Healthcare Prerequisite Pathway

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 and English 101.

North now offers a way to make learning in these classes more “real” through contextualization, meaning that prerequisite faculty relate what you learn in the classroom to your professional goals.

An Example of Contextualization

A Chemistry 121 instructor at North inserted health care examples into her class. Nursing faculty taught her how to set up IV bags for her lab. According to this instructor, “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.”  

How to Locate a Contextualized Class

Not all sections of a course are contextualized. To find a contextualized class, go into North’s online schedule. A designation of “HC” (standing for “Health Contextualize”) indicates a contextualized class. A schedule is posted on the website. Please note that most of the contextualized courses are offered as evening, evening hybrid, weekend, or online format.

About the Healthcare Prerequisite Pathway

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.