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Popularity of Biomed Program Means Influx of Students and Internship Need

Jessica Almario, News Editor

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UC High’s Project Lead the Way Biomed Program has received an influx of applicants for the upcoming school year. With the increased number of freshman applicants, and with only seventy two spots open in the Principles of Biomedical Sciences class (the ninth grade Biomed class), the selection process may be more competitive. As a result, some adjustments might have to be made.

“We have had an influx of a lot of applications that we really didn’t anticipate,” said Biomed Teacher Ellie Vandiver, who is also the district coordinator for Project Lead The Way.

According to Head Counselor Sherryl Godfrey, the Medical Interventions class (the eleventh grade Biomed class) currently has a large amount of students in it, and this could mean adding an extra block to the Biomedical Innovations class (the twelfth grade Biomed class).

“There’s a possibility that there are too many Medical Interventions kids to cover the internships next year,” said Godfrey.

According to Godfrey, as of this school year, there are two block periods for Biomedical Innovations: periods one to two, and periods three to four.

“We’ve reached a tipping point,” said Vandiver. “So I don’t really know how we’re going to maintain the internships. I really don’t.”

Biomed Teacher Leslie Chadwick added, “We would love to accept as many kids as we have, but it’s the internships.” Vandiver explained that the Biomed course is a pathway program, and that one of the primary benefits is the opportunity for students to do internships when they are seniors.

“They stay in the pathway and by the time they get to senior year, we have to find internships for them,” said Vandiver. According to Vandiver, even this year there have been some difficulties finding internships.

“If I hadn’t had a parent step in and help me with some of these internships, there would’ve been many [students] that probably wouldn’t have been able to go. That’s what I’m worried is going to happen next year,” commented Vandiver.

According to Chadwick, freshmen who are not admitted into the program are usually given the option to enroll again during their sophomore year. “Last year there were probably only about ten kids who didn’t get into the program, and most of them were because they didn’t finish their applications,” said Chadwick.

As for the selection of applicants, grades alone don’t ensure a spot in the program. “We want it to be a very good mix of kids, because we find that kids that may be struggling a little bit with school, generally do really well in our class,” said Vandiver.

According to Chadwick, Biomed is not a weighted course. However, juniors are able to obtain weighted credit if they earn an A or a B in the class and pass an end-of-the-year test.

Vandiver expressed her wish for the program to be weighted. “It should be. We very strongly feel that it should be,” said Vandiver.

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The news site of University City High School
Popularity of Biomed Program Means Influx of Students and Internship Need