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Earn a GED® and healthcare career certificate in new CLC program

by Public Relations and Marketing | Published Oct 11, 2017

Thanks to a new initiative that started this fall, CLC adult education students who have completed their English as a Second Language or High School Equivalency program can earn a healthcare-related certificate in as little as one semester.

The program, known as the Integrated Career and Academic Preparation System (ICAPS) in healthcare career pathways, allows qualifying students to enroll in one of two short-term certificates: nurse assisting (one course) or healthcare office assistant (two courses). Either certificate can lead to a career in the healthcare industry or serve as a gateway to additional certificate programs or an associate degree.

The new program supports students through team teaching by a faculty each from the Biological and Health Sciences division as well as the Adult Education and ESL division. While participating in the ICAPS in healthcare program, students are also enrolled in an Adult Education support class that includes study skills, time management, homework completion, and review of class content.

Funded by the federal and state Adult Education and Family Literacy grant, the ICAPS in healthcare certificates are the latest offerings for adult education students to prepare them for the workforce. Other career pathways are currently being planned for spring 2018 under ICAPS in the manufacturing industry, such as certificate programs in heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration (HET) engineering technology and in automotive technology.

Enabling adult education students to transition to a post-secondary education and earn a credential is part of CLC’s response to a changing job marketplace. “Studies show that by 2020, 65 percent of all jobs in the U.S. will require postsecondary education and training. Also under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, adult education providers such as CLC are part of the workforce development in their local communities to meet the needs of both employers and the workforce,” according to Dr. Arlene Santos-George, dean of Adult Education and ESL.

Photo: CLC Phlebotomy instructor Angela Norwood (right) demonstrates to student Phlebotomy instructor demonstrates how to draw bloodNatalie Etcheson the proper way to draw blood, using a phlebotomy and venipuncture practice arm at the Lakeshore Campus in Waukegan.

The program is offering a fresh start for Natalie Etcheson, a 43-year-old Round Lake resident and nail salon owner. She appreciates the opportunity to pursue a healthcare office assistant certificate and a High School Equivalency at the same time. “In high school, I struggled as a student and did not finish,” she said. “I’ve enjoyed working as a nail technician, but I’d like to have a healthcare career. I want to help others feel well while using my communication and people skills. Earning a High School Equivalency as well as a CLC certificate will be personally satisfying.”

Etcheson, who is enrolled in a medical terminology course, said she likes “learning the language of healthcare” while brushing up on her studying and note-taking skills. She also appreciates having a math class tutor, who is helping her achieve another personal goal: overcoming math anxiety. “Through this new program, I’m getting a great opportunity at CLC,” said Etcheson, who plans to earn her Certified Medical Assistant certificate in May 2018 and work in a physician’s office.

For details on the program, visit www.clcillinois.edu/adulted, call (847) 543-2021 or (847) 543-2445 or email adulteducation@clcillinois.edu. For more information on the state ICAPS program, of which CLC is a member, visit www.icapsillinois.com/.