Piedmont Virginia Community College is one of six community colleges in the state receiving funding for a pilot program focused on health care programs.
Sentara Healthcare, Optima Health and the Educational Credit Management Corporation Foundation have partnered to provide $450,000 in grants for the program.
Blue Ridge, Central Virginia, Germanna, Tidewater and Virginia Western community colleges also will join the program.
“This initiative could be especially valuable at a time when more adults need to re-tool their job skills as a result of the economic disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Howard Kern, president and CEO of Sentara Healthcare, said in a press release. “We hope this effort will help working adults find a path toward careers that are in demand.”
The funding focuses on increased support and advising for students in health care programs to help them earn multiple, stackable credentials that lead to better jobs and higher wages, according to the release.
Students in select FastForward health care training programs will be eligible for the pilot, which will create strategic course enrollment guides grafted around specific career goals.
For example, a student completing the Emergency Medical Technician training would be prepared to immediately enter the Advanced EMT program, then go on to enroll in the Emergency Management Services Paramedic degree program, resulting in an associate’s of applied science and more career opportunities.