The Health Career Explorers Program includes a five-day session in which students participate in interactive presentations and activities from a diverse group of health professionals from allied health, medical sciences, nursing and public health. Additionally, students learn skills in patient interviewing, research and oral presentation. Studens also have the opportunity to visit different health facillities in Anchorage.
The program is free to students and included lunch, light snacks and basic school materials. In targeting middle-school age students, the goal is to support career exploration at an earlier age in an effort to encourage students to take advantage of tech prep and dual credit courses in high school as well as prepare academically for college-level courses. A limited number of applicants are taken each year.
Students who have completed 8th grade and are entering 9th grade are eligible to the Health Career Explorers Program. Students who are from an underrepresented minority background, first generation college, or are economically disadvantaged are strongly encouraged to apply.
Two sessions of the Health Career Explorers Program will be held during summer 2012. The first session will be held June 11-June 15, 2012 and the second session will be held June 18-June 22, 2012. Applications are available below under 'Forms'.
In the summer of 2010, the Allied Health Sciences Division welcomed 36 middle school students into its laboratories and classrooms to explore the dental and medical fields with hands-on activities, tours and guest speakers as a pilot for health career exploration for youth. The shortage of health professionals is a significant problem in Alaska. Moreover, very few health professionals come from racial and ethnic minority groups, especially Alaska Natives and American Indians. In an effort to address this problem, a partnership among different units in UAA (Center for Addressing Health Disparities through Research and Education, Allied Health Sciences, Department of Health Sciences) and Anchorage School District was forged to develop and implement the Health Career Explorers Program (HCEP) for middle school students.