Northern College is onboard the provincial program to quickly train personal support workers, and fill the gaps long-term care homes and other health care facilities.

Health sciences dean Sarah Campbell says instead of the usual eight-month learning period, the program is condensed into two 12-week blocks.

“By the second 12-week block,” she notes, “the students will actually be in clinical settings, getting to do some hands-on care with clients and patients.”

The course is a combination of virtual classes and in-person labs at the Timmins, Kirkland Lake and Haileybury campuses.  Tuition is free, although there will be some expenses involved. The first intake of students is in May.

Dean Campbell says the new, accelerated program provides the same amount of learning as the standard program. Students in the regular program aren’t in class as long or as often as students in the accelerated one will be.

“It’s not a short program, it’s a compressed program,” Campbell explains. “They will be expected to attend pretty well Monday to Friday, eight to four.”

Bob McIntyre’s interview with Sarah Campbell: