Pre-college health and medical field program prepares youth

Collaboration around a pre-college program in the health and medical field can have positive, long-term impacts on careers.

From July 8-20, 2012, a program for students interested in pursuing a career in the health and medical field will take place at Michigan State University (MSU) in the College of Osteopathic Medicine, called OsteoCHAMPS. Eligible students are entering their junior or senior year in high school, have an interest in the health careers, and have a financial sponsor or are able to self-pay. The cost of the program is $2,000.

Since 2001, students from Muskegon County have been attending this pre-college program during the summer. This is made possible through the assistance of the Osteopathic Foundation of West Michigan, which covers the costs of attending OsteoCHAMPS through scholarships. This year, 12 students from various schools in Muskegon County will be on the campus of Michigan State University gaining a valuable experience for their career plans.

During OsteoCHAMPS, students take classes and have hands-on activities to help them learn and prepare for a career in health and medicine. Muskegon County MSU Extension collaborates with MSU’s College of Osteopathic Medicine and the Osteopathic Foundation to help provide a learning experience after the summer program.

From the fall until the spring, an Extension educator coordinates monthly meetings for students to attend. The meeting topics relate to college and career preparation. Career professionals and college representatives attend as guest speakers to guide youth in their career choice. The meetings are at different locations such as a hospital, community center/nonprofit agency and a community college. Students who were not participants in the OsteoCHAMPS summer program may also attend the meetings.

This format can be replicated around the state of Michigan to provide a positive impact for students seeking a career in the health and medical field. For example, three past OsteoCHAMPS participants from Muskegon County completed medical school in the College of Osteopathic Medicine at Michigan State University. A local financial sponsor is a key to increase the number of students attending this pre-college program from your city or county. The long-term effect can lead to more students attending college to pursue their dreams of a career in the medical field and producing more health care professionals in Michigan, working at the local hospitals and health care facilities, and serving our communities.

For more information, please contact the Director of OsteoCHAMPS,.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) at 517-353-6653.

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