Sept. 12, 2002
Three major local institutions have joined forces to form the Harrisburg Healthcare Academy in the Harrisburg Schools. The Academy - formed by a partnership of Harrisburg Area Community College, the Harrisburg School District and PinnacleHealth System - will give high school students specific training and college credits in health care.

HACC president, Dr. Edna Baehre, Harrisburg School District superintendent, Dr. Gerald Kohn, and PinnacleHealth System CEO, Dr. Roger Longendorfer, announced details of the project this afternoon. The Harrisburg Healthcare Academy curriculum will include coursework and classroom lectures at both the Harrisburg School District and HACC, and clinical experience at PinnacleHealth. The program will start with 10th grade students.

At the end of the three-year program, students will have completed their high school diploma, earned seven college credits in basic allied health courses, and have strong workplace literacy skills.

United States Department of Labor Assistant Secretary, Emily DeRocco, attended the announcement, stating her support of the Harrisburg Healthcare Academy.

"Both (Secretary of Labor) Chao and President Bush regard community colleges as workforce training providers of choice," Assistant Secretary DeRocco said. "The partner institutions here and this community are coming together with all the right players to prepare the workforce for the 21st century. The Harrisburg Healthcare Career Academy will mean good jobs, good wages, and good career pathways."

The Harrisburg Healthcare Career Academy is scheduled to start in January. Goals of the program include:

  1. To make high school students aware of the local employment opportunities in the growing field of healthcare.
  2. To equip students for entry-level positions in the healthcare industry by assuring that students attain their high school diploma, develop basic workplace literacy skills, and complete the prerequisite training to become eligible to take certification examinations to become a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) or a Cardiovascular (EKG) Technician.
  3. To prepare students for further training and education in the healthcare field.

Upon completion of the three-year program of study, starting in 10th grade, graduates will:

  • have received a high school diploma
  • be eligible to take certification examinations for either Certified Nursing Assistant or Cardiovascular Technician
  • have earned seven college credits in basic Allied Health courses
  • have completed coursework in both Mathematics and English which prepares them to enter the workplace or higher education
  • have strong workplace literacy skills
  • have completed a clinical training experience the healthcare industry
  • be aware of the various opportunities available in the local healthcare industry and understand the training and education that are required to enter these occupations.

The joint project of the Harrisburg Healthcare Academy is a unique effort for secondary and post-secondary education, along with corporate interests, to address outstanding community and workforce needs.

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