High school students are logging some impressive hours in BCIT health labs. The Burnaby School District has partnered with the BCIT School of Health Sciences to expose students to a wide range of career paths in the industry.
Over eight months, grade 11 and 12 students enrolled in the District’s Industry Connect Health Sciences Program will spend 120 hours in BCIT lectures, labs, and simulations. Sometimes they audit actual BCIT courses, while other times BCIT instructors deliver content linked to their high-school science and math courses.
“These students are one step ahead of their peers in understanding the Canadian healthcare system, and the people who make it run,” says Connie Evans, faculty in the School of Health Sciences.
“I really like the unique opportunities we get—a glimpse into post-secondary life, but most of all the labs. The hands-on and even the observational components are what make this program so different,” says student Heather Doolan.
Throughout the course, the importance of inter-professional collaboration is emphasized. “I can’t believe how many Health Programs BCIT has to offer,” says student Helena Choi. “This program really opened up my eyes to what I could possibly do in the future. It’s amazing to see how all the health professionals connect to help the patient. I love seeing how what we learn in the classroom connects to the real world.”
During the year, students are exposed to three patient cases that follow fictional patients facing diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Students learn the role of different health professionals in patient diagnosis, management and treatment. They’re introduced to the rigors of scientific investigation.
“Students are encouraged to think critically and asked to reflect on their experiences at BCIT so they can set personal goals for their future,” says instructor Cheryl Beatty. “Obviously, we hope those futures include careers in healthcare.”
The benefits of this early introduction to health care education include a better sense of both what professions are out there, and what’s required to get there. This helps students avoid disappointment down the road. BCIT’s model of collaboration aligns with the new K-12 curriculum of engaged and personalized learning.
“Innovative programs like this allow students to learn by exploring their interests and passions and is highly motivating,” says Lauren Schutte, Instructional Development Consultant, BCIT Learning and Teaching Centre.
Interested grade 11 students from the Burnaby School District can speak to their guidance counselors, mentioning the Introduction to Health Sciences and Healthcare course and Industry Connect Health Sciences Program.
If you’ve got questions about the BCIT School of Health Sciences Pre-Health program you can contact Administrative Coordinator Debbie Power.