Posted on Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Young adults, who, for whatever reason, don’t finish hWorkforce Wednesdayigh school, can regain their footing and pursue a college education and rewarding career thanks to the Middle College program at Reynolds Community College.

In the fall of 2016, Reynolds Community College’s Middle College program partnered with Region 15 Adult Education to offer their first GED to Certified Nurse Aide PluggedIn VA (PIVA) program. This marked the integration of the Virginia Department of Education’s PluggedIn VA and the Virginia Community College System’s Middle College.

PluggedIn VA combines basic skills instruction with postsecondary training, employability skills, and digital literacy to prepare individuals for employment in a regionally high-demand industry field. Similarly, Middle College has historically focused on preparing out-of-school youth to earn their high-school equivalency credential and advance to earn the postsecondary credentials needed to gain employment.

A total of 18 students were accepted and began Reynolds’s GED to Certified Nurse Aide program (CNA) in October 2016. Students who completed the admission and interview process were also invited to participate in a GED preparation program on site at the Middle College, designed for students who needed additional remediation to meet the academic level required for the GED to CNA program.  

In the first semester, students attended classes four days a week for 3.5 hours per day. Classes consisted of career exposure, digital literacy, and academic preparation and testing for the GED. Students were also offered CPR and First Aid training.  Financial literacy training is provided by partners from Capital One and the Virginia Credit Union.

The CNA students are now completing their lecture and lab classes, preparing for their clinical placements. The CNA students that will finish the program in May will have earned their GED, CPR, and First Aid certifications, completed seven college credits and earned a Career Readiness Certificate and credential as a Certified Nurse Aide. 

Reynolds’s Middle College continued its successful partnership with Region 15 Adult Education by creating its second PIVA cohort for logistics training. The cohort which began last week will combine integrated education and training that leads to a high school completion credential and professional certifications in forklift, OSHA 10, Certified Logistics Associate, and Certified Logistics Technician.

There are many shining examples of individuals who changed their lives as a result of Reynold’s Middle College program. Stay tuned for some of these stories in the coming weeks. 

Achristopher@vccs.edu'

Amanda Christopher

Amanda Christopher is a graduate of Hollins University and Virginia Commonwealth University. A native of the DC metro area, Amanda worked in public relations for the American Red Cross before joining the Virginia Community College System as the Workforce Communications Coordinator.

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