MoHealthWINs Propelled Innovations for Jefferson College and Students
The MoHealthWINs grant enabled Jefferson College to create an innovative new Radiologic Technology program and to expand their Computer Information Systems program.
A generous donation from a local employer allowed the college to equip a radiological laboratory that was used by both Jefferson College and St. Charles Community College students. Sharing the equipment made the program more economical. Simulation software and online and clinical experiences removed barriers of time and place. The program also addressed the serious shortage of technologists in rural areas.
The Computer Information Systems program provided entry level credentials in Computer Support for Health Information Systems, a growing field of importance in the health care industry. Participants obtained intensive tutoring to improve retention and give students the skills they needed for their first career goals.
Read More in this PDF:
Jefferson College Leverages Grant to Transform Student Supports
Jefferson College’s strong commitment to helping students learn and grow is evident in the signs you see around campus. The visual prompts of “Have you seen your advisor?” remind students that needed assistance is a call or visit away. It’s part of the college’s mission and values and it is why they have chosen to use a new federal grant to bolster the support even further. JeffCo signed on with the MoHealthWINs grant in 2011 because it would help give their students a new avenue to pursue careers in healthcare, an industry that continues to increase in employment demand locally, statewide, and nationally.
But leaders wanted to achieve long-term benefits from the partnership, beyond free tuition for eligible participants, and consistent with the college service delivery approach. Below, Kenny Wilson, Director of Health Occupation Programs describes these new strategies with Grant Program officials. The innovative supports have taken many forms, like JeffCo’s Aspiring Student Scholar Institute (JASSI), an intense 6-week summer program that helps beginning students increase their foundational skills and career readiness, potentially saving time and money on their college career path. Other additions have focused on students who are closer to graduation. MoHealthWINs Retention Specialist Laura Klaus helped Jefferson College reach an agreement with local community health center COMTREA to provide Computer Support Certificate majors opportunities to intern in the agency’s IT department and gain real-world technical skills.
For those students in between enrollment and graduation, new grant-funded equipment also provides a top-notch training experience. Janet Akers, Acting Program Director of JeffCo’s Radiologic Technology or “Rad Tech” program, shows off the facility’s Radiology Surgical GE C-arm and GE Digital Portable x-ray equipment. After a long career as a Radiologic Technologist and Clinical Instructor in Diagnostic Radiology and Mammography, she decided to join the team and help the college produce high caliber next generation healthcare professionals. But as any of the staff will tell you, helpful assistance is not just about programs or equipment, it’s about people.
That is why Janet says the biggest help students may notice from the grant are the new college Retention Specialists like Laura that will act as students’ own personal advisors to guide them through the major steps from exploring career options, to navigating the sequence of training, to job searching after graduation. Each of these “career coaches” meets the same crucial need: giving students – many of whom are entering training for the first time, or after long careers in other fields – human interaction that can take the form of encouragement, counseling, advising on available resources, connecting with peers, or even nagging when needed.
From start to finish, JeffCo students know more than ever that help is a call or visit away. Find more about Jefferson College’s new programs at http://www.jeffco.edu/jeffco/content/view/864/116/ or by contacting Laura Klaus at (636) 481-3524 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
MoWINs Project Director