CCs invest in health-care training

Community colleges are investing in new health-care training facilities, reports Community College Times. As baby boomers age, the “medical industrial complex” is expected to grow.  That means more jobs in nursing, radiology, health information technology, physical therapy, dentistry and surgical technology.

health careThe number of U.S. health-care workers rose 22.7 percent from 2003 to 2013, compared to a 2.1 percent rise in other industries.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts a 26 percent spike in jobs for registered nurses by 2020, a 32 percent increase in jobs for pharmacy technicians, a 28 percent increase in jobs for radiologic technologists, and a 33 percent increase in jobs for emergency medical technicians, among other sectors.

Elgin Community College near Chicago has built a new $41 million Health and Life Sciences Building and “strengthened relations with area hospitals, clinics, and other health care partners that take our students for their clinical experiences,” says Wendy Miller, the college’s dean of health professions. The college plans to add new certificate programs in magnetic resonance imaging, computer tomography, and mammography.

A consortium of three Maryland community colleges shares the Mount Airy College Center for Health Care Education, which opened in August 2012.  Students from Carroll Community College, Frederick Community College and Howard Community College study at the center.

College teaches conflict resolution

When fights broke out between girls at a Maryland alternative school, Howard Community College‘s conflict resolution counselors mediated the dispute and trained school staff in mediation techniques,  reports the Baltimore Sun. The fighting stopped at Homewood Center and suspensions, behavior referrals and unexcused absences went down.

The Mediation and Conflict Resolution Center has been dealing with conflict in the Howard community for the past 22 years, including boundary disputes between neighbors, anger-management issues of college athletes and disagreements among teacher groups.

The mediation center also is working with high schools to improve detention programs.

HCC took over the Mediation and Conflict Resolution Center in 2001, 11 years after it began as a grassroots organization. Students can earn an associate degree in conflict resolution and transfer to Salisbury University, which also has a Center for Conflict Resolution. The center also employs 150 non-student volunteers, who take at least 40 hours of mediation training at the college.

. . . the center uses methods derived from the Bethlehem, Pa.-based International Institute for Restorative Practices, which encourages authority figures — teachers, supervisors and law enforcement — to involve their communities in creating solutions to problems rather than resorting to punitive measures.

“Restorative work is about if an incident has happened, it’s helping people, especially juveniles, to recognize that the harm they caused has an effect on people,” said (director Kathryn) Rockefeller.

When Homewood Center students felt the peace was threatened, they told the assistant principal they needed to “circle up again,” said Principal Tina Maddox. “That was a sign that … it was producing problem-solving skills, conflict resolution that our students had not normally experienced.”

Disabled students find college transition aid

By Aileen Pablo

Community college can be a good choice for students with learning disabilities such as dyslexia, dyscalculia and Attentiion Deficit Disorder. However, students often need extra help making the transition from high school to college. They must deal with increased independence, manage their time, improve their study habits and learn how to ask for help.

More than 250 transition programs help learning disabled students prepare for college challenges. Here’s more information on the options.

Project Access Summer Institute offers a month-long program on study skills, planning and how to apply for support services, such as tutoring or extra time on tests. Students learn to be their own advocates. Howard Community College’s institute costs only $550.

Requesting academic support can be a complicated process. Many community colleges require proof of disability that can’t be more than 3 years old.  Students without current documentation may be tested by school disability specialists or private psychologists to establish the severity of their disability.

Aileen Pablo, part of the team behind Open Learning Australia, can be found on Google+.