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Opening Eyes to a World of Possibilities

Health Science students practice CPR on a mannequin

“What do you want to be when you grow up?” As adults, we throw this loaded question at our children from the moment they are old enough to talk. If you asked a child what they want to be every year for five years, you will likely get five different answers.

The same holds true if high school graduates move on to college and have to pick a major. At Tulsa Tech, that is not the case for every student, many get to explore and find interests, talents, and more. One example is the Health Science Technology (HST) program, which stands as a gateway to a multitude of careers.

“For me, HST is my way to explore and get experience in the medical field,” Estefania Carbajal said with a smile. “Right now, my goal is to be a trauma surgeon.” While her classmate countered: “I can gain more medical knowledge, and that will help me reach my career goals,” Sara Tennant said. “I plan to go to college at the University of Central Oklahoma and become a mortician.”

The one-school year program allows students to explore health science career options. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics the number of jobs in the healthcare field is expected to grow by 15 percent by the end of the decade. That is an addition of more than two million jobs nationwide.

“We start with the science of healthcare and anatomy,” Matt Ruskoski, Health Science Technology Instructor, said. “We want to help students build a foundation of knowledge to help them going forward.”

Made up of high school juniors, the HST program allows students to dive in and find what they want to do their senior year. The second-year is where students can earn the industry certifications Tulsa Tech offers, credentials that can allow students to work while they pursue more advanced education.

“I enrolled in HST to gain the hands-on experience,” Abby Lara, a junior at Booker T. Washington High School, said. “When I started the program, I wanted to be a pediatrician, but now I am looking more toward sports medicine.”

Changing your career goals is not uncommon. A recent study by the National Center for Education Statistics found some college students will change majors three times. A costly switch that Tulsa Tech students can avoid with the HST Program.

“I am hoping to leave the program with a clarification of what I want to do,” Ana Ibarra said with a grin. “With the skills we learn, I know I will be able to narrow down what I want to do. But no matter what, the skills gained here will help me for a lifetime.”

More than exploration, it is also a way for students to reach their career goals even faster.

“I like getting started early on my career,” Amiah Grant said. “It is also great to meet new people and be around others that have the same interest.”

The common bond builds a connection in the classroom. Outside the classroom, a dedicated group of counselors help students answer career questions.

“Here I feel like the counselors focus on me, I am not just my student number,” Lara said. “They always give me more information than I ask for, and the instructors are amazing. They find ways to make sure everyone understands the material.”

The HST program, like all Tulsa Tech’s programs, also teaches the professional skills students need to get hired. Skills like communication, problem-solving and how to work as part of a team.

With more than 80 full-time career training programs, you can find the program that suits your personality. Why wait for your future to come to you? A new career could be waiting.