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The UPMC Center for Engagement and Inclusion has developed a number of career awareness programs to increase interest in health care careers among students across western Pennsylvania.

In addition, we partner on programs that promote academic achievement in reading, writing, and science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

To help prepare students for health care careers prior to graduation, we work with each UPMC hospital, facility, and division to create opportunities to explore the world of health care through:

  • Job shadow opportunities
  • Health care career presentations and fairs
  • Career fairs
  • Mentoring
  • Mock interviews
  • On-site work experiences

Together with our educational partners, we are building the health care workforce of tomorrow, today.

Health Exploration Series for Grades K-12

The K-12 Health Exploration Series includes interactive, age-appropriate activities focused on the importance of education in the STEM curriculum, along with dignity, respect, and healthy living.

In schools across western Pennsylvania, health care professionals conduct Dignity & Respect initiatives, along with special appearances from our Dignity & Respect Campaign mascot, Diggy MD.

See the "Diggy MD" music video.

Pittsburgh Public Schools Health Sciences Program

The Pittsburgh Public Schools Health Sciences Program builds on UPMC’s $100 million Pittsburgh Promise scholarship commitment.

We work closely with Pittsburgh Public Schools to encourage sixth through eighth grade students to consider and prepare for the many health sciences career options, prior to entering high school.

  • Sixth Grade Health Science Career Fair: This UPMC career awareness program offers every Pittsburgh Public School sixth grade student a mild introduction to health careers. Annually, nearly 1,000 students participate in career exploration activities presented by health care professionals during the two-day fair.
  • Seventh Grade SciTech Days at the Carnegie Science Center: This activity links classroom learning to the real world. It allows students to explore a multitude of STEM-related careers through interactive displays from a variety of industry representatives. Over 900 seventh grade students are exposed to health science careers with an emphasis on the importance of STEM curriculum.
  • Eighth Grade Make Me Whole – Body, Mind & Soul: This initiative introduces healthy lifestyle options for today’s youth that focus on awareness, prevention, fitness, and nutrition.

Allegheny Intermediate Unit (AIU) Nursing and Health Care Apprenticeship Program

AIU Nursing and Health Care Apprenticeship Program is a collaborative effort between the AIU and UPMC.

The five-month program exposes high school students to many diverse and dynamic careers in a highly academic, research-oriented health care setting.

Students receive hands-on experience from health care professionals in clinical and allied health fields.

In addition, the apprenticeship gives students the opportunity to make one-on-one connections with health professionals.

This program is open to all high school students in Allegheny County. Application materials are distributed to high school coordinators.

School 2 Career (S2C) Program of the Oakland Planning and Development Corp. (OPDC)

The OPDC's S2C program engages high school students in a variety of career-related activities at UPMC facilities.

During the summer, students new to the program participate in a six-week orientation session, career educational presentations, and UPMC tours. Returning students have the opportunity to interview for a mentored work experience at a UPMC facility.

During the school year, students participate in interactive health career activities and have the opportunity to network with a variety of health care professionals.

Smart Futures PA eMentoring - Online Career Mentoring for High School Students

Smart Futures PA eMentoring gives UPMC employees opportunities to promote academic achievement and create health care career awareness through this 10- to 12-week online mentoring program.

PA eMentoring:

  • Provides students with an online career mentor within their classroom.
  • Offers working and retired adults, parents, and mature college students a fun, easy, and flexible alternative to traditional face-to-face mentoring. eMentors communicate with students through e-mail and use online curriculum help to create individual college and career plans for each mentee.
  • Allows employers to establish meaningful connections with youth. UPMC has nearly 200 eMentors across western Pennsylvania.
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