“Workin’ On A Dream … And I Know It Will Be Mine Someday.”
– Bruce Springsteen
by Alicia Wanek
What do you want to be? (Or what does your graduating senior want to be?) You don’t necessarily need a college degree for the career of your dreams. It is likely, however, that you do need some advanced training, and a community college like Richland is often an ideal place to find a program to prepare you for the next part of your journey. Their career counselors can even help you determine which direction you may want to go.
In an ever-changing world, one industry continues to offer job stability over time – the healthcare sector. Richland offers ten separate certificate programs in its Healthcare Professions department, each tailored to prepare its graduates to head straight from the program to the workforce. For Debbie Bunim, a married mother of two in McKinney, the medical assistant program at Richland was a perfect fit. Having been a stay-at-home mom for twelve years, Debbie was looking to rejoin the workforce. “I have always been interested in the medical field,” she says. “My mom was a nurse, and I think her passion for helping people carried over to me. It’s always a stressor to get back into the workforce after years away, and this seemed to be a good way and a good school to help me get there successfully.”
You may even be able to attend for free, or at least take advantage of the “pay as you go” option as you take courses, so it’s not a huge expense all at once. Kamesha Harris, Enrollment Specialist for the Pharmacy Technician program, oversees apprenticeships through a grant Richland received from the Department of Labor in partnership with CVS Health. This grant program pays all tuition costs for the one semester coursework, establishes the 4-week externship at a local CVS pharmacy, and then helps to secure the student a position in the field. “My job is to allow this experience to be a success for students,” Kamesha says.
Ericka Cuellar, a current pharmacy tech student, is especially grateful for the support of the instructors and staff in the program. “The professors are wonderful. They are always willing to help you fully comprehend any part of the material that you might be confused about…I am very thankful to be part of such an incredible program, which prepares me for an amazing career that will help me help others in my community.” With medical assistants and pharmacy techs listed by AllHealthcare.com as two of the top 5 “in-demand healthcare occupations,” these graduates should be working in their field – and realizing their dreams – very soon.