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WMU-Southwest partnership wins state honor

March 1, 2006

KALAMAZOO--A 4-year-old partnership that involves WMU-Southwest, Lakeland Regional Health System, Lake Michigan College and the Berrien County Intermediate School District has earned a state award.

The consortium's Professional Health Careers Academy received a 2006 Excellence in Practice Award from Michigan's Office of Career and Technical Preparations during a Jan. 31 ceremony. The PHCA also received an Education Excellence Award from the Michigan Association of School Boards this past May.

The PHCA gives high school juniors and seniors who demonstrate a career interest in health services an opportunity to gain knowledge and hands-on experience in the field by working side by side with health care professionals. It will now be used as a national pilot model for similar programs across the nation.

The Excellence in Practice Award is bestowed annually to programs that exhibit high standards of excellence in preparing Michigan students for higher education and careers. Students enrolled in the PHCA program take a course at the WMU-Southwest campus. Students who successfully complete the program earn up to 13.5 college credits that will be honored at either WMU or Lake Michigan College.

WMU-Southwest, which serves Berrien, Cass and Van Buren counties, is located at the entrance of Lake Michigan College's campus on Napier Avenue in Benton Harbor. WMU's South Haven site is located on the LMC campus in South Haven.

For more information, contact Dr. Leonard Seawood, WMU-Southwest director, at leonard.seawood@wmich.edu or (269) 934-1500.

Media contact: Jeanne Baron, (269) 387-8400, jeanne.baron@wmich.edu

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