At Ashland Community and Technical College, students interested in health care can get college credit for exploring their career options and engaging with professionals in different health care fields.
When you want to learn about a career field, it helps to talk with someone in that field, said Dr. Mary Catherine Flath, ACTC Professor of Anatomy and Physiology. She facilitates the one-credit Introduction to Health Science (HSE 101) class that is offered each semester.
The class this fall has a different presenter each week from fields including nursing, medicine, pharmacy, osteopathic medicine, physical therapy, dentistry, and physician assistant. Students enrolled in the class get a broad view of the career paths available to graduates.
Each class session is also open to other students who want to find out about one particular field. Faculty and staff are invited to attend in order to find out more about the career paths their students may be considering.
Students get to learn what the job is like from people who do the jobs, and they can get details on university transfer programs from the university advisors. They also learn about the education required for various fields and can get tips on handling student challenges from former students.
The basic purpose of the class is to help students make better, more thought-out career choices, Flath said. With more information from insiders in a field, they can better evaluate how that career will fit into their goals and life circumstances.
Flath has been facilitating the course since 1995, and the roster of presenters now includes some of her former students.
Angela D. Sullivan, for instance, graduated from ACTC in December 2013 and is a Certified Surgical Technologist at Pikeville Medical Center. She made a presentation November 6 about her life on the job. I love what Im doing now, and feel that ACTC prepared me well for the job, she said.
I took the HSE classes when I was student and found them to be very interesting and informative, Sullivan said. amp;ldquldquo;Im happy to come and share my experiences with students who are deciding on their futures.
Other classes this fall will feature ACTC alumni and former instructor Jetta Derasin, a Nurse Practitioner at the VA Medical Center in Huntington, and representatives from the UK Physician Assistant Program and the UK College of Pharmacy.