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Funding will help Camp pave pathways

Paul D. Camp Community College is among six of Virginia’s Community Colleges to receive support to develop and launch a pilot program aimed at earning students stackable credentials in health care programs that will lead to better jobs and higher wages.

This effort has been made possible thanks to generous funding from Sentara Healthcare and Optima Health, and the ECMC Foundation. The grants, totaling $450,000, will be awarded to the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education and will fund the new Healthcare Pathways program at Camp, as well as Blue Ridge, Central Virginia, Germanna, Tidewater and Virginia Western community colleges.

Virginia’s Community Colleges will develop and launch a pilot program to increase support and advising for students in health care programs to help them earn multiple, stackable credentials.

At Camp, the pathway will provide a bridge for non-credit students to transition to credit-based health care programs that will prepare them for success and the opportunity to advance their careers.

“Currently there are some components of the Fast Track Healthcare program that allow the student some credit for prior learning, but they would not get credit for the entire program,” said Dean of Nursing and Allied Health Dr. Debbie Hartman.

The 21-week Fast Track Healthcare program with FastForward stackable credentials enables students to complete the program in a short amount of time in order to get them to work quickly.

“Students who wish to enroll in the nursing or EMS programs will benefit from a clear pathway from the non-credit Fast Track program,” said Camp Regional Workforce Development Director Dr. Angela Lawhorne. “This allows them the opportunity to work to support their families while completing the program.”

In order to make the program successful, Vice President of Academic and Student Development Dr. Tara Atkins-Brady noted that a primary goal to have a full-time advisor for health care was set.

“Tasha Taylor was hired in July to serve as health care academic advisor and has already begun working within the pathway,” she said. “Along with our Fast Track Healthcare Coordinator Dawn Guy, Tasha is currently advising medical assistant students who are interested in going into nursing or EMS on what classes to take for fall semester.”

Boot camps to provide students with additional preparations for the National Standardized Testing and the National Licensure exams have also been scheduled.

VCCS students in select FastForward health care training programs will be eligible for the pilot program.

“Thanks to the generosity of these donors, we will be able to remain focused on student success by providing support to the students, so that they may take the precise steps toward their educational goals, therefore saving them time and money,” said Camp President Dr. Dan Lufkin.

For more information, contact Tasha Taylor at ttaylor@pdc.edu or 757-569-6779.