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Tempe High School graduate Jason Marrufo, 19, plans to become a cardiac surgeon. But he’s taking his first steps toward that career by training for a medical assistant job to help pay for college – a job in which the women in scrubs outnumber the men.
“I am going to apply to local hospitals so that I can continue my education,” he said. “EVIT is such a great place. Everyone wants to be here and is committed. It's a great step to your future.”
And as for being a man in a field dominated by women? “It just gives me more determination,” Marrufo said.
The East Valley Institute of Technology, with two centralized campuses in Mesa, provides 40 career training programs tuition-free for high school students who reside in 10 East Valley school districts. Adult programs are also offered, with financial aid available to those who qualify.
As part of its mission to provide a technically-trained workforce, EVIT encourages the enrollment of non-traditional students – those who are entering fields in which their gender comprises less than 25 percent of the workforce.
In the EVIT School of Health Sciences, male students are considered “non-trads” in all programs except Emergency Medical Technician. Health director Denise Kruckenberg attributes the lack of men in many of the health tech fields to traditional societal views that see men as doctors and women as nurses.
“Traditionally, more women went into these fields because even though they were lower income, they allowed for flexible schedules to work around time with family,” she said. “But today, these fields are attracting more men because they do provide a good living and a good pathway to more advanced health fields.”
For students who want to pursue health careers requiring four or more years of college, a health technician job not only helps pay tuition, but also allows them to work in the health-care industry while going to school. That’s a major plus for students in the EVIT School of Health Sciences, where 69 percent of students plan to work while going on to college.
EVIT’s high school health programs include: Behavior, Mental & Social Health Services; Dental Careers; Emergency Medical Technician; Anatomy & Physiology for Medical Careers; Massage Therapy; Medical Assistant; Nursing Assistant; Pharmacy Technician; Physical Therapy Technician; and Veterinary Assistant.
Female students, like Brealyn Riddle, a senior at Gilbert Public Schools’ Desert Ridge High School, are “non-trads” in the EMT program. Riddle, 18, plans to study nursing at Northern Arizona University, but will use her EMT training first to land a job.
“EVIT gives you experience that you can use when you apply for a job,” Riddle said. “It’s a head-start.”
Kayli Albertson, 17, a senior at Chandler Unified’s Perry High School, also is in the EMT program. Her mother, Kelli Albertson, said EVIT has given her daughter “the confidence to care for patients as well as the skills and the knowledge to work as an EMT.”
EVIT, she said, gives students “a great choice for numerous careers and they can come right out of high school with the skills to be successful.”
EVIT is enrolling for the 2016-17 year. Apply: evit.com/admissions
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