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Career and Technical Education Month: Osseo Senior High School’s Health Science Magnet Program

Career and Technical Education Month: Osseo Senior High School’s Health Science Magnet Program

At Osseo Senior High School (OSH), scholars in the Health Science Magnet Program get hands-on, work-ready experience in the health science and medical fields. During Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month, our district is highlighting the various opportunities the Health Science Magnet Program provides.

“We are trying to give our students the opportunity to get a jump-start in their health careers,” said Andrew Klaers, Health Science Curriculum Integration Coordinator. 

The Health Science Magnet Program is designed to support and build future leaders in the health science and medical fields. The program provides authentic learning experiences that prepare scholars to achieve their future goals in medicine. Students develop practices through hands-on, project-based experiences in a professional work setting. Health Science students graduate from high school with college credits, professional certifications, internship experiences and relationships with industry professionals. 

“A highlight of this program for me is watching as students all of a sudden figure out what their potential is. Sometimes school is a struggle, but then they get into a program doing hands-on work, and they can all of a sudden see themselves having a pathway going forward,” said Steve Mills, an Instructional ESP with the program.

Dave Casella, who participated in the program when he attended OSH and has taught in the program for 28 years, likes that the program allows scholars to get a head start before it is high stakes and they have to pay for the education they’re receiving. 

“It is important to have the exposure to career and technical education in a high school experience,” Casella said. “This program lets students try out and see if this is a field they’re interested in. The information they are learning is beneficial to their life, whether they go into that field or not.”

Scholars can choose to focus on one of four medical field paths: emergency services, nursing, general medicine and mental health. This helps to construct a successful path through the program and allows scholars to align course choices and internship opportunities with their career goals.

Scholars in the Health Science Magnet Program have the opportunity to take a variety of classes, including Exploring Health Careers, Medical Terminology, Bioethics, Nursing Assistant, Sports and Exercise Health, Anatomy and Physiology, Pharmacy Technician and a Health Care Internship class. The program works with many community partners to provide scholars a hands-on, work ready experience.

“It’s not just about, ‘you need to learn these skills.’ They also learn about life and caring about others. I think it is a valuable course for students to be able to take,” said Wanda Nelson, who works with scholars specializing in the nursing path. 

While the program takes place at OSH, scholars from Maple Grove and Park Center Senior High Schools have the opportunity to enroll in the courses as well. 

In one of the classes, scholars started in the classroom with their teacher, Erik Bryz-Gornia. They then moved to the work space lab, where Bryz-Gornia demonstrated two emergency medicine procedures that would be on a state test for a certification. The scholars then practiced the procedure themselves, working as a team.

CTE Month occurs each February and celebrates the achievements and accomplishments of technical programs and scholars in these programs who are preparing to look at post-secondary options and enter the workforce.

To learn more about the Health Science Magnet Program and find out how to apply, visit the program website