This was the observation of the group’s leader, Kristy Jones, who directs the Health Careers Opportunities Program (HCOP) at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah.
HCOP is a year-round program for high school students in the Ogden area that helps students from a variety of backgrounds prepare for college and eventually a career in medicine or health. The students learn about different health-care careers, get hands-on learning opportunities, like doing dissections, and go on field trips to local health-care programs. In the process, they find out just how rewarding—and fun—college can be.
This is all done in the hopes that the students will choose a career in the health care field and continue on to get a college education.
The students who visited USU are part of the HCOP Summer Program, a competitive program that gives 30 students the opportunity to come to WSU for six weeks where they’ll learn even more about health-care careers, participate in classes and labs, go on field trips, like this one, and even earn minimum wage for the time spent in class.
While on the USU campus, the students visited the Communications Disorder and Deaf Education Department and observed hearing and hearing aid testing, and were given a tour of the department by URLEND faculty member, Vicki Simonsmeir. They heard about the latest research on nutrition from registered dietician, Kelsey Rich, a member of the IDASL class at the CPD. The highlight was their visit to CPD’s Utah Assistive Technology Lab, where they learned about assistive technology apps for electronic devices, and got to help build slant chairs for supported seating.
The visit to USU came about as a result of a longstanding partnership between HCOP and the CPD’s Interdisciplinary Training Division directed by Dr. Judith Holt.