Destinations Career Academy and its students are joining the global fight against COVID-19.
Pathway to Public Health: Destination Career Academy to Train Students in COVID-19 Contact Tracer Jobs
The online career academy, which prepares students for careers in healthcare and other high-demand fields, is partnering with Tallo, the largest online career networking platform for high school students, to connect all Destinations graduates with potential jobs as contact tracers.
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The initiative includes an interactive virtual question-and-answer session with public health experts from The Fairfax County (VA) Health Department, one of the largest health departments in the country. In addition, students will learn about Coursera’s free COVID-19 Contact Tracer Course offered by Johns Hopkins University. Those interested will be provided information on creating a tailored résumé, cover letter, and Tallo profile, and they will receive a curated list of contact tracing job opportunities in each state.
“Applying what students learn in our virtual classrooms to the real world underpins everything we do at Destinations Career Academy,” said Dr. Shaun McAlmont, President of Career Learning Solutions at K12 Inc. “This is the perfect fit for us to help with the global health crisis: responding to a critical national need and allowing our graduates to get valuable work experience in high-paying jobs, at a time of record youth unemployment.”
Students in Destinations’ healthcare pathway explore a full range of healthcare careers their freshman year. Beginning in their sophomore year, students specialize in a particular healthcare pathway, such as Medical Assistant, Certified Nursing Assistant, and Pharmacy Tech. Students take courses in Medical Terminology, Physiology, and Anatomy, can participate in job shadowing and internships in the healthcare field, and can prepare for relevant industry certifications and credentials, enabling them to continue their education after graduation or prepare to enter the workforce.
“Destinations’ students graduate with the relevant skills needed to succeed in critical roles such as the contact tracer,” said Dr. Sherri Wilson, RN, Health Careers Program Director at K12 Inc. “Our students graduate with strong interpersonal and critical thinking skills. They know medical terminology, can take patient histories, collect data, and understand the importance of patient confidentiality.”
The “Career Opportunities in Contact Tracing” interactive webinar, hosted by Destinations and Tallo and featuring a live chat session with the speakers, will be held on August 14 at 11 am EST and repeat at 2 pm EST later that day. After August 14, the session will be made available as an on-demand webinar. The session will feature leading public health experts including Dr. René Najera, an epidemiologist in Fairfax County, Virginia, who is also an Associate faculty member in the Department of Epidemiology of Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health and also with George Mason University, Department of Global and Community Health. Additional speakers include Gabriel Griffin, Disease Investigation Specialist in Fairfax County, VA, and Kartik Tyagi, former board member of HOSA-Future Health Professionals, and currently a Morehead-Cain Scholar at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, majoring in public health with a concentration in health policy and management and minoring in neuroscience on a pre-medical track. Tyagi will discuss the benefits of being involved in a professional organization and how students can get involved in public health initiatives very early in their journeys even before they graduate.
Participants will get valuable insight into these areas and will have the opportunity to learn about the day-to-day responsibilities directly from a contact tracer. Destinations Career Academy graduates participating in the session will receive coaching on how to effectively translate the skills they learned into a contact tracer job application.
“Contact tracers are vital in helping to prevent the further spread of disease, thereby promoting the health of a population,” Wilson said. “It’s so important that these professionals have the knowledge, language, and culturally responsive skill set necessary to serve their communities. And Destinations Career Academy is uniquely positioned to prepare students with the skills needed to be successful in this critical role.”
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