Education - Page 2 - The future looks bright

- Page 2
The future looks bright
From horses to information technology, students eye career paths

By Elizabeth Schuman, Contributing Writer

As a third-grader, Rachel Stockslager took her first horse riding lesson. She’s never looked back. The New Freedom, Pennsylvania native rode throughout school, garnering wins and reinforcing her love for the sport.“We were not a horse family. We didn’t have horses, but I loved to ride and still do,” she says.

Considering a career in the sciences and unable to imagine her future without horses, she focused her college search on schools with strong science programs and riding. When she heard about Goucher College, she found her match.

Horses are part of Goucher’s history. With 26 horses on campus, the school’s nationally-ranked riding program traces its founding 100 years ago, making it the oldest club on campus. In 2017, the college initiated an equine studies minor. The program combines horse biology, small business management and field experience.

Completing her sophomore year, Stockslager, a biology major with an equine studies minor, is a member of the riding team, in the novice division. She’s completing an internship with the school’s veterinarian. “I’m in the barns, the clinic and I go on visits with her. It’s a great chance to observe what she does.”

Set on becoming an equine chiropractor, she is weighing her options between taking a gap year after college or immediately entering a veterinary medicine program. “No matter what path I take, horses will always be a lifelong passion.”

Goucher is in good company in Maryland. Horses are a $1.3 billion dollar industry in the state, making the college’s two-year-old equine studies program a logical addition. “We recognize that equine studies is not just about people working with horses, it’s also about business,” says Stephanie Coldren, associate vice president, marketing and communications.“Students learn from experts in industry and do not need to leave campus because the resources are here. They study business and management, recognizing there are ways to be involved in the field beyond riding.” Goucher is also planning to add an equine studies major.

Solidifying Goucher’s role in the horse industry, the Maryland Horse Breeders Association relocated its Timonium offices to Goucher in January 2017. The partnership will add programs, provide adult education, offer riding clinics and invite equestrian professionals on campus.

As part of the college’s overall capital campaign, the partnership supports the development of an 18-acre intercollegiate equestrian center that will offer a museum and library. Plans for the expanded equestrian facilities include a new 32-stall barn, classroom space; expanded riding rings with enclosed and open viewing areas, an enclosed observation room, an additional classroom and trophy room, a pavilion, and a participant holding area.

In a prepared statement, Jen Smith, director of Goucher’s equestrian program, says: “The industry opportunities and connections MHBA can provide equine studies students at Goucher is invaluable. We are looking forward to a dynamic new facility, and the effects of all of these changes on recruitment, as we emerge as a hub for equestrianism in Maryland.”

Improving the health of patients in neighborhoods and across the globe is the focus at the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, with degrees encompassing the Master of Science in nursing – an entry into the nursing profession for individuals with a bachelor’s degree, Master of Science in nursing degrees in health systems management, business and public health and doctoral programs for advanced practice, management and research.

Across the nursing discipline, there is a commitment to addressing health disparities and improving access to health care, says Patricia Davidson, Ph.D., M.Ed., R.N., F.A.A.N., dean. “Our students learn about the social determinants of health. They visit Baltimore neighborhoods and talk to the community leaders.” Nursing students also participate in community outreach through the Lillian D. Wald Community Nursing Center, which provides free health services in East Baltimore and was the university’s first nurse-managed center.

With 1,200 students from across the country and 50 countries, the nationally-ranked JHU School of Nursing recruits students who are enthusiastic and eager to progress in their careers, she says. “Nursing is committed to lifelong learning. Our success is based on using evidence-based care to use and interpret research for better health outcomes.”

The school emphasizes interprofessional education. “It’s hard to work together if we don’t learn together. We foster learning among nursing, medicine and pharmacy.” By working directly in the community and learning with other medical professionals, graduates of the program will be better prepared to take on leadership positions in nursing practice, academics and management, she believes.

Davidson has witnessed seismic changes in the profession. “The vision of nursing is that it needs to be embedded into the community,” she says. “As health inequities increase, the nursing professional’s role in advocacy will also become increasingly important.

“Nursing is consistently voted as one of the most trusted professions. We are the voices for the rights of the patients.”Looking at today’s students, Davidson is inspired. “Our students are hardworking, committed individuals who care about the individual, the family and the community.”

For adults who are unemployed or underemployed, a community college offers skills for workplace readiness. A 2018 partnership between Harford Community College and the Susquehanna Workforce Network (SWN) did just that. SWN received an IT/Cyber Grant from the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation,

Knowledge, continued on page 6

Established industries need professionals

While it’s a robust job market for jobseekers, as always, having the right skills and looking in the right place enhances any job search, and statistics about economic impact and number of professionals can sweeten the search.

The American Horse Council 2018 Economic Impact Study says the state’s horse industry has an economic impact of $1.3 billion, supporting more than 21,000 jobs. Per square mile, it has more horses than any other state, with more than 101,000 horses. The report noted that the three main sectors of the horse industry: recreation, competition and racing is complemented by other benefits the industry offers to Maryland. These aspects include land preservation, volunteerism, equine therapy and rehoming and education at area schools.

In health care, hospitals alone are among the state’s largest employers, directly employing 104,000 people and supporting 113,000 related jobs, with an annual economic impact of $32 billion, reported the Maryland Hospital Association. Further, the Maryland Board of Nursing notes that there are more than 81,000 registered nurses in Maryland. Still, shortages exist and will continue. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the nursing workforce to grow from 2.7 million in 2014 to 3.2 million in 2024, an increase of 439,300 or 16 percent. The Bureau also projects the need for 649,100 replacement nurses in the workforce bringing the total number of job openings for nurses due to growth and replacements to 1.09 million by 2024.

With cybersecurity front and center for government, industry and the consumer, information technology jobs will continue to surge. According to the Bureau, the rate of growth for jobs in information security is projected at 37 percent increase through 2022. The Maryland Department of Commerce ranks Maryland first in the percentage of residents with bachelor’s degrees in computers, mathematics and statistics and has the highest concentration of STEM professionals among the states. Still, there aren’t enough skilled workers: At the start of 2018, there were an estimated half million cybersecurity jobs unfilled in the U.S. alone. •