Health Careers Pipeline Program

The Health Careers Pipeline Program represents a partnership with the Western Regional Area Health Education Center (housed in the WMU College of Health and Human Services), along with Spectrum Health and the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine. The program is directed at high school students from underrepresented and minority population groups, with the ultimate goal of increasing the number of highly qualified health care professionals from those groups.

HCPP is a seven week mentorship program, centered on health career exploration, college readiness and leadership development, for underrepresented and minority ninth and tenth grade high school students from urban and rural communities in the West-Michigan region.

Each cohort will include 25 high school students from underserved rural and urban school  and 25 undergraduate mentors from health and human service programs at Western Michigan University and Grand Valley State University.

Students and mentors will meet for 90 minutes, weekly for seven weeks. Meetings will cover a variety of topics meant to introduce health careers to students, while allowing college mentors to discuss their own experiences as students working toward those careers. 

The program will be delivered in virtual fashion due to the COVID-19 Pandemic for the first offering with plans to transition to in-person for future cohorts. 

Participating high schools include:

  • Grand Rapids Public Schools: Innovation Central and Ottawa Hills
  • Newaygo County Public High Schools: Hisperia and White Cloud

Become a mentor

Are you a WMU student interested in becoming a HCPP mentor? Activities in the program are meant to foster personal growth, college readiness and leadership characteristics. Click below to fill out the application.


2021 schedule

All sessions are on Monday evenings from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

  • February 15 - Program Launch Overview with Introduction Activities
    Personal Characteristic: CURIOSITY

  • February 22 - Current & Emerging Health Topics
    Personal Characteristic: GRIT

  • March 1 - Responding to Life Threatening Conditions
    Personal Characteristic: OPTIMISM  

  • March 8 - Health Career Exploration - Speed Dating Style
    Personal Characteristic: SELF CONTROL

  • March 15 - Simulation Lab and Anatomage Table
    Personal Characteristic: GRATITUDE

  • March 22 - Success after High School: Where do I go from here?
    Personal Characteristic: SOCIAL INTELLIGENCE

  • March 29 - Pathway Into the Horizon with Student Presentations
    Personal Characteristic: ZEST

Multi-organization collaboration

  • Western Regional AHEC (Housed in the WMU College of Health and Human Services) provides logistical planning, coordination, execution and longitudinal tracking of the program and its participants. 

  • Spectrum Health provides brand recognition and financial support this program - $10,000 annually for five years beginning in fall 2020.

  • Michigan State University College of Human Medicine provides medical students to assist with curriculum development. Medical students receive service learning credit for their participation. 

HCPP Mission and Vision

  • The Health Careers Pipeline Program will empower West Michigan area high school students with opportunities to pursue careers in the health and human service professions through exposure to health career options, health and wellness education, and a relationship with a WMU student mentor.

  • Students participate in hands-on experiences that are engaging and enriching and that foster personal growth and leadership qualities.

  • The HCPP will help students develop confidence and a support system for their journey into post-secondary education and beyond.