Community College Systems and Dartmouth Health launch pre-apprenticeship for high schoolers

  • Students The cohort of five students began their healthcare apprenticeship program in March with classroom instruction at RVCC before starting on-the-job learning at DHMC. Front row L to R: Mary Ann Gaschnig (ApprenticeshipNH), Hailey Deforge, Iris Fukushima, Jessica O’Connor (Dartmouth Health), Lynne Lagasse (instructor), Amanda Carsey. Back row: Acadia Dellinger, Morgan Sailer (RVCC), Colin Selby, Dan Osborne (RVCC). ApprenticeshipNH—Courtesy

Monitor staff
Published: 4/28/2022 5:53:50 PM
Modified: 4/28/2022 5:52:22 PM

A pilot cohort of five New Hampshire and Vermont high school students interested in careers in healthcare started a new pre-apprenticeship program in March that has them in inpatient, ambulatory, perioperative and pharmaceutical health care environments, preparing them for entry into Dartmouth Hitchcock Workforce Readiness Institute’s apprenticeship programs.

The new pre-apprenticeship program for high schoolers is run by the Community College System of New Hampshire program ApprenticeshipNH, Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center and River Valley Community College.

The program is 14 weeks long and will prepare high school seniors age 17 and older for medical assistant, pharmacy technician and surgical technologist apprenticeship programs. It involves classroom instruction at River Valley Community College in Claremont and paid, hands-on learning opportunities at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon. The high schoolers will be able to see firsthand the many roles in healthcare, including clinical, supply, infection prevention, nutrition, diagnostic, surgical and administration, to help them choose their career paths.

“We are thrilled to be part of this exciting new pre-apprenticeship program for high school students who are exploring careers in healthcare,” said Jenny Macaulay, manager of workforce strategy for Dartmouth Health. “The goal of this program is to help students make informed choices about their plans after graduation. Creating opportunities for our regional youth to enter the workforce with the skills, knowledge and readiness to succeed is at the heart of this program’s design, and supports the DHWRI’s goal of building a sustainable workforce pipeline that supports the work and mission of Dartmouth Health. This new program offers young people the opportunity to explore healthcare careers while they learn and earn, prepares them to continue employment within Dartmouth Health and to pursue advanced training and education.”

The first five students will complete the program on June 24 with a ceremony where they will be recognized with a certificate of completion and given an opportunity to interview with the Dartmouth Hitchcock Workforce Readiness Institute apprenticeship programs.

In Registered Apprenticeship programs, apprentices learn and develop job skills through on-the-job training under the guidance of mentors. They’re considered employees from day one, using an “earn while you learn” model. The idea behind it is that apprentices will become part of an employer’s culture and encourage employee retention.

“This new pre-apprenticeship program provides an excellent opportunity for high school students to jump-start their careers in healthcare,” said Mary Ann Gaschnig, CCSNH’s high school apprentice and business outreach specialist. “The program provides a unique opportunity for pre-apprentices to play a vital role in supporting the clinical and operational functions at DHMC, while learning as they go. Now more than ever, we need a talented pool of healthcare professionals to meet the critical workforce needs in New Hampshire.”


Eileen O

Eileen O'Grady is a Report for America corps member covering education for the Concord Monitor since spring 2020. O’Grady is the former managing editor of Scope magazine at Northeastern University in Boston, where she reported on social justice issues, community activism, local politics and the COVID-19 pandemic. She is a native Vermonter and worked as a reporter covering local politics for the Shelburne News and the Citizen. Her work has also appeared in The Boston Globe, U.S. News & World Report, The Bay State Banner, and VTDigger. She has a master’s degree in journalism from Northeastern University and a bachelor’s degree in politics and French from Mount Holyoke College, where she served as news editor for the Mount Holyoke News from 2017-2018.



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