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Proposed Adult Education Pre-Apprenticeship Program Wins Prize

A nursing student practicing techniques on another student

September 16, 2021 - 11:31 AM

A proposed adult education healthcare pre-apprenticeship program titled “Mt. SAC Health Careers for You” was named one of four runners-up in the nationwide Rethink Adult Ed Challenge and earned a $100,000 prize.

Through the challenge, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education aimed to address equity and access barriers and drive greater and more diverse participation in apprenticeships and the broader workforce, according to the Challenge’s website. High-quality adult education pre-apprenticeship programs align to industry demand, set clear pathways into apprenticeships and other industry roles, and provide support services for their participants.

Mt. SAC’s proposed healthcare noncredit pre-apprenticeship focuses on three program areas: Personal Care Aide to Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), with the options of Acute CNA or Home Health Aide, to Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) to Registered Nurse (RN); Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) to Paramedic to Fire Technology (Firefighter); and Medical Assistant.

“We chose to focus on health careers for this competition as it is one of our  strongest career paths and students can go right into credit programs if they wish, or learn more intensive skills to enhance their career opportunities,” said Dr. Tami Pearson, Dean of the School  of Continuing Education and Workforce Development. “This is a chance to do something different and build pre-apprenticeships into great opportunities for our students.”

As part of the program, students will gain skills in math and English contextualized to health careers, foundational theory, and hands-on clinical experience to prepare for immediate employment and entrance into apprenticeship programs. They will benefit from a health careers simulation lab, internships with healthcare facilities, faculty with industry expertise, and ongoing support services.

The competition was a two-stage application process, with 203 applications from adult education providers nationwide applying during Stage I. Among those applicants, 95 were invited to participate in a “virtual accelerator,” to further develop plans and submit a Stage II application.

The judging panel selected five winning designs out of 85 submissions from across 31 states, Guam and the District of Columbia.  “Mt. SAC was the only adult education provider in California to be selected for this honor,” said Dr. Madelyn Arballo, Provost of the School of Continuing Education. “We're so proud of our SCE team for such a huge honor and how it reflects the importance of noncredit career education, in this case our health careers programs, for our community of diverse adult learners.”