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Tuesday, October 10 • 11:15am - 11:45am
Direct Care Worker Pathways Program: A Strategy For Seamless Academic Progression (30 mins)

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Nationally, the demand for healthcare professionals is growing rapidly and this growth is projected to continue for the next decade. The goal of the “Direct Care Workforce Development Program” described in this presentation was to offer access points to health professional for many adult and nontraditional-aged students in direct care positions (e.g., patient care assistant) who aspire to advance to higher-level jobs paying family sustaining wages.
The direct care workforce that to advance encounters many challenges. Candidates often are not fluent in English, lack a foundation in basic numeracy skills, and have little or no experience with the application of technology as a tool for health care delivery. Therefore, this workforce presents both challenges and opportunities, requiring an array of support services to become ready for success in professional health-studies programs.
This presentation describes a partnership between an urban medical center, urban state university, and a labor union to provide seamless academic and career pathways for workers to enter the industry and progress in their careers through higher-levels of education. Two cohorts of workers from the medical center’s incumbent workforce enrolled in the program, which provided three courses totaling nine college credits. For most of the workers, this was their first college experience. Career maps and individual coaching helped the workers to define and visualize their goals. These maps contained actions steps toward achieving the goals. Several workers who completed the program matriculated into 2 and 4 year professional programs, while others made plans to do so in the future.


Marilyn Cleary

Assistant Dean, Worcester State University

Linda Larrivee

Dean of Education, Health, and Natural Sciences, Worcester State University

Tuesday October 10, 2017 11:15am - 11:45am MDT
Denver 5