Classes have started at Ponoka’s Campus Alberta Central (CAC).
The first set of students have already started using one of the labs at the new Learning Centre for CAC’s healthcare aid program. The students are from Maskwacis Cultural College (MCC) and are taking their theory portion at MCC, while the lab portion is in Ponoka.
“They’re going to be here three days a week until Christmas doing their labs,” explained Connie Mohn, CAC post-secondary coordinator.
The healthcare aid certificate program is government-set and will qualify students to work in hospitals, nursing homes or with critically ill or terminally ill patients, said Mohn. The labs help with the foundational work needed in the certificate.
For Ponoka Learning Centre’s very first class there are 14 students taking part. This class is just the beginning for the learning centre.
Mohn said the next step is to reach out to residents to find out what classes they feel are important to host in Ponoka. Some open houses in January and February will be held to learn what types of programs will be most valued for students and from employers.
“Then I take that information to CAC…and then we kind of talk about what can we do here, what can we bring to Ponoka,” said Mohn.
Also in September 2019 a heavy equipment operator course is coming to the centre. Mohn said now is the time to speak with her or register at Olds College, which hosts the course. Then in February 2020, the Learning Centre will bring a full healthcare aid course to Ponoka.
It will be a blended course, with theory learning from home, labs in the classroom and then 200 hours of practicum in the community.
People interested in registering for courses can check both Red Deer College and Olds College as well as CAC’s website at campusalbertacentral.com. Residents can also visit the Ponoka and Rimbey Adult Learning Council’s website at ponokarimbeyalc.com for more information.
“We’re looking for definitely more community involvement,” said Mohn, adding that there are class support or sponsorship opportunities.
Ponoka’s Learning Centre is a cooperation with the Ponoka and Rimbey Adult Learning Council and CAC.