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HCOP helps local high school students prepare for college

Posted at 5:42 PM, Apr 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-30 21:32:59-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A local university is giving high school students a leg-up on a career in health. An academic opportunity to get ahead of the game before college.

The Health Careers Opportunity Program or HCOP, is a four-week program aimed at 10th, 11th, and 12th graders, who are interested in a health career, see themselves going to college, majoring in a health profession, and eventually working in that profession.

High school, a time when many students are contemplating college and their future career. Some want to help others by going into the health profession, but they aren't sure exactly what they want to do.

That's where Florida A&M University's School of Allied Health Sciences comes in.

"It's an academic opportunity for students to get ahead of the game as they pursue a health profession career," said Dr. Cynthia Hughes Harris, Dean School of Allied Health Sciences at FAMU.

The four week academic program called the Health Careers Opportunity Program or HCOP helps high school students get ready for college by focusing on courses that can be barrier courses for college health profession students like anatomy, physiology and chemistry.

"Going through the program made me feel very well about my future," said Kennedi Mercer, HCOP graduate. "I'm a straight A student now, I know I have to do this and that to go through the Allied Health Program."

The program exposes them to a wide variety of health professions, so they know about all of the opportunities available in their chosen field and can identify which is best for them.

"It is the leg up on a career in health and it is exploring exactly which each health profession does," said Dr. Harris.

Carmen Grant, an HCOP graduate, says the program helped make her career dreams reality.

"It made it more attainable. It made me more interested in science and made me work harder to make sure I got into FAMU," said Grant.

Dr. Harris says there are a vast array of positions in the health community that are empty right now, including a nursing shortage, so it's a great time to get into the health field.

"The health industry is robust hopefully as long as we are here there is the health industry," said Dr. Harris.

HCOP runs from June 3 to June 28. The deadline to apply is May 18.

The cost is $500 for the four week program, but there is a limited number of partial scholarships available.

For more information call 850-561-2001.