Pearson and its Connections Academy, a fully online public school programme serving K-12 students for over 20 years, has recently announced a collaboration with HOSA-Future Health Professionals, a career and technical student organization (CTSO), to connect middle and high school students to healthcare careers. Through this partnership, Connections Academy will introduce students to HOSA’s immersive experiences, which will help them explore hundreds of healthcare careers.
According to an official statement, students will get hands-on experience in the healthcare industry, learn about emerging possibilities in healthcare occupations, and meet like-minded students worldwide. According to Pearson’s abilities, Outlook, HOSA students develop the skills employers emphasize, including leadership, communication, teamwork, and technical skills relevant to certain healthcare professions.
The opportunity fosters self-confidence, motivation, and enthusiasm for their future in healthcare by allowing individuals to develop a professional network with HOSA’s collegiate and industry partners, alums, and peers, as well as participate in community service and the organization’s nearly 100 annual healthcare-related competitive events at the local, state, and international levels.
Pearson Virtual Schools VP for Careers, Casey Welch, commented on the partnership:
Thirty per cent of Connections Academy students begin thinking about their careers between 6th and 8th grade compared to 16% of all students. HOSA’s mission to empower students early – starting in middle school – to become global health community leaders through education, collaboration, and experience aligns perfectly with the goals of Connection Academy’s career readiness offerings to provide young people with direction, confidence, and connections to feel prepared for their next step after high school.
HOSA is one of the largest global student-led organizations, recognized by the US Department of Education and the Department of Human and Health Services, with over a quarter of a million members in 5,600 middle schools, high schools, community colleges, 4-year colleges, and universities in 54 states, territories, and countries, as well as 40,000 registered alums. Connections Academy students participating in HOSA will benefit from connections to their industry partners, including Fortune 100 healthcare companies, management consulting firms, the US government, defence and humanitarian agencies, and top-tier medical schools and organizations that serve millions of students and healthcare professionals.
HOSA Executive Director Sarah Walters, MMCH, MSN, RN, CPNP-AC, added:
HOSA-Future Health Professionals is pleased to establish a partnership with Pearson and its Connections Academy schools, which share our commitment to educational excellence and fostering a mindset of lifelong learning. Through these shared values and a vision for the future, we strive to expand opportunities for students to explore health careers, build technical expertise, and develop the essential leadership skills to thrive as future health professionals.
The alliance with HOSA is the second in Connections Academy’s expanded college and career readiness offerings for middle and high school students. The initiatives, launched in the spring of 2023, provide an innovative new tri-credit approach where courses can deliver high school credit, industry-recognized micro-credentials, and college credit toward over 150 bachelor’s degree programmes in the United States.
Connections Academy aims to launch several HOSA chapters by the end of the 23-24 school year, aiming to expand to Connections Academy schools nationwide.