Vanessa P. Fahie, PhD, RN, assistant professor at the University of Maryland School of Nursing (UMSON), was awarded another College Preparation Intervention Program grant from the Maryland Higher Education Commission. The $125,000 award is in support of the Maryland Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Program, a discretionary grant program designed to increase the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education.
In collaboration with Baltimore City Public Schools, UMSON provides services to Edmondson-Westside and Frederick Douglass high school students and their families; both schools are in West Baltimore. The Exploring Health Profession Careers project fosters career awareness and exploration, college readiness, financial literacy, and increased parental involvement. Students and their families are exposed to diverse options within the health care field, which is designed to help overcome the disparity in educational attainment and awareness of health professions career opportunities among low-income students.
“The Exploring Health Profession Careers Program leverages resources from public K-12, higher education, and nonprofit entities to address a triple threat — achievement gap, opportunity gap, and learning gap — for students attending low-performing high schools,” Fahie said. “It gives students the opportunity to engage in interactive college readiness activities that motivate them to aim higher, study harder, and take the courses required for college admission and success.”
Through the partnership, the various organizations have pooled resources to develop a creative model to reduce the obstacles that might prevent high school students, particularly African-Americans interested in health professions, from graduating from high school and enrolling in college. The partnership also will increase communication among parents, teachers, and administrators to identify career and educational goals.
“We congratulate Dr. Fahie on receiving further support for her important work fostering awareness of health professions careers among high school students,” said UMSON Dean Jane M. Kirschling, PhD, RN, FAAN. “It is essential that we continue to increase the racial, ethnic, and gender diversity of our future health care workforce. Dr. Fahie’s efforts to introduce students at an early and impressionable age to the opportunities afforded by a health professions career is a valuable contribution and helps ensure that we will have the nurses and other health professionals needed to care for Maryland’s residents in the years ahead.”