School, college team up to give students early start

School, college team up to give students early start

BATESVILLE, AR (KAIT) - A new program in Independence County is helping students get an education as well as building careers for those students.

The University of Arkansas Community College in Batesville and Batesville High School are working on the project to help vocational students in the medical field.

Lisa Huff, a secondary curriculum coordinator at Batesville High School, told Region 8 News that the Independence County town has worked to help students get a strong education.

"Batesville has a long-standing tradition of academic excellence preparing students for college but we knew we needed to do more for our kids that might be going the career route," Huff said.

Two students are set to graduate in May as certified nursing assistants, while Somyr Strickland will graduate from high school as a licensed EMT, officials said Thursday.

Strickland said the opportunity to get training was a key part of it all.

"It's kinda given me a head start of getting my career started and it's really a wonderful program," Strickland said.

Meanwhile, an official at UACCB said Thursday there is a huge demand for people in the medical field and that the program will help fill the need.

Dr. Brian Shonk, Vice Chancellor for Academics at UACCB, said the students benefit from two main purposes.

"It allows them the comfort of the high school, the resources they have at the high school but it also allows them to experience college," Shonk said.

Also, White River Medical Center gives one of its volunteers a scholarship each year to allow them to become a certified nurse while going to high school.

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