High school seniors in Ingham County looking to get a leg up into the world of physical therapy have a unique opportunity, thanks to instructor Daryn Baker and the Wilson Talent Center.
Located inside the Ingham Intermediate School District, in Mason, the Therapeutic Services course and lab is offered to students as a career and technical education program.
This is a brand-new second-year option for seniors who have successfully taken health foundations as a junior.
“It looks like a physical therapy clinic and the kids really like it,” he said. “I’ve been part of this project since it was in a development phase; it was like a blueprint drawing then. Now it’s reality. I worked in that environment for 25 years and made the lab look like it is a professional clinic. We’re very pleased with how it’s turned out.”
The lab is fully functional. There are half racks, dumbbell racks, taping tables, stationary bikes, treadmills, elliptical machines and more.
Baker said class prepares students to take the ACSM Certified Personal Trainer exam at the completion of the school year to promote employability upon graduating.
The course, and lab, are designed to provide students with educational opportunities specifically targeting future careers in athletic training, cardiac rehabilitation, occupational therapy, physical therapy, respiratory therapy, and the exercise sciences.
There are 12 public school districts in Ingham County as part of the ISD. Students from Fowlerville, in Livingston County, may also have access. Students interested in taking this course should talk to their counselors.
“This is a great hands-on experience and looks impressive on a resume,” Baker said. “It bridges that gap between high school and college, giving students a chance to find out if it’s something they want to do before they commit to a college program. We’re fortunate to have a resource like this and we’re hoping to grow it.”