High school students in the Toledo (OH) Public Schools will be able to earn emergency medical technician (EMT) credentials through a partnership between the district, Owens Community College, the city’s police and fire departments, and the ProMedica healthcare network, The Toledo Blade reports.
About 40 students will be part of the initial program, in which they will learn life-saving strategies, how to transport patients, and how to assess emergency situations, with the district paying for the students’ tuition and fees.
Graduates of the program will have opportunities to interview for jobs with ProMedica or work in public safety.
Providing students with opportunities to earn industry certifications while still in high school not only makes them more prepared for a career than a typical high school graduate, but it also contributes to the local economy by filling the need for qualified employees. With a certification, a student has a means of earning money while still pursuing higher education. One student quoted in the Blade’s story said she was interested in becoming a delivery room nurse and that having the EMT certification will make her a stronger candidate when applying for colleges. Even those who don’t pursue a career in the same field will demonstrate that they can complete the certification and high school diploma requirements at the same time.
“The benefits of industry-recognized credentials are many,” according to the National Research Center for Career and Technical Education. “High school and postsecondary CTE programs that lead to associate degrees, certificates, and industry-recognized credentials can help young people find skilled employment and give them the option of later returning to school for a higher degree.”
Another field in which high school students are earning certificates is early-childhood education. In 2011, the Council for Professional Recognition began allowing juniors and seniors in high school CTE programs to earn a child development credential, which prepares them to work in a variety of early learning programs, such as preschools, Head Start centers and child-care programs.
While school leaders may be involved in getting such partnerships started, it’s important to have other staff members who can work as liaisons between the schools and the other organizations involved, such as postsecondary institutions and industry partners.