February is National Career Technical Education (CTE) Month. OCCA and Oregon's 17 community colleges look forward to sharing with legislators the impact community college CTE programs have on Oregon's workforce, communities and the state's economic recovery from COVID-19 and reinvigorating the workforce. Each week in February will feature different CTE career/industry areas. Be sure to look for additional communication from your local community college about their CTE programs on social media.
PLEASE NOTE: While community colleges do not have a specific fiscal request related to CTE in the February 2022 Legislative Session, the funding requests related to cybersecurity infrastructure/training needs and the Future Ready Oregon 2022 proposal do have a significant impact on Oregon's community colleges. Without cybersecurity protections in place, colleges could not operate nor could they support CTE programs like the ones featured in this newsletter. Future Ready Oregon, which emphasizes needs in the construction, manufacturing and healthcare industries, includes $17 million for community college Career Pathways programs that will prioritize underserved communities and support workforce programs. We urge legislators to support cybersecurity funding and the Future Ready Oregon proposal during the Legislative Session.
Careers in health and biomedical sciences are at the forefront of today's COVID-19 pandemic. Nurses are caring for COVID-19 patients and vaccinating the public. Medical assistants are assisting patients and physicians with both virtual and in-person appointments. Those in biomedical sciences are helping to advance the healthcare industry. Community college health and biomedical science programs are training the new healthcare workforce during one of the most challenging times in history. These students learn the skills and knowledge they need with state-of-the-art technology to jump right into a career in helping people.
The Registered Nursing (RN) Program at Treasure Valley Community College (TVCC) in Ontario has been rolling up its sleeves and finding ways to keep students not only in class but also engaged in the clinical setting.
TVCC's RN program currently has an enrollment of 32 students between the 1st and 2nd‐year classes. One student, in particular, feels without the front‐line clinical experience it just wouldn't be the same.
"It's such an experience being able to work in different environments and truly understand where my calling is within the healthcare field," said Madyson Bell a 2nd‐year RN student at Treasure Valley Community College. "One week I was watching a baby being delivered and the next helping patients in a mental health and substance abuse treatment center."
To help reduce exposure and improve safety, some lectures are held via zoom, labs are divided in half, masks are worn at all times regardless of vaccination status, and temperature checks are performed upon arriving at the nursing building.
And all of these efforts have helped keep nursing students in class and in clinical settings.
"The facilities feel it is important to have the students during the pandemic so they can learn what it is like to work in it and learn to care for patients," said, Brianne Haun, TVCC Nursing Clinical Coordinator.
This front‐line experience is helping the community too. TVCC nursing students have been instrumental in helping with local vaccination clinics and volunteering at COVID testing sites.
Despite the challenges of a pandemic and with the guidance of knowledgeable faculty and staff, students are achieving their goals and are commended for their steadfast approach to continue their training to get that much closer to obtaining their degrees.
To learn more about how students are staying focused, please click here.
Analyn McCoy, a nursing student at Umpqua Community College (UCC), was born and raised in the Philippines. She grew up with very limited resources; not even having access to basic commodities such as water, electricity, and medical care.
In 2005, Analyn came to the United States to join her husband and start a new life in California, and in 2011 moved to Roseburg. She began her first job as a caregiver. It was there she discovered her passion for helping other people, especially the elderly.
"I love taking care of other people. I've always have. When I was a kid, I told my grandma that when she got older, I would take care of her. That was my promise to her," McCoy said.
Unfortunately, Analyn's grandmother passed away. Though she was not able to take care of her grandma as promised; becoming a nurse, she would be able take care of other people, especially the elderly in her grandmother's honor.
"UCC is the first college I have ever experienced in my life that supports students, and personalizes each student's concerns. The instructors and advisors at UCC are there for us and they are willing to sit one-to-one to help students to be successful. You just need to ask them and they are more than willing to help you."
Oregon community colleges serve their specific communities, and programs reflect the needs of their local business and industries. Check out the wide array of career & technical education programs that Oregon community colleges offer in this great video!