At a Glance
Multiple partnerships have been developed between Jules E. Mastbaum Area Vocational Technical School, postsecondary institutions, and organizations in an effort to provide economically disadvantaged urban youth with experiences that empower them to interact effectively and professionally with adults.
To engage students in the healthcare system and prepare them for college, career, and community service, partnerships between the technical school’s Health Information Management and Medical Records Technology program and several schools and organizations have been cultivated. Partners and their contributing activities include the following:
- Community College of Philadelphia: Students may enroll in dual-enrollment college level courses and receive college credits.
- Drexel University “CPR First”: University interns teach an afterschool CPR course in the technical school classroom and provide instruction about the heart and circulatory system. Technical students tour the Drexel University College of Medicine morgue for a real-life experience of holding human hearts and organs.
- Drexel University “EAT RIGHT”: Nutritionists come into the classroom to teach the students how to care for themselves and others by preparing nutritious foods. Hands-on lessons are provided, along with food tasting and preparation of nutritious meals. Students are exposed to fruits and vegetables not readily eaten in the home.
- Jefferson University Hospital: Students may participate in the “FUTURE DOCS” eight-week internship program to observe and gain hands-on experience in the various areas of hospital specialties.
- Career and Technical Student Organizations/HOSA: To encourage participation in a international student organization that focuses on health careers and to improve presentation, communication and networking skills, all students in the program engage in a HOSA competition. In addition, an annual newsletter published by students has received national recognition at HOSA skill competitions for several years; its development also provides a way for students to improve literacy skills.
- Community Service: Students are encouraged to participate in and/or volunteer for a number of causes including the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Light the Night Walk, Making Strides Breast Cancer Awareness Walk, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Walk, Donor Dash, and Lupus Walk.
- Gift of Life Organization: A “Donors are Heroes” grant allows students to be exposed to organ and tissue donor awareness education in the classroom, creating HOSA projects and community awareness. Students may also volunteer at the Gift of Life House (Ronald McDonald’s House model) to prepare a dinner for families that are awaiting or receiving organ transplants.
- Philadelphia Academies: Students attend an interview expo with regional businesses where they receive feedback and instruction on various aspects of career development.
- Ellis Trust for Girls Foundation: Female students from limited income families who maintain above average grades are eligible to receive financial assistance that may be applied to club and sports activities, school supplies, school uniforms, and program uniforms.
- Health Partners Foundation: Students may participate in the Dream Catchers program that encourages participation in community service, perfect attendance awards, and college scholarships.
- College of Physicians/Mutter Museum: Grants are provided for student lessons in various health topics, including preventing sexually transmitted infections, vaccines, anatomy, and the history of medicine.
Origin / Implementation
The cultivation of community partnerships to provide students with experiences they may be unable to organize or afford began in 2011. Olga Torres, the program instructor, has demonstrated that looking beyond the curriculum and into the community for low or no cost resources and opportunities results in invaluable expanded career exploration and engagement for students.
Results / Impact
Students in this program consistently score above average on the NOCTI assessment. Anecdotally, student engagement and motivation is high in this dynamic classroom. Through these experiences, students reach beyond their comfort level and gain confidence in interacting with adults in professional settings. Graduates from the HIM program that have continued in post secondary education and achieved college degrees in healthcare have returned to “give back” as mentors and chaperones of Mastbaum students.
Name: Olga Torres, Instructor; Dr. David Bowman, Principal
School: School District of Philadelphia
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Dave Bowman email@example.com