G.A.P. high school to graduate first class of CNAs through Inver Hills

INVER GROVE HEIGHTS – Sixteen high school and young adult students from Saint Paul’s west side will graduate this month from the first Certified Nursing Assistant training program offered at Guadalupe Alternative Programs (G.A.P.) through Inver Hills Community College. The students are preparing to take their clinical practicum and, at the end of the month, the state board exam.
Ranging in age from 18-24, the majority of students in the class are refugees from Burma who also are learning English as a second language. Five students in the group are working on earning their high school diploma, while the remainder is pursuing an equivalent adult diploma through G.A.P.’s Young Adults Learning and Earning (Y.A.L.E.) program.
“In spite of the fact that most of these students are refugees from a genocidal campaign by the Burmese Army, I believe that all of them will pass the board and be certified,” said Mark Pegors, G.A.P.’s director of education. “Their achievement is remarkable.”
Clinical training will be carried out through late May.
An alternative school affiliated with Saint Paul Public Schools, G.A.P. students are referred there by word-of-mouth recommendation, or through the guidance of probation officers or public school administrators.
The CNA partnership training program was arranged by Mark Pegors, director of education at G.A.P., and Kristine Hanson, coordinator of continuing education at Inver Hills. It was funded through YouthBuild USA and New Profits, Inc., with Inver Hills providing a certified trainer and donating most of the equipment needed to set up the CNA lab on the G.A.P. campus.
“When approached about this program, I immediately knew I would do whatever it took to get this off the ground,” Hanson said.
The class is taught by Inver Hills CNA Professor Sandy Verbout and G.A.P. trainer Dawn Buttera. Discussions already are underway to grow the partnership and expand the health career pathway training offered at G.A.P.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *