Program Helps Prepare High School Students for IT Careers

MU School of Medicine

The MU School of Medicine has partnered with Columbia Public Schools' Multicultural Achievement Committee (MAC) Scholars program to bring information technology training and education to high school students. Two Columbia Public Schools students are currently enrolled in the new program.

The Student Training and Education Program in IT, or STEP IT Up, is an education and training opportunity designed to provide high school students with on-the-job IT training, education and mentorship in a real-world setting. Students will gain invaluable work experience in a professional work environment and be exposed to individuals involved in medical education, medical research and patient care while developing computer support and customer service skills.

“We want to grow our own IT expertise and simultaneously, give students a leg-up in attaining employment or continuing their education or both,” said Beth Chancellor, senior associate dean of information technology at the MU School of Medicine. “STEP IT Up prepares students to enter the workforce upon graduation. They’re able to make professional connections and learn how to navigate a complex organization. The School of Medicine has been very supportive of this program and has provided help and resources to get it off the ground.”

The MAC program is a holistic collaborative, educational support function of Columbia Public Schools. The program is designed to provide students with the necessary skills and support to achieve success academically, emotionally and socially. Increasing diversity in the IT field is an important goal for the MU School of Medicine. Participants in the MAC Scholars program are predominately underrepresented minorities, which makes STEP IT Up an ideal fit for attracting, training and retaining individuals with a range of cultural and socio-economic backgrounds.

“We anticipate our STEP IT Up program students will be selected as high school juniors or seniors,” said Kim McDonald, senior human resources consultant at the MU School of Medicine. “Step IT Up students are also eligible to continue their employment with the school after graduation, either as a part-time or full-time employee capacity.

To learn more about the STEP IT Up program, contact Beth Chancellor at chancellorb@health.missouri.edu or Kim McDonald at mcdonaldky@health.missouri.edu.

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