Kern Community College District will receive $5 million of a $20 million grant to train Bakersfield College, Porterville College, and Cerro Coso Community College students for high-demand health career jobs, KCCD Chancellor Sandra Serrano announced Oct. 6.
KCCD colleges won the grant in collaboration with a consortium of California community colleges. The Central California Community College Consortium, led by West Hills Community College District, submitted the only grant proposal to be funded in California. The three-year, $20 million grant is part of $500 million in grant funds to community colleges around the country. he grant monies support partnerships between community colleges and employers to develop programs that provide educational pathways to readily available, high-paying jobs.
Cerro Coso’s estimated $1.5 million dollar share of this grant will be allocated to increase health careers course offerings at all campuses; develop a new health careers program in Certified Medical Assistant; build specialized basic skills courses to help students succeed; increase student services geared for retention in career counseling, tutoring, and job placement services; and purchase state-of-the-art lab equipment.
Cerro Coso Community College currently offers students a career pathway in healthcare by providing course offerings beginning with Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), and Home Health Aide, both prerequisites for the Licensed Vocational Nursing (LVN) training offered in Ridgecrest and at the Eastern Sierra College Center in Bishop and Mammoth Lakes. These courses are designed to lead students to completion certificates and/or degrees identifying them as being qualified to work in a variety of capacities within the healthcare field.
“This grant will provide Cerro Coso with the resources we need to expand our health career offerings and could lead to an LVN program at the Cerro Coso Kern River Valley campus in the near future,” stated Valerie Karnes, Dean of Career Technical Education at Cerro Coso. “The funds will assist us in equipping an interactive television classroom in KRV, hire supplemental instructors, and purchase simulation equipment for nursing skills labs at all sites,” said Karnes. “Healthcare occupations make up 10 of the 20 fastest growing occupations in the United States. This grant affords Cerro Coso an incredible opportunity to meet the increased needs for skilled workers in the healthcare profession that offers students interesting career options,” she concluded.
KCCD colleges will receive one-fourth of the funds allotted to the 11 colleges and one educational center in the Central California Community College Consortium.
The Central California Community College Consortium submitted its grant proposal organizing around a shared vision of systemic redesign and acceleration strategies to significantly increase student completion of certificates and degrees with value in the labor market.
“Our proposal looked at how students are moving through our system and identified ways to advance students’ successful progress to completion,” Serrano said. “Our strategy is to help students stay in school, finish courses successfully, and reduce the amount of time it takes them to complete a certificate or degree. The sooner students complete their education, the sooner they are ready to enter the workforce and improve our local economies.”
“This grant is a great example of KCCD’s commitment to student success and developing programs that provide certifications and skills that give our students a competitive edge in today’s workforce,” Jill Board, President of Cerro Coso Community College said.Administrator, KRVR.org email@example.com
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