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Idaho State University

Idaho State University to Offer Online Health Courses to Gem State Prep Students

December, 18, 2009

Idaho State University will begin offering university-level online health education classes at a reduced fee to Gem State high schools students beginning Jan. 11 through ISU's new University Health High School (UHHS) website.

"We've put together an online learning community for high school students interested in taking a variety of dual enrollment health education courses," said Lydia Warth, ISU instructional technologist in the ISU Instructional Technology Resource Center. "This program will allow prep students to take classes for high school and college credit, and interact with ISU health professions students and faculty, and health care professionals."

One of the best aspects of the program is its price per college credit: high school students participating in ISU's Early College Program have a $65 per credit fee for taking the classes. Regular ISU fees are about $250 per credit.

The program can be offered to students and schools from throughout the state. For example; students at the Renaissance Magnet High School in Meridian located adjacent to the ISU-Meridian Health Science Center and in the Pocatello-Chubbuck School District No. 25 will have an opportunity to enroll in classes via this online program this spring semester. Classes to be offered this spring include the "Introduction to the Allied Health Professions" (two credits), "Medical Terminology" (two credits), "Principles of Dental Hygiene" (two credits), and "Introduction to Occupational Therapy" (one credit). Other courses may be added.

"This is an excellent opportunity for high school students from around the state who are interested in pursuing a career in health professions to test the waters of a particular discipline they may be interested in," said Steve Wright, one of two ISU principal investigators on the project. "At the same time the program can give them a jump-start on taking university-level courses."

In addition, the UHHS site offers online technology for high school teachers facilitating online learning activities for their own classes with access from the UHHS site.

This program was created using a $96,000 Idaho Technology Incentive Grant from the Idaho State Board of Education's Program to Stimulate Research in Idaho. The title of the grant was "University Health High School (UHHS) – Networking and Early College Opportunities in Health Sciences." Its principal investigators are Randy Stamm, eLearning Coordinator for ISU, and Wright, adjunct professor in health care administration.

The online learning community features a Student Café, Teachers Café, parents' bulletin board and an "Ask a Professional" discussion board.

"The social-networking learning environment, based on the Moodle platform, will allow students to communicate with health professionals, meet like-minded students from other high schools, and collaborate with ISU students enrolled in health sciences programs," Wright said. "It will also create opportunities for secondary teachers, counselors, administrators, and parents to participate in health sciences learning."

For more information, contact Randy Stamm at (208) 373-1744 at ISU-Meridian, the ISU Instructional Technology Resource Center in Pocatello at (208) 282-5880 or e-mail