Nationwide Children’s Hospital has been awarded the 2007 Cooperative Education Newcomer of the Year Award by Wilberforce University, Xenia, Ohio. The staff of the Wilberforce University Office of Cooperative Education and Professional Studies annually honors organizations which have significantly supported the University in achieving its goal of providing meaningful cooperative education experiences for its students. Wilberforce is the first Historical College and Black University (HBCU) in the U.S.
Wilberforce University was selected to participate in Nationwide Children’s 2007 Summer Externship and Research in Children’s Heart Center (S.E.A.R.C.H) Program, designed to offer a minority student the opportunity to work closely with Heart Center physicians and participate in research projects. According to Timothy Feltes, MD, co-director of Nationwide Children’s Hospital Heart Center, “Our S.E.A.R.C.H. program enriches our educational mission through partnership with Wilberforce educators and provides us the opportunity to interact with the health care providers of tomorrow.”
Wilberforce student Henry Ibitokun, a senior Biology/Pre-Med major, was selected for this pilot program based on his grade point average, recommendation letters and his career goals essay. “My six weeks experience at Nationwide Children’s Hospital is one that enlightened me on what the medical field is about with emphasis on cardiology,” Ibitokun said. “In all, the experience was a life changing experience and one that I will always cherish for the rest of my life.” He received a stipend along with housing during the six week program. The S.E.A.R.C.H. Program will be expanded to Ambulatory Medicine and Research in 2008.
Nationwide Children’s Hospital’s Division of Workforce Development provides training and development to the hospital’s employees through the “Grow Our Own” Program by assisting hundreds of employees in fulfilling their academic and professional goals through higher education support, in-house training and career development advising. In addition, the Division of Workforce Development assists the Human Resources Department in increasing the diversity of staff within the organization. To that end, Nationwide Children’s began working with the director of Cooperative Education and Professional Studies at Wilberforce, Hardy Brown II, two years ago.
The hospital has participated in Wilberforce University’s career fairs to recruit students for internships and employment. Staff from Nationwide Children’s Division of Workforce Development also conducted presentations to students on the proper way to interview for jobs and position themselves to an employer for future employment opportunities. Additionally Children’s has enjoyed a long and fruitful relationship with Wilberforce University through the Education Department’s student shadowing program that exposes students to health care careers as they spend time with medical professionals.