High School Biology/Life Science Teachers' Presentation of Genetic Counseling and Health Care Career Options in Their Classrooms

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Studies show teachers play an influential role in the career decision-making process of students and early knowledge of genetic counseling (GC) increases the likelihood students will consider this career option. This quantitative study is the first to explore the presentation of GC and other health care career options by high school (HS) biology/life science (B/LS) teachers in their classrooms. Our findings indicate most B/LS teachers present GC as a career option to HS students, agree it complements classroom activities, and perceive students as interested in learning about the profession. However, teachers note many barriers to spending class time presenting GC careers. Consequently, a substantial number of teachers spent a minimal amount of time presenting health care careers in general. We discuss ways genetic counselors can enhance career resources, reduce barriers, and foster student interest in pursuing a career in GC by developing partnerships with HS B/LS teachers.

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