Contextualization Relates Classroom Learning to Professional Goals
As a student pursuing a health care career, you may wonder why you are required to take certain prerequisite courses that seem to have little to do with your professional goals. To enter a nursing program, for example, you typically must take algebra, biology, anatomy/physiology 1 and 2, chemistry, microbiology, statistics, psychology, English and nutrition.
North now offers a way to make learning in these classes more “real” through contextualization, meaning efforts by prerequisite faculty to relate what you learn in the classroom to your professional goals.
North is launching its Healthcare Prerequisite Pathway this fall with three contextualized classes: PSYC&100, BIOL&160 and ENGL&101. These classes are open to all students and are relevant to those pursuing such careers as nurse, medical assistant, physician assistant, radiologic technologist, physical therapist or dental hygienist.
Dr. Jessica Pikul, Chemistry 121 instructor at North, has inserted health care examples into her class. (Nursing faculty taught her how to set up IV bags for her lab.) According to Dr. Pikul, “Knowing where [my students] are going and being able to teach to that [goal] means that I engage my students. It’s made me a better instructor. Students have said the things they were excited about in class were the connections to their future career.”
Not all sections of a course are contextualized. To find North’s three contextualized classes for Fall Quarter 2016, go into North’s online schedule. A designation of “HC” (standing for “Health Contextualize”) indicates the Psychology 100, Biology 160 and English 101 classes that the college will offer as contextualized. A preliminary two-year schedule is posted on the website. Please note that all of the contextualized courses are offered as evening, evening hybrid, weekend, or online format.
The Healthcare Prerequisite Pathway is the result of a partnership that includes North Seattle College, the SEIU 1199 Northwest Multi-Employer Training and Education Fund, and hospital employers. The State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) Hospital Employees Education and Training (HEET) Program has funded this effort.