Avondale Students Learn More than Science from “Near-Peers”

Oakland University med students bring timely experiences into the classroom

Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine (OUWB) students were on hand last week to work with Avondale High School students during a lesson about infectious disease. The college visit was arranged through the Avondale/Oakland University partnership and presents opportunity for high school students to learn from a group of “near-peers.” This is the second year Avondale High School teacher Noelle Collis has brought the college group into her classroom. She works closely with university staff to determine what material will be taught during class and what teaching method would be best for her students. “The content is the same content that I would cover with the students and the teaching method is something we develop as a team, so the real impact of involving the college students is the perspective they bring to their interactions with our students.”

Avondale High Student and Oakland University student work on research project

Avondale High Student and Oakland University student work on research project

It’s a perspective that goes beyond the science as the college students have the chance to tell their story and give advice to the younger students. Evan Palamara, is a non-traditional college student in his second year in the medical school. He sees coming to the high school as a chance to help students not only with science but also by sharing his experiences as he traveled his journey to Oakland University. “I didn’t take the usual path to college,” Palamara shared, “I wasn’t a great student in high school and when I got to college I had some ground to make up. By telling my story I hope that any of these student who may be struggling can see that if they want to go to college they still can – it’s all possible.”

Collis appreciates the opportunity for her student to connect with the OUWB students. “Because they are going through what our students will be going through in a year or two, they bring a measure of accuracy to any discussions about what college is like or in answering questions about career paths. Their experiences are fresh and topical and relevant. In the informal setting of working on a project or lesson with time to converse, the exchange of information is natural and well-received by our students.”

OUWB students will be in Avondale School District classrooms throughout the year working with students in Kindergarten through 12th grade on lessons related to health and medicine. At the high school level, the will continue to assist teaching in the area of immunology and infectious disease. For elementary-aged Avondale School District students, they will provide lessons on issues including nutrition, physical fitness, personal health, safety, and even social and emotional well-being.

About Rochester Media

Rochester Media publishes The Community Edge digital newsletter of recently posted articles from Rochester Media, a hyper-local news outlet covering all things in and around Rochester, Rochester Hills, and Oakland Township. Send us you press releases and news happenings to editor@rochestermedia.com.

Speak Your Mind