Henninger High School students know a great opportunity when they see one. More than two dozen 9th graders came to the OCC campus in January as they began work toward earning college credits in Health Information Technology and Clinical Lab Technician programs. “I want to go to college and pursue a medical profession and this gets me started,” said Lara Shqair, a Henninger High School freshman.
Shqair and her classmates are taking advantage of the Pathways in Technology Early College High School program, or P-TECH. It allows students to complete work on their high school diploma while earning credits toward their associate degree. P-TECH is funded by a grant from the New York State Education Department. The grant covers tuition, books and fees. The program is free of charge to the students.
The Health Information Technology and Clinical Lab Technician programs are the product of a partnership between the Syracuse City School District, OCC, SUNY Broome, SUNY Upstate Medical University, St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center and Laboratory Alliance of Central NY. Students will come to the OCC campus for their Health Information Technology classes. They’ll take their Clinical Lab Technician courses online through SUNY Broome.
“We’ll make sure students have the essential skills to be successful,” said Karen Fabrizio, Chair and Coordinator of OCC’s Health Information Technology program. “When these students graduate from high school they will be more than halfway toward earning their associate degree.”
Henninger students spent two days on the OCC campus as part of the effort to help build the student engagement component of the program and receive computer training. They met the two OCC Professors they’ll be learning from, Marlesha Minet and Meredith Wolanske. Students were also introduced to “Blackboard,” OCC’s Learning Management System. Professors use Blackboard to communicate with students by posting class content. Students use Blackboard to submit assignments.
These Henninger 9th graders are the first group of students in the Health Information Technology and Clinical Lab Technician P-TECH program. OCC is participating in two other P-TECH programs, both of which present students with opportunities in Electrical Engineering Technology or Mechanical Technology. It includes students from the Institute of Technology at Syracuse Central along with students in all nine Oswego County school districts.