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August 15, 2019 - TCO

TCO, TriDistrict partner for year two of Healthcare Careers and Medicine course

With the dog days of summer nearly behind us, students in the TriDistrict (a partnership between the school districts of Inver Grove Heights, South St. Paul, West St. Paul – Mendota Heights – Eagan) are getting ready to return to the classroom, and some exciting opportunities outside of it.

For the second year in a row, Twin Cities Orthopedics is proud to partner with the TriDistrict on a Healthcare Careers and Medicine course held at Training HAUS (Powered by TCO) in Eagan.

After successfully launching the program last year, TriDistrict CAPS Program Coordinator Ben Kusch expects even more students to participate in its second iteration.

“Last year we had about 25-26 students,” Kusch said. “This year we’re expecting more than 35 kids. We’ve even got a waiting list.”

How It Works

In this different and exciting approach to learning, students are not just educated by their teachers, but also from community members, business partners and each other.

The goal is for students to engage in authentic, real-world career exploration activities.

“We think it’s really important for our students to understand what is really happening in the world of healthcare,” TCO VP of Sports Medicine and Therapy Chris Bailey said. “It’s a fast-growing career field. We want to help expose students and faculty to what those changes are and where its going in the next 5, 10, 20 years.”

In this year-long course, students spend the first semester taking part in classroom sessions during the final two or three periods of their day. Semester one focuses on career exploration and professional-skills development, in addition to earning a high school English credit. Then in the second semester, students spend afternoons at internships, job shadows, service learning and volunteer opportunities.

“We had student placements as diverse as their interests,” Kusch said. “We had kids shadowing surgeons and nurses, some working in art therapy and physical therapy, some learning from athletic trainers and others spending their time at healthcare-related non-profit organizations.”

The course also offers other unique experiences like career fairs and guest speakers. Last year, Representative Laurie Halverson made a lasting impression with her classroom visit.

“Students gained both a broader and deeper perspective of what implications healthcare has on individuals, communities and our state,” Kusch said.

What’s Next?

On Tuesday, August 20th, Twin Cities Orthopedics/Training HAUS will welcome the TriDistrict CAPS (Center for Advanced Professional Studies) Class of 2020 to the program’s Fall Open House and Orientation events.

With more students this year, Kusch is looking forward to doing things even “bigger, better and faster.”

“We are really excited to build on the successes of year one,” Kusch said. “We’ve added new partners and new collaborators. We want to help students plan their future.”

Like last year, classes will take place at Training HAUS, and some students will once again get a chance to spend time at the orthopedic urgent care clinic that sits right next door.

“It’s the whole team at (both locations) that made the magic possible,” Kusch said. “They were helpful, supportive partners in every sense of the word…that helped make our course an even richer experience for our students than we could have imagined.”

You can find more information on the TriDistrict’s Healthcare and Medicine course here: