Adult education helps students get jobs in health care


The link between an education and a job is hard to establish with today’s high unemployment. There are already too many college graduates sitting at home without jobs.

The administrators at the Hacienda La Puente Unified School District adult education program seem to have found that link with their health care classes. In fact, some employers are coming to them.

Patton State Hospital in San Bernardino County and Metropolitan State Hospital in Norwalk asked if the the adult education school could train psychiatric technicians. The new occupation joins existing ones such as licensed vocational nurses (LVN) and certified nurse assistants (CNA).

The two mental hospitals said they would be willing to offer grants and scholarships if the school would offer the training, so a new class was born. More importantly, a new connection to the real world was created, explained Cynthia Parulan-Colfer, associate superintendent of adult and continuing education.

When the spring class for certified nursing assistants took their licensing exams, she said 100 percent passed. But the academic feat was not the most impressive aspect — that would be good paying jobs for the newly licensed nursing assistants. When asked what happened to that class of 35 to 40 CNAs, she responded “They get employed.”

Although she didn’t provide hard statistics, Parulan-Colfer said many graduates go on to paying jobs. That’s because of the emphasis the district places on clinical training and workplace approximation.

Read more in Steve Scauzillo’s story Health.

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