When College Sends a Professor to High School

Article excerpt

Medical Terminology and Medical Careers Courses Integration

Students from India, Africa, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic are among those joining American students taking Medical Careers at Thomas Edison High School of Technology. Five secondary schools in Montgomery County, Maryland, operate the program, which is designed to intrigue and captivate students interested in a multitude of medical professions.

The Medical Careers triple-period course at Thomas Edison High School of Technology located in Silver Spring, Maryland, has evolved into a one-year science credited course with two college credit options. For several years now, a three-credit Montgomery Community College course in community first aid and CPR has been articulated into the Medical Careers program. For two years, through the efforts of the program instructor, career and technology education coordinators, and school administrators, a Medical Terminology course at Montgomery College has been incorporated into the curriculum. Two days a week during the first semester, a college instructor teaches this course according to college curricular guidelines. Students who achieve a 70 percent or better cumulative average during this course have the option of sitting for the final exam to receive college credit. The challenge has been to coordinate and synchronize the Medical Terminology curricular content with the Medical Careers curriculum to enrich students and reinforce learning activities and ultimate understandings.

The rewards of continuing education are innumerable. This past year's Medical Terminology instructor was selected based upon my recommendation, as she and I had been classmates at a nursing refresher course. We had developed a collegial and congenial friendship during the course and were thrilled to be working together this year.

The morning session brings students from local schools to Thomas Edison High School of Technology for a two-and-one-half-hour course. Between the morning session and the afternoon session, a 30-minute interval of time allows us to snack and discuss curriculum issues and student needs assessments before the afternoon session begins with another group of students. With calendars, texts and other resources at hand, we coordinate upcoming units, plan learning activities and share resources. Other academic support staff meets with us from time to time to help develop additional learning strategies to meet the needs of struggling students.

Evaluation

As the semester drew to a close, we discussed the +s and [Delta]s of the course from an instructor's perspective (see Table 1). Overall, we felt that the inclusion of a college course into this triple-period "pre-pre-medical" course was a dynamic and academically-stimulating high school initiative.

Table 1

               +s                               [Delta]s

Collegiality between course        Starting the Medical Terminology
instructors;                       course two weeks after the
                                   semester begins to have students
High academic and professional     complete introductory Medical
expectations of students as they   Careers content and `settle in';
prepare for internships;
                                   Spending one extra week on the
Consistent approach to student     introductory units to develop
classroom performance/behavior;    a stronger base of

                                   prefix/root/suffix terms;
Coordination of Medical
Terminology chapters & Medical     Developing scaffolding handouts
Careers units by A&P units;        for the units to assist with
                                   student note-taking;
Sharing of academic resources &
medical professional guest         Have more Montgomery College
speakers;                          support for administrating the
                                   course (i.e. photocopying hand-
Working two days a week together   outs and tests in a timely manner). …