sorts. They will retain so much more in this type of environment," she said.

Allied health careers includes nursing, radiologic technology, respiratory therapy, dental hygiene, dental assisting, diagnostic medical sonography, surgical technology, emergency medical technology and funeral directing.

Requirements include that the students be admitted to STLCC for the spring 2011 semester, take the Accuplacer, complete the FAFSA for 2010-2011, successfully pass a background check, and attend a mandatory orientation/registration on Dec. 14 or 15.

For more information, contact Alandrea Stewart, senior project associate, at 314-763-6020 or by e-mail, astewart112@stlcc.edu; or Lisa Lee, student support specialist, at 314-763-6011, or llee@stlcc.edu