• The MCVTS – AAHBS Capstone Project gives high school students an internship experience in the fields of Health Care or Ecology. The project is part of the senior Biomedical Innovations
    Course which allows students to investigate and research new innovations in the medical and environmental fields. As part of the course they are required to complete a Capstone Project.
    This project involves a shadowing internship experience during their second, third, and fourth marking periods. It also requires the students to complete a research project in the field of their chosen mentor. The students must defend their proposal at the end of the second marking period to a panel of independent judges from neighboring universities and research firms. The project is then conducted under the guidance of their instructor and the mentor or the mentor’s designee. In several past projects, the students were required to and did indeed obtain IRB approval (usually in the form of a fast track IRB approval).

    During the internship, it is expected that the students will not only shadow the mentor/mentor designee but also that they will be allowed to assist in the mentor’s facility with basic tasks assigned to them by the mentor; for example they may be assigned to take vital signs or to file paperwork, etc. The student will have completed the 10 hour online OSHA safety course before attending the mentorship.

    As mentioned above, while this is a shadowing experience, it does require that the student(s) be permitted to query the mentor’s clients about the topic they will be researching. This usually involves the students designing a questionnaire and choosing tasks for the client to complete, under the guidance of the Capstone Instructor and the student's mentor. For example (and based on the facility type), these tasks may involve the clients having their blood pressure taken post exercise or having the clients do minor tasks such as completing online puzzles while listening to different music genres. The students also design an informed consent, if required by the mentor. All questionnaires and data results are kept anonymous and confidential. Before interacting with the clients to obtain research data, the students must first present their research proposal to and obtain approval to do the project from the school’s review board, which often has a Rutgers research coordinator present. This is done in early January and once approved, the students can begin to do the research portion of their project in addition to continuing to perform tasks assigned to them by the mentor. At the end of the school year, the students will present their findings during a poster presentation, again to a panel of independent outside judges.

    This Capstone Program provides students with both clinical and research experience that approach the level of similar experiences they will have as they attend college and pursue a health care related career. To check on the student’s progress during the mentorship, Capstone Coordinators / Advisors will be checking in with the mentors / mentor designees to gauge the student’s progress and overall mentor satisfaction.