Thomas Nelson Receives Grant to Develop Career Pathway Program in Emergency Medical Services

Published: June 21, 2006

The Virginia Peninsula – Dr. Crystal Taylor, director of Tech Prep/Dual Enrollment for Thomas Nelson Community College, has received a $5,600 grant from the Virginia Community College System (VCCS) to develop a career pathway program in Emergency Medical Services. Taylor was one of three program directors from VCCS institutions who submitted winning proposals to receive the Path to Industry Certification: Curriculum Development Funds. The awards create new secondary to post- secondary pathways or new secondary/post-secondary partnerships in the VCCS Tech Prep consortia.

The Virginia Peninsula Tech Prep Consortium at Thomas Nelson Community College aims to provide career pathways that bring together partners from secondary schools, community colleges, universities, regional businesses, and industries that equip the emerging workforce with skills, knowledge and abilities necessary for success in the 21st. century. Additionally, the Consortium strives to meet the needs of the region’s industry and state.

Taylor’s proposal serves to increase accountability and transition rates in high school education by enhancing dual enrollment and articulation options that will lead to an Associate of Applied Science degree in Emergency Medical Services. This plan will include strategies to develop, strengthen and create links between Thomas Nelson Community College and at least two area secondary schools, namely Hampton’s New Horizons Regional Technical Center and a new high school slated to open in fall 2007 in the Williamsburg-James City County school system, through programs of study that give high school students clear pathways to receive college education in emergency medical services industry.

Under the proposal, career pathways teams will consist of teachers, faculty, counselors and business representatives who will design and oversee “rigorous” curricula specific to guiding students toward emergency medical services degrees and subsequent careers. The plan also stresses parental involvement, ongoing faculty/staff professional development, and team building with employers to create opportunities for work-based learning.

Critical to Taylor’s proposal was data from the Greater Peninsula Workforce Investment Board (WIB) which indicated that the healthcare industry has the greatest growth potential for the Hampton Roads region. The WIB also indicated that more awareness programs in this region’s schools are needed for a variety of career pathways in the healthcare industry and more programs and services are needed to develop transferability skills for this region’s workforce.


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