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Partnership Brings Health Sciences To New Wake High School

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Some rising Wake County 9th graders will get a big headstart in a health career. Between 50 and 100 of them will enroll this fall in a program called the Wake Early College of Health and Sciences. It's the result of a partnership between WakeMed, Wake Technical Community College and Wake County Schools.

Normally, the labs and classrooms in the Wake Tech facilities behind WakeMed are filled with health sciences college students. But this fall, high school students will share the space. It's a 5-year program that could lead to an associate degree or free transferable college credit.

"This school is part of our continuing effort to make our high schools more personalized, more challenging and more alligned to real world experiences", said Bill McNeal, Superintendent for the Wake County Public School System.

WakeMed provides clinical instructors and hands on learning opportunities. Students will be exposed to such fields as nursing, dental hygiene and medical lab technology. The experience could prepare them for up to 700 different jobs in the health care industry. Some students may continue on to medical or dental school.

"That's exactly what this program was designed to do. Bring along people who can learn at a very early age with a love of the industry and then be given the very best education at the soonest time possible", said Bill Atkinson, President and CEO of WakeMed Health Care.

Full enrollment will eventually be no more than 400 students. Rising 8th graders can begin the application process now for the fall of 2007. McNeal admits it will be a difficult selection process that will leave many deserving students out.

Interested families are invited to an open house in the Wake Tech Health Sciences building on Monday from 7-9 p.m. It's on the corner of

Sunnybrook Road and Holston Lane

behind WakeMed.


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