Searcy High School laid out plans for the career and technical programs that the district has been working on for the high school. There will be a nursing track, an emergency medical technician track and a sports medicine track. The health science pathways.
In partnership with Arkansas State University-Beebe’s Searcy campus, Churchwell said the district has been working on “the gray box.” She said the “gray box” is students who don’t go to college after high school
She said the Searcy School District already has a great relationship with ASU-Beebe, with about 30 students taking automotive, small engine technology and welding classes.
“We see the need in medical,” Churchwell said. “We think we have found a happy medium so we can both work together and accomplish the same goal.”
According to Churchwell, the district has a course called Foundations to Healthcare at the high school which goes in “our sports medicine track. It is a new course that has been updated already.”
“Our kids in ninth and 10th grade can take this foundational course in year one and obviously, they can have three directions they can go with it,” she said. “This past year, we offered Foundations to Healthcare for the first year; I think we had 125 kids sign up for it. We know that’s it’s going to grow so we’re excited that we’re still going to feed our kids into our track at the high school but we’re also going to feed our students into these other areas.”
When talking about the “nursing track” Churchwell said ASU-Beebe actually calls it “the personal care technician.” She said a lot of the nurses at the hospitals now are PCTs and not certified nursing assistants.
Care Track Overlap
Churchwell said the ASU-Beebe campus offers a medical office technical certificate. A lot of the classes in the personal care track overlap. Students are not just guided into nursing but could go to the coding side if they choose.
A pharmacy tech program also is in the revamping stages at ASU-Beebe’s Searcy campus. Churchwell said in the next two to three years, another pharmacy tech track will be offered at the high school.
“The opportunities we are adding will be large for our students,” Churchwell said. “We’ve been working for a couple of years trying to make this work because we knew the need was there, industry side and student interest side, and we’re just trying to find the right vibe. Again, working with ASU Searcy, I think we’ll kind of find the niche we need for our kids.”
Health Science Pathways scheduling time is January and February.
Searcy School District https://www.searcyschools.org/o/searcy-high-school
What: Searcy High School to offer three health sciences pathways in partnership with Arkansas State University-Beebe’s Searcy campus
When: 2023-24 school year
Pathways: Nursing, emergency medical technician, sports medicine