Schools create health field pathway

NEW ORLEANS — Leaders from Delgado Community College and the University of New Orleans signed an articulation agreement Monday that will clear the pathway for students pursuing careers in allied health fields to easily transfer credits from the two-year college to the four-year university.

The partnership between the two schools is strong and strengthening, said UNO President Peter Fos and Delgado Chancellor Monty Sullivan, both of whom were present at the signing ceremony.

“Delgado Community College has a proud history of providing a high-quality health care workforce for the Greater New Orleans region. Today, we take yet another step in broadening our relationship with the University of New Orleans, setting out a clear path for the thousands of Delgado Community College Allied Health graduates to extend their education as they seek to move into management roles in health care,” Sullivan said.

Key components of their discussion also look at economic development and how to make the community better, Sullivan said, focusing on “meeting an industry need that has been well documented and researched.”

When looking to attract investors and a workforce, Fos stressed the importance of the availability and quality of higher educational opportunities.

Fos and Sullivan said they think the formalized agreement helps both schools attract as well as retain students. Whatever the focus of study in a range of 12 allied health programs offered at Delgado, from funeral service education and radiation therapy to dietetics technician and a veterinary technology program, students wishing to pursue a four-year degree will have a seamless transition to the next step and won’t have to go far to do it.

Formalizing the agreement also serves as a model, Fos said, for the schools to work together on agreements in other areas of study, including engineering and teacher education. The schools already share agreements in the fields of hospitality and tourism and business administration.

With the construction of the new multibillion-dollar medical center in lower Mid-City, the opportunities for students in the allied health field in New Orleans are wide open, Fos noted. “Innovative and collaborative programs and partnerships among community colleges, universities, local hospitals and other health care entities can help address the challenge to increase the numbers of highly trained, ethical, quality health care professionals,” Fos said.