POTEAU–Carl Albert State College is receiving an Oklahoma Works! Grant that is funded by the US Department of Labor in the amount of $176,806 over a three year period.
The grant is part of a statewide consortium of eight Oklahoma two-year colleges to expand training and employment opportunities through technology-enabled hybrid learning options for trade impacted workers.
According to Rita Thomas, a member of the CASC grant writing team, trade impacted workers are those who have been laid off because their jobs were outsourced overseas, such as the layoffs at Whirlpool.
The program is aimed at retraining these workers to reenter the job market. Although it is aimed at trade impacted workers, any student who qualifies may take advantage of the benefits the College will receive from the grant.
The CASC program of the grant is titled EARNEST: Enhanced Access to RN Education and Support through Technology, and the goal of the grant is to increase retention in the Registered Nursing program.
“CASC will be using the grant funding to meet critical needs within the nursing program,” Thomas said. “Technology is important in the classroom, but it is also important in the lab. We need to increase the availability and quality of the Sim-lab (training mannequins) experience. Students need to be trained on the latest technology because that is what they will encounter after graduation. Our current mannequins are from the 80s; therefore, we seek to update this technology. Research shows the use of high fidelity patient simulation mannequins (HPS) aid in developing those skills. Using the HPS, the students have the opportunity to practice skills repetitiously until success is achieved, thus improving retention in the program and their chances of becoming RNs. CASC will remodel an existing classroom to accommodate updated mannequins. The technology infrastructure in the Health Science Building will also be updated.”
CASC president Dr. Brandon Webb was also pleased with the grant.
“We continue to appreciate the opportunity to be a recipient of grant funds,” said Webb. “In this day and time of tight budgets, grants allow us to stay up with technology in order to offer our students the best possible education and training.
“I want to take the time to thank our grant writing team of Deborah Cummings and Rita Thomas for the work they do to help bring grant funding to CASC. And I certainly thank those on campus who assist the grant department by providing needed information, and who assisted in making this particular grant possible.”