CCC Gives Three High School Seniors Early Start to Healthcare Career
CLARKSDALE – Coahoma Community College students have the option of learning a skill and entering the workforce immediately after graduation. Now that same option has been extended to three local high school students who are currently enrolled in CCC’s Phlebotomy program.
The three high seniors are participants in the Tri-County Workforce Alliance (TCWA), a non-profit organization that’s in partnership with Coahoma Community College. The organization, led by Josephine Rhymes, is specifically geared towards middle and high school students interested in careers in healthcare.
“I feel it’s important to expose them and make them aware of what’s out there,” said Rhymes. “A lot of the students don’t realize the variety of healthcare career opportunities that are available, so we’re trying to introduce them to different fields.”
According to CCC’s Instructor/Health Sciences Coordinator Tony Brooks, it’s the first time high school students have entered CCC’s phlebotomy program.
“I think it’s a great opportunity for them to get a jumpstart on a healthcare career. Upon graduating high school, they’ll already have a entry-level skill,” said Brooks.
According to Brooks, to be eligible, students had to be dually enrolled CCC student, which requires at least a 3.0 GPA. Brooks said the students had to be at least 18 years of age to participate in clinicals and labs, pass a background check and take a drug screening. The students were also required to pass The Adult Basic Education Exam (TABE) with a score of at least a 10th grade reading and math level.
“This is the full program. We’re not treating them differently as we would any other CCC student. They have to meet the same criteria as any other of our students,” Brooks said. “It is really a challenge to do one of these programs in high school because of the ages, their schedule … The student has to really be dedicated, but they can certainly make it if they apply themselves.”
The phlebotomy program is a one semester, 16-week certificate program that requires students to attend classes on Tuesday and Thursdays evenings. In addition students must complete labs and clinicals about midway through the semester. At the end of the program, students are given the credential exam and, if successful, will receive national certification through the National Healthcare Association.