Health Career Path2Practice Certificate

Developing a comprehensive careers exploratory course for higher education institutions across Wisconsin

Full Project Name:Health Career Path2Practice (P2P) Certificate: A comprehensive health careers exploratory coursePrimary Community Organization:Northeastern WI Area Health Education CenterPrimary Academic Partner:Leslie Ruffalo, PhD, MS, Family and Community MedicineAward Amount:$389,065
Award Date
Project Duration:48 months

Project Description Narrative:

The Wisconsin Hospital Association's 2018 Healthcare Workforce report describes health care workforce shortages as one of the top three most significant threats to providing high-quality care. The report further articulates the importance of health career pathways and charges Wisconsin employers to "attract workers from all generations to enter and remain in health care professions."

Responding to the challenge, partners across the state have historically provided health career exploration opportunities to high school students. Despite these efforts, the National Center for Education Statistics notes that 49.5% of all post-secondary students enter college with an undecided major and approximately 30% of undergraduate students who declared a major had changed their major at least once. These statistics, coupled with the lack of college-level health career exploration initiatives, express the need for college and university students to participate in health career exploration and hands-on experiences that can help students make career decisions.

Through this award, project partners will develop a certificate program to be offered to institutions of higher education across Wisconsin to introduce clinical, administrative, public health, and research roles and advance engagement and interest in health careers.

Additional community partners:
Wisconsin Area Health Education Center State Program Office, Lakeland University, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, Lakeshore Community Health Care, Lakeshore Health Care Alliance, Fox Valley Health Care Alliance, Manitowoc County Public Health Department, Winnebago County Public Health Department, Sheboygan County Public Health Department, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction/HOSAs Future Health Professions, Bellin College

Project Updates:

  • Created course modules, including modules for students to learn about themselves as well as health care career options, and incorporated guidance and coaching opportunities into the modules with the to support broad representation in terms of age, culture, and race in the program to support opportunities to address a lack of diverse providers
  • Began implementation of the course modules through the learning management system, which allows the team to track student progress and make rapid improvements to course content based on feedback
  • Recruited first cohort of students with 14-16 students currently signed up for the Path2Practice (P2P) course
  • Continuing strategic marketing and promotion of the course through advertisements on Spotify and YouTube and relationships with counselors, teachers, and advisors
  • Submitted proposal to present pilot results at the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine

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