MT. VERNON — Getting local hospitals involved will be a key part of expanding the biomedical sciences program at the Mt. Vernon Area Vocational Center, said health instructor Tammy Martin.
Currently, there are three Project Lead the Way biomedical courses offered at the AVC, located on the Mt. Vernon Township High School campus.
School officials are now adding a fourth class. As part of that process, they want to form relationships with the area medical community.
The new course, Martin said, will give students the chance to job shadow at local hospitals and work with physicians who would serve as mentors. The goal is to introduce the new class in the 2015-2016 school year.
“That's where we'd like to go now because we're in year three of the program and it's continuing to grow and I feel that if we could get some partnerships with the local facilities and physicians, we could really expand even more,” said Martin, a Health Science Technology teacher at the AVC.
Project Lead the Way is a national program that provides engineering and biomedical courses to high schools and middle schools. The schools pay for the curriculum, equipment and teacher training for the program.
The AVC started its local PLTW program about four years ago and qualifying students from Mt. Vernon, Waltonville, Webber, Woodlawn and Wayne City can participate. The elective courses are taken during a student's regular school day.
“I love it,” said Myranda Epplin, 17, a senior at MVTHS and third-year biomedical student. “I think it really helps students be independent. It helps them really get their foot in the door for the medical programs.”
The biomedical courses are geared toward students with an interest in pre-medical education.
The three classes offered now at the AVC are Principles of Biomedical Sciences, Human Body Systems and Medical Interventions. This school year, there are 45 students enrolled in the program.