In June of 2006, superintendent of public instruction Jack O’Connell awarded $150,000 in grants to 11 districts within the California schools. The funds are for California schools student attendance at the California Health Science Education Institute and associated costs of the program.
Currently, there are numerous jobs in the healthcare industry for applicants with college and only high school degrees. The healthcare industry is in desperate need of well-educated people to fill an increasing number of positions projected for the future. This need gives today’s California schools students opportunities for future careers that will provide them a comfortable lifestyle.
These healthcare jobs are demanding; however, and require rich and rigorous core curriculums for students from kindergarten through high school. The grants will help prepare California schools students for such careers, as well as meet the demand for well-educated workers in the healthcare industry — a win-win situation for everyone.
The funds ultimately are designed to help California schools students consider such careers. The eligible districts within the California schools already have Health Science Pathways in place. They are quality programs that help prepare students for healthcare careers. Districts that participate are eligible for up to $15,000 in grant money, distributed in two payments. The first payment of 75 percent is received before students attend the Institute. The remaining 25 percent is received upon completion of Institute attendance and application requirements.
The fulfillment of each district grant requires:
• Development teams that consist of teachers, administrators, counselors, postsecondary partners, and healthcare industry partners;
• District teams must attend the annual California Health Science Educators Institute, held in Los Angeles every June;
• Teams develop and submit a health science pathway strategic plan, as directed by the Institute;
• A team approach is used in all facets of the California schools program;
• Districts and their teams also must submit to the California schools letters of commitment to the California Health Science Education Institute program; and
• California schools students must attend the California Health Science Education Institute.
The funds for the new California schools program were made available through a partnership between the California Labor & Workforce Development Agency and the California schools. The new programs goes a long way to support enrichment and improvement of the Health Science Pathway program in the California schools, as well as satisfying a community need and offering more opportunities for students in the future.