Not only did Lacey McDonald, Allison Porter, and Kaitlin Whited graduate with two certificates from Southwest Colorado Community College on May 12, but they did so while still in high school.
All three were concurrent—enrollment students at SCCC, meaning they earned high school and college credits simultaneously during their senior year of high school. For two semesters, they took classes at the college in the morning and at Montezuma-Cortez High School in the afternoon. Before graduating from high school, they each earned med prep and nurse aide certificates from SCCC, along with 16.5 hours of college credit.
McDonald and Whited are continuing their studies this summer at SCCC in the medical assisting program. McDonald has accepted a part-time job with Southwest Memorial Hospital. Porter has been accepted to a four-year nursing program in Texas. Whited is working for Pasco, a home health care agency.
The med prep program provides a golden opportunity for high school students looking to get a head start on their college education.
“Taking this program is an excellent way for high school students to prepare for more strenuous nursing, medical assisting, or radiological classes,” said med prep instructor Lee Ungnade. “Each student leaves the program with a strong foundation of basic nursing, medical terminology and interviewing skills that prepares them for more difficult science-based classes.
“It also gives them an overview of the different medical fields and career possibilities,” he added. “Many medical jobs are opening up as the Baby Boomer generation ages and needs more medical care.”
Medical assisting also is a fast-growing career, with great demand for employees to work in doctor’s offices and hospitals. Medical assistants help with front-office work as well as back-office procedures, taking blood pressure, giving medications and performing tests.
Applications are now being accepted at SCCC from high school juniors and seniors interested in enrolling in either the med prep or medical assisting program.
In addition, an eight-week nurse aide training program runs throughout the year at SCCC, with students eligible to sit for the State of Colorado Nurse Aide Certification Examination when they have completed the course. It provides an excellent way for students to begin training in health care and is particularly useful for students who would like to continue into the college’s nursing program. Most students in the class are offered jobs before completing it
Students interested in any of these programs can contact Ungnade at firstname.lastname@example.org or (970) 564-6207. SCCC is a division of Pueblo Community College.