BRIDGEPORT, Conn. -- High school students interested in health care can now get a jump on their education in the field when St. Vincent's College and the Bridgeport Public School District kick off a new Healthcare Career and College Readiness Pilot Program this fall at Bassick High School.
Twenty students will be chosen to take courses at St. Vincent's College and graduate with a high school diploma, a health care certificate and college degree credits. In addition, St. Vincent's College also is offering a 20 percent tuition discount to all Bridgeport Public School employees and parents of students attending a school in the district.
The first class of students is expected to complete the program in 2018.
"We see this as an extension of our Mission to serve our community," explained Michael Gargano, president of St. Vincent's College. "This program identifies students who show promise and hope; it provides support, both financial and tutorial, for them to begin a rewarding career in healthcare."
Bassick High School's new principal, Tomas Ramirez, will appoint a three-member selection committee to choose the 20 students for the pilot program. Starting in the ninth grade and continuing through senior year of high school, students will take classroom courses, engage in hands-on practical learning and skill-building experiences, and begin the transition to the world of work.
Students will be able to choose from several career pathways, including the certified nurse aide certificate program, patient care technician certificate program, pharmacy technician certificate program and community health aide program.
After completion of the program, students are eligible for immediate employment or to continue their college education.
"This is the first time the Bridgeport Public School District has formed a partnership with St. Vincent's College," said Fran Rabinowitz, superintendent of Bridgeport Public Schools. "This is a profound opportunity to help students fulfill developmental coursework while earning college credits toward a healthcare degree or certificate."
The average annual wage for nursing assistants and pharmacy technicians was $25,710 to $30,410 in May 2015.
The program is being funded entirely by St. Vincent's College scholarships and grants. All program material costs will be covered, as well.
For information on enrolling in St. Vincent's College at the Bridgeport and Stamford locations, call 800-873-1013 or visit www.stvincentscollege.edu .
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.