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Saturday, December 2, 2023

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In May 2022, SDSU Imperial Valley announced the creation of an accelerated pre-licensure bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) program. (SDSU) In May 2022, SDSU Imperial Valley announced the creation of an accelerated pre-licensure bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) program. (SDSU)

SDSU Imperial Valley RISE Center Program Guides High Schoolers to Health Care Careers

To date, the Imperial County Health Professions Pathway Program has partnered with seven area high schools, engaging with more than 250 students
By Daniella Rodiles

The Research, Innovation, Student and Engagement (RISE) Center of SDSU Imperial Valley launched in August 2023 its Imperial County Health Professions Pathway Program, an initiative designed to mentor Imperial County high school students interested in careers in health care.


With the support of the Imperial County Office of Education and area school districts, the state-funded program connects the region’s high school students with information on health care careers, providing tangible examples of what certain health care careers entail, and how to pursue a career in the field by laying out specific higher education pathways available for students. 


The program is funded by a $2.5 million grant from the California Department of Health Care Access and Information through SDSU Imperial Valley’s School of Nursing and the RISE Center; SDSU’s proposal scored third highest of 20 applications that received the September 2022 grants. The program shows prospective students how to apply to SDSU Imperial Valley and the degree offerings available there, and provides general information related to applying to other higher education institutions. 


The program aims to break down barriers that may prevent high school-age students from applying to colleges and universities by providing an information road map. 


“It is truly amazing to watch the RISE team assimilate the vision that Hoyt and Macauley established,” said Gilbert Harrison, program manager for the RISE Center. “Witnessing the vision being implemented by interacting with students and high school staff is inspiring. Helping local high school students find their pathway to a health care profession will have a great impact on the health care needs of Imperial Valley for years to come.”


In the first year of the program, the team launched its mentoring workshops in seven local high schools, engaging with more than 250 students across the county. In some specific sessions, parents are also invited to attend to learn more about the pathways to pursuing a degree at SDSU Imperial Valley in a health care-related field, which includes nursing and public health. 


Undergraduate students from SDSU Imperial Valley’s Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN) program attend different sessions to teach students how to take basic vital signs and talk about their experience as registered nurses. An academic advisor and financial aid specialist are also on hand during the workshops to answer questions.


Jackie Valadez, a career technical education teacher at Southwest High School in El Centro, has witnessed firsthand how her students have gone out of their comfort zone to seek more information about universities and academic programs.


“Navigating the path to postsecondary education is challenging for many students and families,” said Valadez. “The RISE Center team is focused on ensuring that students have access to information on the college application process, financial aid and scholarship programs.”


In May 2022, SDSU Imperial Valley announced the creation of an accelerated pre-licensure bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) program. In fall 2024, the university will launch its new Bachelor of Science in Public Health, expanding academic offerings to students interested in tackling the health needs of the region.