J. Everett Light Center health science education courses to become semester long classes taught at CHS

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Cassidy Bruner, JEL student and senior, spends time pretending to moving a patient into a wheelchair with a mannequin. JEL students get time to apply their learnings outside of class, whether that is as an intern, or when visiting hospitals and other locations that work with JEL.

Cady Armstrong

For the 2020-2021 academic school year, the J. Everett Light Center (JEL) courses Health Science Education: Nursing and Emergency Medical Services classes will move to CHS and become semester courses. Each will still occupy three hours of the school day. The changes to the courses will not affect the certification process for each. Students can still earn their Certified Nursing Assistant certification (CNA) or their Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) certification.

According to Brittany Wiseman, the assistant principal leading the changes, administrators decided to move the courses to CHS to ensure that students do not feel left out.

“There’s nothing wrong with (the classes) now, but of course we strive always to be the best at getting better. I think it will encourage more students to participate because they like staying here on campus,” Wiseman said. “This way, they aren’t isolated from 

the rest of the school. Not everyone wants to leave to go to JEL. They want to be a part of CHS the entire day and they don’t want to leave. When we look at it from a school perspective, I hope this means we can ensure a culture where no one feels left out.”

According to Cassidy Bruner, JEL student and senior, these changes will give more students access to the JEL courses that are currently offered.

Bruner said, “I think th

ey changed locations to allow students easier access to that type of education. I feel like there is a difference in the culture of CHS to JEL.”

Additionally, according to Wiseman, the change to move from a year-long to a semester-long class was to allow more students to partake in the courses.

“Well, we looked at the curriculum. And we looked at what other schools were doing, and we saw that we could actually have students get this done in a semester. There was no need for them to give two semesters of two classes,” Wiseman said. “With this (change), you could keep getting some more certifications. And so our school and Noblesville and Westfield all work together towards our area anchored as a technical center. If you go to JEL, then it takes you an entire year.”

According to Wiseman, offering these as semester courses will allow more students to utilize opportunities at CHS to further their education for their future. 

“One thing we noticed is that we have a lot of students that are interested in going into nursing or becoming a physician’s assistant (PA). As more students go on to p

ursue these (there are), more and more nursing schools now that are requiring students to have their CNA certificate to apply to nursing school,” Wiseman said. “There are students that we have once had at CHS that are in college taking extra night classes to get their certification. With this, we hope to save our students’ money in the long run by allowing more opportunities to knock this out before they graduate.”

The change of location will not affect other courses offered at JEL, such as the welding or dental lab classes. Additionally, these changes  will not be applied this year, so they will have no effect on seniors currently.

Nicole Payack, JEL student and senior disagreed with this.

Payack said, “I feel like (CHS) is just trying to make students stay on campus and JEL is a really great place. I don’t think it’s a good idea (to move these two classes to CHS). It’s what (J

EL specializes) in, I feel like CHS is trying to just put their own spin on the CNA and EMT courses. I don’t think  this is smart in the long run.”

Despite these concerns, according to Wiseman, the school is at the start of the long process of transitioning  the courses and that could involve tweaks and time.

“A lot of this is new for us. It’s really new for us to go to an outside service, to have them come in and teach. We are still working out the details but we plan to have (the instructors) have a contract with Carmel Clay Schools where they’ll be a percentage of a teacher, but they’re also going to work with that company as well,” Wiseman said. “It’s just something new that we haven’t done before. Right now we’re in the process of getting contracts from everyone. We want students to be aware of what’s happening for the 2020-2021 school year.”

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