Outside of School Learning

“Well I have always, kinda known that I wanted to be in the medical field.  I started researching and found out that the hospital allows students to volunteer there.”  Senior Lauren Shaffer is involved in two different outside of school learning programs which include Allied Health, which is a part of Eastern Westmoreland Career and Technology Center (EWCTC), and a work study.  

Shaffer first put in her application to volunteer at the hospital, but then later got accepted into EWCTC’s Allied Health learning program.  The learning program is based on medical field jobs, and covering hospital facilities along with smaller practices in order to help students figure out which path suits their future best. 

Allied Health is a course offered to seniors, and students who are a part of Allied Health are required to be able to commute to and from the lessons.  The program is a semester long, and for the first nine weeks students learn about “The different medical fields and a little bit about diseases.” In the second semester however, “Every class day instead of going to the classroom, you go to the hospital or physical therapy and you get to shadow different occupations.”  

Shaffer explains how Allied Health helped her figure out what she liked and disliked in the medical field.  Even though she didn’t get to shadow a physician’s assistant, she plans to go into an accelerated physician’s assistant program for college.

“I have a few options. I am pretty sure about Seton Hill or Duquesne.  I am thinking about staying close to home and going to Seton Hill.”  Allied Health helped Shaffer decide which field of medicine she wants to be a part of, and also helped prepare her to make a decision for her college degree.  

Shaffer was not only a part of Allied Health during her senior year, but also Work Study.  Work Study is an outside of school learning program that is offered to senior students.  

Work Study can be in the mornings or afternoons, as well as one semester or all year.  Shaffer decided to do Work Study in the second semester, and chose to work at Pleasant Unity Pizza, where she is learning how to run her family business that her father owns.

Shaffer is learning, “customer service and having good communication skills due to waitressing.”  Along with learning how to be caring and nice to people no matter their attitude.  She is also learning how to manage books and a few of the management skills it takes in order to run the shop.  

Shaffer shares some of the many great things about work study, such as “It gives you a lot of freedom as a senior, such as grabbing lunch before work. As well as it is a good way to make some extra money before many students go off to college after high school.”   

Shaffer has gained multiple skills to help her in the future when she joins the workforce.  She took Allied Health which helped her get an idea of what it is like to work within the medical field, and Work Study which helped her gain skills to run a restaurant.  Outside of school learning programs are a good way to gain knowledge that will help students when they go into the workforce.