Pathway Focus of the Month: Health Care
Potential Career: Health Information Technology Professional
On February 17, 2009, the President signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act). This statute includes the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act of 2009 (HITECH Act) that sets forth a plan to use health information technology and establish a foundation for the electronic exchange and use of health information. The Act requires the development of trained eligible professionals and hospitals for the meaningful use of electronic health records (EHRs), which in turn will assist in achieving the goal of EHR utilization for all Americans by 2014. Electronic records will enable providers to have instant access to vital information about a patient’s lab results and medical history that may impact treatment decisions. These proven technologies help reduce costs by eliminating unnecessary or duplicative tests, reducing errors and improving health care decision-making.
Two newly created careers are aimed towards people already in the health care or IT industries who would need to be cross-trained. For example, to work in this field, a person a healthcare background would concentrate on obtaining IT skills and workflow redesign capabilities and then use the combined knowledge in this new career. Although this new initiative is targeting those already in the workforce, savvy high school students could start preparing now for jobs that will be in demand within the next two to four year.
Job Outlook: The health care industry is the largest employer in Massachusetts with 19,158 job sites (teaching hospitals, regional hospitals, community clinics, ambulatory services, doctor and dentist offices, home health care, outpatient services and laboratories). It is estimated that through 2016, 64,630 new healthcare jobs will be created in the Commonwealth. Each of these jobs, from office receptionist, to home respiratory therapist, to neurosurgeon, to billing specialist will require some degree of expertise in the use of Health IT. (p. 53, The Commonwealth of Massachusetts 2010 Health Information Technology Strategic Plan)
For More Information: The State has a great site, the Massachusetts eHealth Institute, full of information regarding the Act, MA’s strategies to develop this new workforce, and related resources. You can also check out the State press release that describes the 39 hospitals and non-profits awarded seed money to build their electronic recording capacity.
About BCC’s Programming: BCC just received a grant to develop two Health Information Technician programs to prepare the workforce for specialty roles in emerging field of electronic health records. The new program will be delivered in online/hybrid modules. Anticipated start for the new program is September 2010; these will prepare students in two different roles: (1) Practice Workflow and Information Management Redesign Specialist and (2) Clinician/Practitioner Consultants. Contact BCC faculty Joy Rose (508.678.2811, ext. 2329) for more information.
Hint for Success: Prior knowledge, and preferably experience, in a health care setting or an information technology (IT) setting will make the best candidate for these innovative six-month certificate programs. Typically, both health care and IT jobs require strong math and science skills, as well as excellent problem-solving and communication skills. Be sure to take as many advanced math and science courses you can while still in high school.
CVTE Director leaving BCC for national position. Chris Shannon is stepping down as Director of the Bristol CVTE Consortium to accept a position with WIDS, a division of the Wisconsin Technical College System Foundation that designs CTE program and curricula for Perkins-funded secondary and postsecondary institutions. This position will allow Chris to remain in MA while providing her with the opportunity to learn about and develop CTE programs across the nation. Those who wish to stay in touch can contact her through her new email address.
The Common Core are here! On July 21, 2010, the MA Education Board voted unanimously to became the 26th state to adopt the Common Core—internationally-benchmarked, college- and career-ready K-12 standards in English Language Arts and mathematics. Adopting the Common Core will help position MA for next round of funding for the Race to the Top program, from which Massachusetts is seeking $250 million. There also may be long-term benefits to consistent, nationwide standards in terms of curriculum development, textbooks, and teacher training. To help states and others interested better understand the Common Core standards, Achieve.org has created a range of materials that focus on the organization, content and evidence base used to support the standards, including fact sheets that describe the content areas and address frequently asked questions about the standards.
Taunton campus has moved. For many years BCC/Taunton was located at Taunton High School, but due to renovations BCC was relocated to the Mulcahey Middle School. In September Mulcahey will become an elementary school so BCC will relocate to the Benjamin A. Friedman Middle School. This fall, Taunton classes have expanded into Monday & Tuesday afternoon 4pm classes and added additional Thursday 7pm evening classes. The address for the Friedman Middle School is 500 Norton Avenue, Taunton, MA 02780. For more information, please contact Dean Kathy Garganta at 508.678.2811, ext. 3527.
Professional Development Opportunities
2010 National Career Pathways Network (NCPN) conference, October 20 – 23, 2010, Dallas, TX. In addition to the usual conference strands this year’s pre-conference focuses on Program of Study Design, a Career Pathways leadership Certificate program and Lean Six Sigma Problem Solving. As always, the conference includes professional development topics that meet requirements of the 2006 Perkins Act.
Fall 2010 Student Support Conference, Thursday, October 7, 2010, 8am-1:15pm, Holy Cross College, Hogan Center, Worcester MA. The overarching goal of this fourth annual coordinated statewide conference is to help communities better plan and implement comprehensive approaches that support success for all youth, especially student support grant recipients and potential grant recipients. There are plans for additional content-focused sessions through the year as well as spring regional networking sessions to further explore topics, strategies, and ways to effectively coordinate and collaborate across and beyond programs. Although this targets recipients of Student Support grants, all interested educators are welcomed.
MASCA Fall Conference, October 26, 2010, Holiday Inn, Boxborough. This annual conference is designed to help counselors better understand their role and make more effective use of skills and talents in the complex areas of counseling and guidance, studies and publicizes the functions and responsibilities of counselors, helps to upgrade and improve the guidance, counseling and related fields, provides a channel by which counselors can be brought into a more vital and influential position with educational leaders, is active in the legislative process, encourages research aimed at the improvement of the counseling profession, maintains high ethical and professional standards for counselors, and develops and implements program to foster interest in career development programs. Proposals for the Fall conference are being accepted through September 3, 2010.
National Careers in Construction Week, October 18 – 22, 2010. The National Center for Construction Education and Research has designated this week to raise awareness of careers in the largest industry in the world! In the next six years, construction companies expect to hire one million new workers.
Staples Youth Social Entrepreneurship Competition. The Youth Social Entrepreneurship Competition will search until September for eight outstanding youth changemakers, leaders of social ventures aged 12 to 24 who make a difference in the world. Youths can either nominate themselves or be nominated by someone inspired by their actions. At the end of the competition, the winners or representatives from winning teams will fly to Washington, D.C. for the November 13th TEDxYSE conference -a TED style conference run by Youth Venture on social entrepreneurship. There, they'll present their stories and achievements as well as receive $500 prize money. One of the eight teams will win the Staples grand prize for $5,000. Winners will be chosen on a rolling basis through September, so don't wait.
Resources of the Month
Resources of the Month
GRANT: Grants from the Captain Planet Foundation: The Captain Planet Foundation funds and supports hands-on environmental projects for children and youths ages 6-18. Its objective is to encourage innovative programs that empower children and youth around the world to work individually and collectively to solve environmental problems in their neighborhoods and communities. Grant amounts range from $250 to $2,500. Deadlines for grant applications are September 30 and December 31.
GRANT: The Awesome Foundation. (Yes, you read that correctly) This new Foundation provides $1,000 a new project each month. They are looking for projects that will make a big difference with not a lot of money. The upside? No stuffed shirts here and the application is the simplest you’ll ever find. Read about prior funded projects in their blog.
PUBLICATION: Teachers are not to blame: Tools that help teachers, not firings, are the key to education success. This Commonwealth Magazine editorial/analysis describes the current bandwagon of blame for poor student performance and challenges the lack of data to support proposed solutions. Author EDWARD MOSCOVITCH summarizes his analysis of MCAS performance by commonly known at-risk factors, primarily income and race and how currently proposed carrots and sticks will do little to address the disparities between schools that perform well and those that do not. The article is available for free online; you may have to sign up to gain access.
WEBSITE: Parachute 4 Teens: Career Help for the Young and Restless. Noted author Carol Christen writes a regular blog full of practical advice and current news to help teens become better informed about choosing and preparing for a career. She has a refreshing perspective and provides all the right messages in a venue that is teen-centric. Check it out, especially the archived blogs.
WEBSITE: BCC’s Transfer Affairs. The search to find just the right transfer college can be confusing and time consuming. There is a wealth of information available about college in print, on video, and on the internet, but students often have difficulty narrowing down their choices to a few colleges. This site links websites to do just that. Each of the sites offer students a chance to select the college characteristics that are most important to them and help selects appropriate colleges. Most of the sites listed are also sources of information on financing a college education and have direct links to college home pages. [NOTE: With the 220+ newly developed Program of Study grids, this website will be a must to complete student planning to transfer from BCC.]
We are already ahead of the game! As of August 2, 2010, we have 187 articulations in place for the 2010-2011 academic year. Kudos to President Sbrega, CVTE Program Assistant Charlotte Medeiros, and the countless BCC faculty and Deans who have supported the development of regional articulations.
Now that an efficient process for regional articulations has been developed and implemented, we are turning our attention to a more streamlined process for articulation renewals that do not qualify for regional articulations. Expect an email this week with an attached chart of any articulations that need to be renewed. Use this electronic form to document if the high school career/vocational curriculum has changed, then send it back for BCC faculty review. If there are no changes on either side, the articulation can be renewed. Remember, we will only renew articulations for two years before a full program review,