Charleston Co. schools mark National Career, Technical Education Month

The Charleston County School District is recognizing its biomedical sciences program at the West Ashley Center for Advanced Studies.
Published: Feb. 13, 2023 at 6:03 AM EST
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - February is National Career and Technical Education Month and to celebrate, the Charleston County School District is recognizing various programs across the district.

This week, the district is recognizing the biomedical sciences program at the West Ashley Center for Advanced Studies. The Biomedical Sciences Pathway at the West Ashley Center for Advanced Studies is a medical program for students that are interested in going into healthcare.

Teacher Erica Wolfsen said the program offers students hands-on healthcare experience. There are three different levels of the class: principles of biomedical sciences, human body systems and medical interventions.

In the first level, students analyze a staged crime scene, learn how to take blood pressure and read labs, and work through an emergency response scenario.

In the second level, students learn about human body systems, including anatomy and dissections. The third level focuses on medical interventions, disease outbreaks and microbiology labs.

“These classes are so different from what students are doing in their other classes. In these classes they’re getting to do these hands-on activities, and it’s stuff that they select to do, so it’s something that actually interests them,” Wolfsen said. “They’re solving a potential crime scene, and they’re doing dissections, and they’re growing things in the laboratory, and learning all these technical skills. Whereas otherwise they would just be reading about them, or doing them virtually or not at all.”

Students in Wolfsen’s class said after taking the class, they have a better idea of what they want to do post-graduation.

“First coming into this class I didn’t know what I wanted to do, I just saw the name and was like ‘ooh that looks kind of interesting, it looks cool,’” student Ashlyn Malloy said. “So I took the class and I am really interested, I really enjoy the material that we do, the type of work that we do. So I think even if you don’t exactly know what you want to do yet, taking that leap into a class like this can really help you figure out what you want.” 

This is the biomedical sciences program’s second year at the West Ashley Center for Advanced Studies and Wolfsen said the program continues to grow with more students joining each year.

Moving forward, she said she hopes to add more field trips to the program, and is excited to see where it goes.