Career Opportunity at WCCC

CALAIS _  A career opportunity and the possibility of a scholarship makes the Certified Nurse’s Aide Program an attractive option for students enrolled at Washington County Community College.

Again this year, WCCC is offering its one-semester CNA course. And again this year, scholarships for eligible students are available through the Sunrise County Economic Council.

In 2013, WCCC was named one of “America’s Top 50 Community Colleges” by Washington Monthly. The college was named number 24 out of 700 community colleges nationwide.

This year, six students are enrolled in the CNA program and out of those three are attending with the help of SCEC scholarships. “People who meet the eligibility requirements can receive up to $500 to pay for the cost of the program,” Jenn Peters, SCEC assistant director said. 

The scholarship is a definite win for students. “The cost of the course is $1,195, so it is certainly a benefit to our students here at WCCC,” said Scott Harriman, WCCC associate dean of community education and student affairs.

And the agency has helped in other areas. In 2011, SCEC awarded more than 30 scholarships to students enrolled in everything from CNA to automotive performance training, Harriman added. The SCEC program was started in 2007 with a grant from the Eaton Foundation and since its inception more than 150 scholarships have been awarded. 

The scholarships are for those students enrolled in programs that are not traditionally funded in other ways.  Another requirement is that the coursework leads to immediate employment or career advancement. Students who apply must meet eligibility requirements. Applications can be obtained online at the SCEC web site or through WCCC’s Career Center.

Harriman said that the CNA program is a state-certified program that started at the beginning of this semester. It ends in December. 

Students who graduate can work in a nursing home or in a hospital in Washington County or anywhere in the state.  “A number of students who take the CNA program,” Peters said, “See this as a stepping stone on the road to becoming a registered nurse.” 

The program is taught by Maureen Hayward, a registered nurse at Calais Regional Hospital. The 180 hour program includes 90 classroom hours, 20 lab hours and 70 clinical hours. “They work between the nursing home and the hospital during their clinical training,” Harriman said. 

Once the instructor certifies that students are proficient in their skills they take the state exam.  After they pass the exam, they can apply for work.

“This program is a great opportunity for men and women because it can be a very fulfilling career,” Peters said. “And it is a relatively short process since it is only a semester-long certification so it does allow people to have immediate opportunities for advancement.”

Anyone interested in future CNA program opportunities at WCCC, please contact Scott Harriman at 454-1000.