CTAG was developed as a statewide program to help underserved, diverse, middle school and high school students achieve success in academics, and explore collegiate and career opportunities. Lima City Schools’ CTAG program pairs students with community members who mentor, motivate, and help create a pathway to success.
“It’s not an academic course. It’s based on social and emotional learning,” Elisa Bradley, prevention specialist and CTAG Coordinator at Lima City Schools, said. “We try to get in things like community service, college visits and executive thinking opportunities. Anything that is going to help them to have better experiences and make better choices throughout their young adult lives.”
Thanks to a generous corporate gift from Nutrien, a nitrogen phosphate and potash company located in Lima, Ohio, UF has partnered with Lima City Schools to host day and residential camps for CTAG students over the next three years. Director of Corporate Engagement and Individual Giving Karen George said these camps would not be possible without the financial support of Nutrien. “We are so grateful for the generosity of Nutrien,” George said. “We can’t wait to see what the future holds for these amazing young students.” Human resource advisor for Nutrien in Lima Nancy Wireman said it was important for the company to partner with the University to show the students they can receive an education locally and bring that knowledge back to benefit their community. “We have a variety of different careers at Nutrien and a lot of different positions and fields. We would love for the students to stay in our local area in Lima as they graduate and become older.”
This year, small groups rotated to five sessions of nine that were offered by the programs throughout the day. Programs that participated included: Social Work, Gerontology, and Healthcare Management; Nuclear Medicine Technology; Pharmacy; Strength and Conditioning, and Athletic Training; Nursing; Physician Assistant; Occupational Therapy; Anatomy; and Physical Therapy. During the sessions, students learned about the specific programs and participated in hands-on activities such as measuring heart rate and blood pressure, observing a human brain in the cadaver lab, learning physical therapy techniques, using a 3-D printer, using vision disturbance simulation glasses, and seeing how an ADAC Forte Nuclear Medicine Gamma Camera operates.
CTAG students enjoyed the opportunity to learn about academic programs that they might pursue when they graduate high school. “My favorite part about today was the nursing session because I want to be a BSN when I grow up and it gave me a way where I could prove myself,” student Jakhia Howard said. Fellow attendee Natalie Peterson enjoyed learning about the Pharmacy Program because she would like to be a pharmaceutical sales rep. In addition to learning about the Pharmacy Program, she had the opportunity to experience Findlay’s environment. “I think it’s a beautiful campus and it helps kids connect with the teachers easily,” Peterson said.
Bradley found the incredible day lived up to her students’ expectations. “Our students have been talking about the University of Findlay since January,” Bradley said. “It’s just a very big blessing to be able to be on campus and see what really happens in those colleges.”
The colleges’ leaders also found the camp beneficial and an excellent way to show their programs to potential students. Richard States, DHSc, dean of the College of Health Professions, said he hopes this experience allows students to gain an understanding of the variety of programs offered at Findlay. “This will give them the opportunity to explore,” States said. “Being eighth graders and as they progress through their academic careers in high school, they’ll be able to research and see which career best fits them.” Ryan Schneider, Pharm.D., Ph.D., associate professor and associate dean for operations and effectiveness for the College of Pharmacy, said working with the College of Health Professions in the CTAG event provided students with a well-rounded portfolio of academic platforms at the University. “I think that we as healthcare professionals have to work together many times and we look forward to educating our students in an interprofessional manner when they are on campus, and I think for them to see that even before they come to campus is a great opportunity,” Schneider said.
Bradley is thankful for the partnership, and hopes the camps show the students the opportunities available to them at Findlay. “It’s a beautiful campus,” she said. “It’s rich in culture and heritage. I think the students can really see themselves belonging here. I am really looking forward to building on this relationship and having students as they mature to come back onto the campus. I think that hopefully when it’s time to choose a university, I hope that they look to Findlay.”
Lisa Bradley, Ed.D., director of the Master in Health Informatics Program, organized the CTAG camp. A graduate of Lima City Schools herself, she is passionate about this program and has been involved with CTAG for over a decade. She enjoys being able to share her story about how she found success through her education. “I am thrilled to be able to help them, like someone helped me, to understand how higher education works and give them a chance to take a glimpse into what they could possibly be in the future,” she said. For future camps, she would like to include the other four colleges at the University. “My hope is that as they see and explore, they will see themselves in some profession and understand that they can achieve this through the vehicle of education,” she said.
To learn more about the CTAG camps at the University, please visit www.findlay.edu/CTAG.