Columbia, Md., Jan. 24, 2024 – Pearson (FTSE: PSON.L) and its Connections Academy, the fully online public school program serving K-12 students for more than 20 years, announced today their partnership with HOSA–Future Health Professionals, a career and technical student organization (CTSO), to connect middle and high school students to healthcare careers. Through the partnership, Connections Academy will introduce students to HOSA’s immersive experiences that will supercharge their explorations of hundreds of healthcare occupations.
Students will get hands-on experience in the healthcare industry, learn about growing opportunities in healthcare careers, as well as meet like-minded students from across the globe. HOSA students develop the skills prioritized by employers, according to Pearson’s Skills Outlook, in leadership, communication and teamwork, as well as technical skills related to specific healthcare careers.
Their experience builds self-confidence, motivation, and enthusiasm for their future in healthcare through developing a professional network from HOSA's collegiate and industry partners, alumni, and peers, and through participation in community service and the organization’s nearly 100 annual healthcare-related competitive events at the local, state and international levels.
Early exposure, as well as building durable skills and industry connections are critical for high school students interested in healthcare occupations, which are growing at 13%, through 2031, much faster than the average for all other occupations. Participation in HOSA provides an advantage for students to be prepared for the 1.8 million openings projected each year, on average, in these occupations due to employment growth and the need to replace workers who leave healthcare permanently, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
“Thirty percent of Connections Academy students begin thinking about their careers between 6th and 8th grade as compared to 16% of all students,” said Pearson Virtual Schools VP for Careers, Casey Welch. “HOSA's mission to empower students early - starting in middle school - to become global health community leaders through education, collaboration, and experience aligns perfectly with the goals of Connection Academy’s career readiness offerings to provide young people with direction, confidence, and connections to feel prepared for their next step after high school.”
With more than a quarter of a million members in 5,600 middle schools, high schools, community colleges, 4-year colleges and universities in 54 states, territories and countries, and 40,000 registered alumni, HOSA is one of the largest global student-led organizations that is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Department of Human and Health Services. Connections Academy students participating in HOSA will benefit from connections to their industry partners, including Fortune 100 healthcare companies, management consulting firms, US government, defense and humanitarian agencies, and top tier medical schools and organizations that serve millions of students and healthcare professionals (view list here).
“HOSA-Future Health Professionals is pleased to establish a partnership with Pearson and its Connections Academy schools, which share our commitment to educational excellence and fostering a mindset of lifelong learning,” said HOSA Executive Director Sarah Walters, MMCH, MSN, RN, CPNP-AC. “Through these shared values and a vision for the future, we strive to expand opportunities for students to explore health careers, build technical expertise, and develop the essential leadership skills to thrive as future health professionals.”
The partnership with HOSA is the second for Connections Academy’s expanded slate of college and career readiness offerings for middle and high school students. Launched in spring 2023, the initiatives offer an innovative new tri-credit approach where courses can deliver high school credit, industry-recognized micro-credentials, and eligibility for college credit toward over 150 U.S. bachelor’s degree programs.
Connections Academy plans to launch several HOSA chapters by the end of the 23-24 school year with the goal of expansion to Connections Academy schools nationwide in future.