Kent School District, Renton Technical College sign agreement; high school students can earn medical certifications, degrees
March 22, 2013 · 12:11 PM
For the Reporter
Kent School District (KSD) and Renton Technical College (RTC) officials signed a groundbreaking agreement Wednesday that allows Kent high school students to earn certifications and initial degrees in the medical field along with their high school diploma upon graduation.
In addition, community members now will be able to take RTC courses at Kentlake High School.
The Kent School District Board of Directors and the Renton Technical College Board of Trustees met at Kentlake High School on Wednesday evening to sign the agreement for the Medical Career Pathways program.
Sitting on the stage of the school's performing arts center, both boards welcomed the new partnership.
"This is a great opportunity for the students of Kentlake High School and members of our community to earn college credits and certifications for degrees in the medical field," said School Board President Debbie Straus. "There is a great deal of demand for qualified people to fill these positions, and this program will put our students in an excellent position."
Medical Career Pathways allows Kentlake students to take college courses in their school as electives. They could graduate from high school not only with their diploma, but a certification in one of several medical careers or an associates degree in pre-nursing. Earning these credits also could lead students to a four-year degree through the University of Washington Accelerated program – also held at Kentlake High School.
Additionally, Medical Career Pathways is available in the evening to other KSD high school students and members of the community. Classes, taught by RTC faculty, at Kentlake High School would allow local community members and other high school students the opportunity to earn certifications and college credit toward medical degrees.
"KSD and RTC's Medical Career Pathways is a major breakthrough in new forms of cross institutional learning that better prepare all of our students for college and career and a job upon graduation," said Superintendent Edward Lee Vargas. "When these students graduate they will be on their way to working in well-paid and rewarding careers in the medical field."
Steve Hanson, president of Renton Technical College, added:
"What's really unique about this is that it's a new model for how a school district and college can work together. This was a great opportunity to celebrate this unique partnership with the Kent School District and to create new opportunities for students to pursue professions in the medical field."
Medical Career Pathways classes will start next fall at Kentlake High School.