Careers in health care begin at EVIT

Careers in health care begin at EVIT
Posted on 03/29/2023
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Interested in a health career?

Every morning and afternoon, hundreds of students in scrubs rush to catch their buses at the East Valley Institute of Technology. If you didn’t know you were at a school, you might think you were at medical facility.

At EVIT’s Main and Power campuses, high school students and adults from across the East Valley are taking their first steps toward careers in the health care field. Through instruction from teachers who have worked in health care, simulation labs and externships, they are learning the skills it takes to be nurses, certified medical assistants, dental assistants, massage therapists, surgical technologists – and much more.

“Most traditional high school students do not have much real-world training or hands-on experience, such as a work-based internship or simulated real-world application, when entering the workforce,” said EVIT program director Jennifer Schwartz. “Learning how to perform a procedure is good preparation, but applying the knowledge to a hands-on application is the key ingredient in career prep … We provide our students a competitive advantage to get ahead in their occupational and educational journey.”

EVIT provides career training in over 40 different occupational programs at two central campuses in Mesa and a branch campus at Apache Junction High School. EVIT training is tuition-free for East Valley high school students, including eight health-care programs: Dental Assistant, Emergency Medical Technician, Massage Therapy, Medical Assistant, Mental and Social Health Technician, Nursing Assistant, Pharmacy Technician, and Physical Therapy Technician. The Power Campus also offers a Veterinary Assistant program.  For a complete list of EVIT’s high school programs, visit:

Adults pay tuition, but financial aid is available in some programs for those who qualify. There are also opportunities for high school seniors graduating this spring to attend EVIT next year tuition-free as adult students. Adults may enroll in high school programs if space is available or in any of 12 adult-only programs, including six health-care programs: Emergency Medical Technician, Massage Therapy, Nursing Assistant, Practical Nursing, Sterile Processing Technician and Surgical Technologist. For a complete list of EVIT’s adult programs, visit:

Most programs culminate in an industry certification or the ability to apply for an industry license upon completion of the program, Schwartz said. These credentials verify to employers that the student has mastered the skills required for the job.

After completing the Medical Assistant program in 2019 and earning her Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) credential, Rochelle Demarest went on to work at a pediatrics office while taking college classes.

“It was while I was studying at EVIT that I fell in love with health care and wanted to continue in the field,” said Demarest, who attended EVIT as an adult student.

Most EVIT health programs also include the opportunity to earn college credit through dual enrollment and other partnerships. Pima Medical Institute offers a fast-track option for students in several EVIT health programs to earn their associate degree. Coming soon, EVIT will also be offering associate degrees.

Thirteen years ago, Dr. Whitney McGinn, doctor of physical therapy for the Barrow Neurological Institute at the Muhammad Ali Movement Disorders Center in Phoenix, began her health career pathway at EVIT in the Massage Therapy program.

“EVIT opened the first of many doors that eventually led me to receive my doctoral degree,” she said. “EVIT is an extraordinary opportunity to discover what interests you.”

In 2022 surveys, 95% of students said they would recommend EVIT to a friend and 98% of parents said they would recommend EVIT to other families.

Applications for 2023-24 are being accepted. Start the process at