Addressing challenges / barriers for TANF students

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Effective Health Career Pathways
and Academic Supports for TANF
Students
Small Steps = Big Achievements
Elizabeth Patterson BSc RT(R) RDMS
Director of Allied Health Education
Edmonds Community College
[email protected]
Charles Thompson M.Ed
Director, CATCH Program
Edmonds Community College
[email protected]
“This presentation was supported by Grant No. 90FX0025 from the Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of
Health & Human Services (HHS). Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official
views of HHS.”
CAN YOU FIND YOUR WAY?
CAN YOU FIND YOUR WAY?
Addressing challenges / barriers
for TANF students
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Self efficacy
Difficulty “seeing themselves achieve”
Access
Retention
Meeting TANF requirements
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Logistical & Situational Barriers
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20 hours / week participation in “core”
activities alongside the educational
program
Childcare
Transportation
Housing
Personal & Family Barriers
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Health and Mental Health
Cultural
Criminal Background
** Note: these are in addition to the traditional academic
barriers of underprepared students.
Small steps = Big achievements
• Work ready certificates
▫ Nursing Assistant, Phlebotomy, EKG
• Stackable certificates
▫ Persistence in education
▫ Offer more value to an employer
▫ Wage progression
• Pathways to Higher Ed
▫ Nursing
 CNA  Patient Care Tech / ER Tech / HUC
▫ Medical Lab Sciences
 PbT  Clinical Lab Assistant
▫ Health Information Technology
 CNA  HUC
▫ Cardiovascular
 CNA / EKG Tech/Monitor Tech
Addressing challenges / barriers
for TANF students
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Foundation courses
Academic Supports
Extra layer to address
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Self efficacy
Access
Transportation
20 hrs. / week in “core” activities
For all Allied Health students including TANF
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Introduction to Healthcare
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Basic Medical Terminology
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Learn the language, work with professionals
The Human Body
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Focus on professionalism; work readiness; culture, communication;
opportunity
Basic body systems; structure and function
CPR Certification; Bloodborne Pathogens (HIV/AIDS)
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State requirement
• IBEST
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ABE/ESL support targeted to AHE content
• Supplemental Instruction
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Tutors, open skills labs, faculty availability, can be achieved in the
online environment – conferences, chat rooms
To address unique social / access barriers of TANF
students
• “Life skills”
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Learn how to balance family, college success, address social barriers
• Technology
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Education becomes accessible
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Basic computer skills, MS Office esp. Word, PowerPoint
Skills for success in the online classroom become skills for success in
the workplace
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Lifelong learning becomes possible
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Addresses transportation, childcare issues
“Attendance”, time management, commitment,
Opens up any educational program whether it is grounded or online
• Keys to success
Student Voices - Candace
Challenges
• Single mom
• Domestic violence
• Unemployed
• “No real skill or trade”
• “Not crazy about going to
school any longer than I
absolutely needed to”
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AHE 100 – Life Skills / College Success
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Setbacks
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“started looking for excuses to skip”
“just another hoop to jump through”
“conditioned my mind for college and life”
“set me up for each class and assignment ahead of me”
“primer to my success at CATCH”
Failed skills assessment in Phlebotomy
Program capacity put retry at skills at risk/students informed by email
“I felt like no one cared/abandoned/hurt/angry”
Rebelled and did not answer emails or calls from CATCH faculty/staff
“In response to my assumption that CATCH had left me out to dry, I pretty
much “quit” everything.
How we turned it around
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Worked through one of our partners at Housing Hope to reach out to
Candace to let her know we were worried / concerned
Agreed to meet if Housing Hope advocate came along and learned
 Missed taking CNA state test/could not look for a job
 “I stood in the way of my own certification not CATCH”
 Also missed the offer to retake the phlebotomy skills test
 “Had I responded to email, would have known that option did become
available“
Successfully passed second skills test, placed in phlebotomy externship at
a large medical center
Candace Today
Candace “connected with the staff” at the facility and was
encouraged to apply for a position before the end of her externship
A month later, she began her new career as a Phlebotomy Technician
at Overlake Medical Center
▫ “I love what I do”
▫ “I’m honored to be a part of such a well-educated and trained staff”
▫ “I’m off state assistance now and I really feel I have something to
contribute”
Addressing challenges / barriers
for TANF students
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Retention
“I CAN see myself doing this”
To address social / family issues that
might be barriers to completion
Retention = persistence = success
For all Allied Health Students including TANF
• Early alert
▫ Attendance, performance issues
• Wraparound Support Services
▫ Advising, faculty, Services for Students with
Disabilities, Counseling Center, Trio,
• Financial resources to supplement financial aid
▫ Opportunity Grant, Trio, Worker Retraining
Additional layer for TANF
• Dedicated advisor/retention specialist
▫ Works closely with faculty / case managers to identify
and address non academic barriers.
• “Navigators”
▫ Assess and assist with “life” issues – housing,
transportation, child care, food stamps – get them to
the support services to help them succeed.
• “Team” Management
▫ Faculty, case managers, administration communicate,
intervene when necessary
Student Voices - Fatou
Challenges
• Recent Immigrant
• Cultural nuances
• Unemployed
• Young infant
• Keys to success
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Wrap-around Support
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Setbacks
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“Coordinated effort between faculty, advising, administration and
community partners”
“Cultural norms and gender roles in the United States have been a
challenge. I feel split between two worlds at times”
“Financial hardships and a crowded home added to the challenge of
adjusting to the US.
“Despite good grades wanted to quit”
How we turned it around
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Worked through one of our partners , Immigrant and Refugee Services NW
for support and contact with other immigrants from Gambia
CATCH Academic Advisor helped explore her thinking, reflecting on her
strengths and benefits of staying with it
Was recognized at a CATCH perseverance and determination recognition
event with the college president.
Engagement in the classroom and with faculty to master skills and build
confidence
Fatou Today
Fatou completed the program earning her Nursing Assistant license
and Phlebotomy Technician Certificate qualifying to sit for the
American Society of Clinical Pathologists certification exam.
Hired by her phlebotomy externship site, The PolyClinic
▫ Completed on the job training in EKG
▫ Continuing her education at Edmonds CC to reach next step on the pathway,
Clinical Lab Assistant and on towards a Bachelor’s Degree in Medical
Technology.
▫ “Education is changing my life. I will be independent, have my own money and
be able to support my family. I now am realizing my dreams and my career
path.”
Addressing the challenges/barriers
for TANF students
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Work readiness
Job placement assistance
It doesn’t end there …..
• Ongoing workshops to address work readiness
on completion of the program
• Partner with the Workforce Development
Council to provide support for
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Resumes / interviewing skills
Job fairs
Employer panels
• Keep the end goal in mind
IT IS ALL ABOUT GETTING TO WORK AND BECOMING
SELF SUFFICIENT
• Keys to success
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Student Voices - Helen
Challenges
• Living in her car and a tent
• Unemployed
• No computer skills
• Computerized WorkSource
center (employment center)
overwhelmed her
• Unemployed at 48 years old
• Faced discrimination in hiring
• “I felt uncertain and scared”
Wrap-around Support
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College Success Skills/Computer Literacy
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With partnership with Business Access provided Helen with a laptop and internet access
via Sprint. Five week computer instruction followed by coaching and tutoring by faculty
and support staff.
Employment Preparation Coaching and Support
Setbacks
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During application process was connected to community housing assistance programs
CATCH Navigator team helped Helen receive Commissioner Approved Training Benefits
allowing her to collect regular unemployment insurance benefits and she moved into an
apartment
Family member ill and needed care
Discouragement from family members undercutting confidence
“I used the college library as my base of operation and was able to do my
online and classroom assignments”
Difficult to get interviews. One site told her “we don’t hire people like
you.” She was discouraged and didn’t understand because she was not
from a minority culture, she was a vet and recently completed training
with excellent grades.
How we turned it around
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Intensive wrap around support from CATCH team for computer tutoring,
housing, medical care and personal support.
As she completed each course and mastered new skills toward the career
goal (Nursing Assistant, Phlebotomy, EKG) she began to see herself
successful in a healthcare position and have a way forward toward
certificate as a Patient Care Tech.
Received individual coaching and counseling with partnership with local
Workforce Development Council to tackle age and other discrimination.
Their employment specialist worked with her on job search skills, resume
and interview practices
Helen Today
Helen earned straight As in her coursework completing Nursing
Assisting, EKG and Phlebotomy.
She practiced interviewing strategy and persisted in her job search
building on her excellent patient care skills and personal confidence.
In less than 4 months, Helen was hired as a Nursing Assistant at a long
term care facility within walking distance of her home
▫ “I have a future, I have a great outlook. I am forever grateful to the CATCH
Program. My confidence is back and I have goals again.”
Student Voices - Mustapha
Challenges
• Immigrant from The Gambia, in U.S.
since 2008
• Has been working as a caregiver with
developmentally disabled adults
• Low wage ($10.33 / hour), looking for a
better job to support his family
• Previous college coursework in the U.S.
• Keys to Success
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Self sufficient
Academically prepared
Experience as caregiver
Did not require intensive retention and completion
support
▫ Minimal setbacks (failed phlebotomy skills, retook
at first opportunity)
▫ Needed financial support to continue on pathway
to Clinical Lab Assistant (CLA)
▫ Leveraged funds through parallel grant
 Covered tuition, textbooks, fees
Mustapha Today
Successfully completed Clinical Laboratory Assistant certificate
Now employed as a Lab Assistant at the Polyclinic with an
hourly wage of $16.75 / hour + benefits
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