Opportunities for Students Pursuing Health Care Programs

Manchester, CT - (December 21, 2007)…A new Health Career Pathways certificate program offered by the Connecticut Community Colleges (CCCs) will result in more of what Connecticut needs-- qualified health care workers.

There are 13,700 new health care support and practitioner jobs expected to emerge between 2004 and 2014, as projected by the Connecticut Department of Labor in its 2006 report Connecticut’s Industries and Occupations: Forecast 2014. It is projected that Connecticut’s health care demands will increase by 60% in the next 20 years. Students interested in gaining the skills necessary to succeed in allied health and nursing programs will find new opportunities at the CCCs, including Manchester Community College (MCC), thanks to two U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) grant funded initiatives.

One component of the certificate curriculum at MCC is the new course, HLT* 103 – Investigations in Health Careers. It will be offered at MCC during the spring 2008 semester, on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 9:30 a.m. starting January 29. It is designed to assist students with meeting the expectations of a health care curriculum and career. Students will become familiar with the rigors of higher education and the specific skills needed to maximize their opportunity for academic and clinical success. The course will include a comprehensive overview of the duties and responsibilities associated with clinical competency. Interdisciplinary learning strategies, correlating clinical and didactic education, life management skills, work ethics, and critical thinking skills necessary for all health providers will also be emphasized.

Credits earned in the new certificate program offered at all 12 CCCs may be applied toward degree requirements of health care programs throughout the community college system.

The new certificate program is one of the objectives of the “Career Pathways Initiative in Nursing and Allied Health,” a three-year $2.1 million U.S. Department of Labor grant awarded to the CCCs in 2005. Other grant initiatives provide academic support services, such as targeted advising and tutoring, to improve the academic success and retention rate of entry-level students preparing for employment in high-demand health care fields.

“The demand for health career professionals continues to grow and, at Manchester Community College, we are receiving many more inquiries, as well as more applications to our programs,” stated Eleanor H. Weseloh, director of the Division of Mathematics, Science and Health Careers. The health career programs at Manchester Community College include: Occupational Therapy Assistant, Physical Therapist Assistant, Respiratory Care and Surgical Technology. These programs have rigorous curricula, with a strong foundation in basic sciences, as well as General Education and professional courses.

Students who successfully complete the Health Careers Pathways certificate should be in a competitive position when they apply to health career programs both at MCC and at the other community colleges.

In 2006, a second three-year USDOL $2.1 million grant was awarded to the CCCs for the “Bridges to Health Careers Initiative,” which is expected to serve an estimated 2,752 students. In this initiative, students may progress from entry-level short-term certificate preparation to longer-term degree programs. Students prepare for health careers as certified nurse aides, emergency medical technicians, phlebotomy technicians, pharmacy technicians, medical billing & coding specialists, patient care technicians, and dental assistants, and receive advising and support services to assist them in progressing to degree programs and higher wage jobs. Dedicated scholarships are available to qualified students enrolling in these continuing education programs.

Available only at the community college level, the two grant-funded projects “have the potential to contribute to the solution of many of the challenges faced by Connecticut in workforce development, educational attainment, and workforce shortages,” said Marc S. Herzog, Chancellor of the Connecticut Community College System.

For more information on the new Health Career Pathways certificate program at MCC and spring 2008 semester registration, call (860) 512-3220; (860) 512-2702 or visit www.mcc.commnet.edu/academic/divisionsMSHHealth.

Students of any age who possess the desire to pursue higher education are welcome at Manchester Community College. MCC is proud of its academic excellence, new facilities, flexible schedules, small classes, low tuition and faculty with both academic and “real world” credentials. The College offers over 60 programs, transfer options, financial aid and scholarships, as well as access to baccalaureate degrees through guaranteed admissions programs with several universities. MCC is situated on a park-like campus and is easily accessible from I-84.

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News Item Posted On: December 21, 2007
For Additional Information Contact: Endia DeCordova-Murphy at (860) 512-2914