by Mike Glover, Superintendent, CAVIT
Central Arizona Valley Institute of Technology (CAVIT) provides career and technical training to students in grades 11-12 from 12 area high schools. The training is held on our central campus, located in Coolidge. CAVIT created student-run wellness clinics, as teachers were looking for an educational avenue for all students to apply their technical skills in an authentic workplace environment. After much hard work by both students and teachers alike, along with industry partner input, CAVIT opened up the following wellness clinics to community residents: veterinary, dental, massage, cosmetology and medical.
Upon entering our campus, you can immediately sense there is a purpose to every person’s step. Picture walking into the massage clinic and observing teenage students giving various types of massages to community members. They are dressed professionally in scrubs, and the clinic looks, feels, smells and sounds like a day spa. Community members with leashed dogs and/or carrying cats in carriers enter the animal clinic, where a full array of services is offered by students. Cosmetology students run a hair salon, and do everything from booking and making appointments to performing salon services, such as cuts, perms and colors.
The idea of getting a massage or taking a pet in for a service is often one of the first things cut out of an already tight personal budget. Receiving the same services for free or for a nominal fee and knowing you are assisting in the education of a CAVIT student is definitely a positive incentive for the communities we serve. The goals of CAVIT’s student-run clinics are: 1. To provide community wellness activities to meet participants’ mental, physical and social needs. 2. To build a working relationship between CAVIT and our communities to enhance the well-being of area residents and their pets. 3. To provide students an avenue to apply their technical skills in a real-world setting to help prepare them for employment and/or continued postsecondary career education.
Our teachers have created opportunities for students to be mentored alongside dentists, veterinarians and physician assistants, along with other industry professionals who assist in clinics. Our students are in control of their own destinies. They manage their actions (applying knowledge and skills) to master the expected outcome demanded by industry and community clients alike. This student-centered instructional approach is at a higher level, which motivates students to achieve goals above their expectations. It is this gainful pride that helps us achieve individual student success.
Everything we do in our clinics is grounded upon inquiry-based instruction, rich with authentic learning experiences that replicate what is found in industry. Students design the look and feel of their clinic; they inventory and order the necessary materials; they use industry scheduling software to book appointments; and they practice excellent communication skills in answering the clinic phones, taking messages, making appointments and conducting follow-up or appointment-reminder phone calls. Students must use customer service skills in greeting clients. They must take patient histories by using industry-approved patient notes and maintain client files. Of course, students perform the actual clinic skills as well: conducting animal examinations and cholesterol tests, doing mud wraps and much more. The addition of a real client serves to motivate our students, who already have high expectations for themselves, to an even higher degree of success in technical skills.
The high quality of our clinics has helped CAVIT earn: the A+ School of Excellence, A+ Exemplary Program Award, Golden Bell Achievement Award and Arizona Outstanding Career and Technical Education Program of the Year Award three times (massage, medical and veterinary).
At CAVIT, we believe every student deserves the opportunity and support to achieve his or her dreams. Our students are a fascinating montage of motivated individuals who accept responsibility for their own learning. Our students realize the opportunities of their chosen career fields as they put into practice relevant technical skills in real-life settings or scenarios. The focus is on the student.
We invite you to contact CAVIT soon and book a clinic experience! Look us up at cavitschools.org, call us at 520-423-1944 or find us on Facebook.