Student Experiences in Health Care

Dental Students


A great way to explore whether an academic and career path is a good fit for you is to find opportunities to get real world experience early on in your journey. Below are some options in Central Oregon for students to get first-hand experience in health care careers.

COCC Opportunities

COCC Health Careers Outreach Coordinator

Jill Ridling is available to talk with students about careers in health care as well as health care programs at COCC and beyond:

COCC Health Careers Expo

Friday, May 5th 2023

Bend Campus

10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. (Registration & Welcome at 9:30 a.m.

Learn about the many health career programs at COCC by taking mini-classes taught by our faculty, doing hands-on activities, and touring the health careers center on the Bend campus. For all current high school students interested in learning more about careers in the health care field.

Event Information & Registration

Health Careers Expo

Additional Opportunities

  • High School Health Occupations Programs
    Many high schools offer a Health Occupations program in partnership with St. Charles Medical Center and Cascades East Area Health Education Center.  Students have the opportunity to job shadow many careers in health care in their community. Talk to your high school counselor or career center to find out if this program is offered at your school.

    Cascades East Area Health Education Center
  • Youth Career Connect Internships
    Interested in an internship?

    Youth Career Connect is a local organization that helps students find internships throughout Central Oregon.
  • MedStars Summer Program

    MedStars is a week-long residence camp for diverse and underserved high school students in the Cascades East region. MedStars will host high school students entering their senior year. The camp is hosted on the COCC campus.

    Students will engage with and explore the vast career opportunities available in health care. MedStars inspires and nurtures students’ curiosity to learn about the intricate health care systems through various hands-on activities, learning simulations, daily career speakers and lecture series. Students will leave with a better understanding of health care, and the skills required to succeed in a competitive field.

    See Cascades East Area Health Education Program for more information
  • Certified Nursing Assistant Training
    Becoming a CNA is an excellent way to get experience in health care in both long term care centers and hospitals.  Working as a CNA gives you the opportunity to see if health care is a good fit for you, observe diverse health care professionals in their jobs, gain health care skills, and develop your resume for college and job applications.

    Here are some options for CNA training:

    COCC CNA class (9 credits, 10 weeks) - Students need to be 18 years old prior to start of clinicals.

    Ridgeview High School CNA class (only available to Ridgeview students - talk to a Ridgeview school counselor for more information).

    St. Charles CNA Training and Employment (must be 18 years old)

    Regency Pacific CNA Training and Employment (must be 16 years old). Contact Cindy Bene for more information: