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Assessment of the Pennsylvania Governor's School for Healthcare: Student Knowledge, Attitudes and Career Interest

Sponsler, Jennifer L. (2007) Assessment of the Pennsylvania Governor's School for Healthcare: Student Knowledge, Attitudes and Career Interest. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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There is an increased need for educational programs about health careers as evidence shows the number of American students pursing advanced degrees in science and healthcare continues to decrease. The Pennsylvania Governor's School for Healthcare, a summer residential program for high school students, is designed to introduce participants to various health careers, teach students about the research process and the nature of scientific inquiry, facilitate project-based learning, refine critical thinking skills, and foster positive interactions with practicing physicians and other health professionals. Assessment instruments such as exit surveys and focus groups were developed and used to capture data on student satisfaction with the program, the influence of its curriculum on student knowledge, attitudes and awareness of various health careers and to what degree the program affected or changed student career interest. Results indicated that the majority of students felt the program increased their knowledge and awareness of heath careers and influenced their future career choice in a health profession. Student participation in healthcare curriculum, activities and interactions with health professionals provided them with a positive hands-on experience. Overall, students were highly satisfied with the program. The Pennsylvania Governor's School for Healthcare significantly influenced the interest and future goals of its participants in their desire to pursue a career in healthcare. Research outcomes will be given to the Pennsylvania Governor's School for Healthcare as a program improvement tool for future programs. The relevance of public health in this thesis is to promote educational programs about health related careers as a viable method of successfully initiating and/or maintaining a student's interest in the health professions.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Sponsler, Jennifer
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairTerry, Martha Annmaterry@pitt.eduMATERRY
Committee MemberNicoll, JoanneNicoll@cidde.pitt.eduNICOLL
Committee MemberJaros, Kennethkjaros@pitt.eduKJAROS
Committee MemberGoodman, Robert Mrmg16@pitt.eduRMG16
Date: 26 June 2007
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 6 April 2007
Approval Date: 26 June 2007
Submission Date: 13 April 2007
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Behavioral and Community Health Sciences
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: adolescents; health career education programs; healthcare careers; program assessment; qualitative methods
Other ID:, etd-04132007-212818
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:37
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:40


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