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Amidst blustery showers and flakes of snow, the Mercy Flights transport helicopter swooped in to alight next to Rogue Community College’s beautiful new Health Professions Center, on the Table Rock Campus. The ‘copter crew joined the Mercy Flights ambulance and crew in forming one very popular station at an Allied Health Career Exploration Day sponsored by SOESD’s CTE-CCL Departments.

The event was made possible through federal Career and Technical Education (CTE) Perkins funding, intended to promote secondary and postsecondary career and technical education programs. There were 6 stations in all, with 75 students from 5 high schools in Jackson and Josephine Counties engaged in Hands-On Learning highlighting RCC’s short term certificates (3-9 months): Emergency Medicine, Medical Assisting, Phlebotomy, Pharmacy Technician and Dental Assisting. RCC instructors and current students were on hand to answer questions and lead activities including making a fake tooth, using electronic health records (EHR), extracting “blood,” and performing CPR to the beat of “Another One Bites the Dust.”

Participants also received a general orientation from RCC’s Admissions & Recruiting, providing students with further information on healthcare academic Pathways, while experiencing being on a community college campus. The event ended with a raffle drawing for prizes, and burrito box lunches served to students, adult attendees and staff in the atrium of the A Bldg. Reactions of participants were enthusiastic. Students reported being inspired by the industry representatives they met (RCC instructors are also healthcare professionals) and the close-to-peer-level students. Many students indicated they were now motivated to continue investigating healthcare careers, including doing such things as scheduling ride-along job shadows with Mercy Flights.

The magic of these types of events, is one facet of support in providing Career Connected Learning opportunities to our regional students: planting seeds about career possibilities that will hopefully transition into intentional exploration and further education.

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