The road to becoming a personal support worker is a difficult journey, full of classes, theory, and years of continuing education. Yet, there’s no better education than getting hands on experience while you learn. Confederation College in partnership with Pinecrest Home will begin construction on a brand-new living classroom for those seeking to become support workers.
What is a living classroom, you might ask? A living classroom is essentially a place where students can get hands own instruction while working with real people with real life health problems. The classroom serves as a unique way for students to start practicing what they’re learning early on. The co-operation between Pinecrest Home and Confederation College is a relatively new approach to education in Ontario. Currently there is only one other facility in the province offering a similar program.
With so many younger people enrolling in various post-secondary programs, personal support worker programs in the area hadn’t seen an influx in the past few years. The need for the classroom was an obvious one, to not only help attract more students but provide a higher level of education.
Students need a place where they can get hands on training before they graduate while also making money. The living classroom provides this, as most of the students also work part-time at Pinecrest Home. Providing a program that not only enhances the education experience but also provides a job opportunity has become a cornerstone of the program.
Pinecrest Home has three locations in Northern Ontario, with the majority of their personal support workers graduating from Confederation College. Seeing the potential for a partnership, Pinecrest Home and Confederation College decided to team up. The current program is completed in just under a year and its graduates receive Personal Support Worker Certificates. With the current population including more and more seniors, the personal support worker program is an excellent program to invest in with lots of employment potential.
Students have been enthusiastic about the addition of a new living classroom and have taken to the school’s social media praising the endeavor. On the job train training not only makes post graduate employment easier to obtain, but ensures that the new workers are skilled with on the job experience. The PSW students enrolled in the living classroom program are not only encouraged to work at Pinecrest Home but can also qualify for tuition assistance in the form of interest free loans, which means less debt when they graduate.
The residents of Pinecrest Home are ecstatic about the program because it brings them into contact with new people and brings more energy to the residence. The bond between student and patient can be easily seen the minute you walk into the learning classroom, where there’s always a bustle of activity and a room full of smiles. So far, the initiative has been a smashing success for the Kenora community, promoting growth in PSW education and employment.
For more information on enrolling in the program please contact Confederation College directly.