Fellowship Home Sponsoring Scholarships at Wiregrass

Staff Report From Valdosta CEO

Monday, March 2nd, 2020

According to the Department of Labor, careers in healthcare continue to be the fastest growing occupational fields. One specific area of growth in healthcare is careers in geriatric health services. To help meet the demand, Fellowship Home Assisted Living Community has partnered with the Wiregrass Georgia Technical College Foundation to offer 30 scholarships to high school students.  The scholarships will be open to students who are enrolled in the Wiregrass Dual Enrollment Certified Nursing Assistant Program and attend Berrien High School, Brooks County High School, Cook County High School, Lanier County High School, or Lowndes County High School.  The scholarship will provide $135 to fully cover the state certification exam fees at the end of the program. Fellowship Home values the established relationship with Wiregrass Technical College and looks forward to building new relationships with its graduates.
Students enrolled in the certified nurse aid program learn basic fundamentals and concepts of patient care with a focus on the geriatric population.  The program teaches how to respond to and report changes in a resident or patient’s condition, nutrition, vital signs; nutrition and diet therapy; disease processes; emergency concerns; ethics and legal issues, and governmental agencies that influence the care of the elderly in long term care settings, and more.  When students complete the course they will have demonstrated proficiency in well over 22 patient care skills and are eligible to sit for state certification to become licensed assistants in the State of Georgia.  The certified nurse aid program is a technical certificate of credit program. Last year, the college had over 450 high school and adult students register for the certified nursing program.  This course is a pre-requisite for competitive entry into the Wiregrass Practical Nursing (LPN) and Associate of Science in Nursing (RN) programs.  As a licensed nurse assistant, there are many job opportunities in our community in a variety of health care settings such as nursing homes and hospitals.
Dual Enrollment is an opportunity for high school students to earn college credit at no cost while in high school.   About 38% of Wiregrass’ dual enrollment students were enrolled in academic core classes with 62% enrolled in occupational training programs. The most popular programs at Wiregrass for dual enrollment students last year were: nurse aide/patient care assisting, criminal justice, welding, and culinary arts.
In 2018 the college received official accreditation by the Accreditation Commission of the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP), making the college the first in Georgia to earn NACEP accreditation for their Concurrent Enrollment program. Concurrent enrollment is the method of offering college courses to high school students for college credit by credentialing a high school instructor to teach the course content. The accreditation Wiregrass received provides evidence that those courses meet college level rigor, are presented and taught in the same manner as other college faculty taught courses, and that the college is adhering to its policies and procedures with each course taught at the high school. Concurrent Enrollment is one method of delivery for Wiregrass’s successful dual enrollment program.