A Healthier Wisconsin

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:

  • Piloted curriculum and incorporated feedback from participants into a revised curriculum that was launched in Winter 2022
  • Recruited 15 students to participate in the new, fully launched curriculum
  • Integrated learning curriculum into their online learning management system to allow for enhanced accessibility and sustainability
  • Continuing strategic marketing and promotion efforts, including hosting advertisements on Spotify and YouTube and promoting the course through relationships with counselors, teachers, and advisors
  • Presented findings nationally at the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine Annual Conference

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8701 W Watertown Plank Road,
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