Allied Health Initiative Focuses on Setting Students Up for Success

September 10, 2019

Many of TCC’s academic programs, and particularly those in the School of Allied Health, are competitive, and not every student is guaranteed entry. Some students are not aware of just how competitive the programs are. Those that don’t get accepted often find themselves searching for a new direction.

An Allied Health initiative, the Redirect Project, hopes to better prepare students for all potential outcomes.

“There are a large number of Allied Health students who are not competitive for their programs and may need to be both gently informed and given guidance on how to move forward,” says Greg Hope, TCC director, academic advising. “The Redirect Project is our attempt to do just that. The project is a joint effort between various departments across the college including Academic Advising, Career Services, and Academic Affairs.”

“It’s very competitive,” says Greg Anderson, TCC director, academic advising. “You have to fight for your spot, and you need to know that going in. Most people, with the right information, will make a good decision for themselves.

The first component of the initiative is called Smart Start. Smart Start is a joint effort between Academic Advising and the Allied Health program, and it begins with the mandatory Allied Health orientation Sept. 19 (check-in at 5:30, session from 6 - 8 p.m.)  and 20 (check-in at 11:30, session from 12-2 p.m.).

“The goals are to provide students who are declaring for Allied Health programs with a realistic view of competitive admissions standards to make sure they are prepared for the application processes, and to ensure they hear from program directors and academic advisors at the beginning of their academic journey,” says Hope.

Orientation will be mandatory for all allied health majors. There will be in-person and online orientation to give students every opportunity to complete the requirement. Through orientation, students will learn about drug testing, immunization, clinical requirements, and student support services. They will also have the opportunity to attend breakout sessions based on their major or area of interest.

The Redirect Project has two more components, one focused on early warnings and interventions, and one for non-accepted applicants.

“Using data, we’ve identified important early warning signs for students who aren’t accepted into programs” says Anderson. “Students who fall below these thresholds will be connected with trained Allied Health advisors to discuss the competitive nature of the program and how it relates to their personal academic standing.”

For non-accepted applicants, the ones left with a sensation of “what now?,” the Redirect task force is examining everything from declination letters and debriefing sessions, to how to steer students to the right resource to put them on continued path of college success.

“The better we can educate them beforehand, the better experience they’re going to have,” says Deborah Batson, TCC dean of the school of allied health. “We do not want to set our students up for failure. Through this program, when our students come to class, they’ll be better prepared and know the program expectations.”