Northampton Community College and Eastcentral PA AHEC have a longstanding partnership in expanding the educational opportunities within the service area. NCC currently partners with AHEC to offer Community Health Worker, Medical Secretary, and Social and Human Services Assistant Certificate programs. These short-term programs (ranging from 100-170 hours) provide students with critical adult education, workplace, and occupational training skills needed to rapidly attach students to the workforce. Programs are designed to place students in high priority occupations that allow for upward mobility along a career pathway.
Over the course of several years, staff members from AHEC, NCC’s Center for College and Career Readiness, NCC’s Center for Business and Industry, and NCC’s Center for Healthcare Education have continued to refine programming to meet the needs of employers and the community. These refinements provided an opportunity for Center for College and Career Readiness with the platform needed to be awarded funds to provide free Social and Human Service Assistant training to English as a Second Language students enrolled in EL Civics classes. In December, the Center was awarded an Out-of-School Youth grant to train 10 students ages 18-24 in the medical secretary field.
In addition, our partnership will result in a submission of an Integrated Education Training designation for Community Health Worker and Medical Secretary Certificate programs to allow students to be dually enrolled in English as a Second Language or adult basic education while attending these postsecondary trainings. Providing an accelerated pathway to educational opportunities benefits students and communities by infusing new human capital into the workforce while addressing the current challenges our community and healthcare systems face.