The Ontario government announced funding today for an accelerated Personal Support Worker (PSW) program that will cover students’ tuition and other expenses, allowing participants to graduate with full credentials in six months.
The accelerated program starts April 5 and is expected to produce a huge increase in PSW training at Ontario’s colleges.
"St. Clair looks forward to training a substantial number of Personal Support Workers for local communities beginning within a few months,” said College President Patti France. “And we are extremely grateful to the provincial government for the funding which will enable those new students to be educated both rapidly and virtually cost-free.”
The program will begin accepting applications in early March and will be offered at both the Windsor and Chatham campuses. The added enrolment is expected to result in over 8,000 PSW graduates provincially by this Fall.
The accelerated program allows students to fulfill the program requirements more quickly by increasing the number of study hours per week.
It will use a hybrid model that combines online learning with in-person practical experience. Students in the program will complete courses online and participate in laboratory classes available at colleges and in care settings.
Students in the accelerated program will be available to volunteer at long-term care homes and other settings early in the program and be available for paid work placements after three months.
Graduates will enter the workforce at the end of six months. The standard PSW program at colleges takes eight months to complete.
"Of all of the funding that the provincial government has allocated to combat this pandemic, perhaps none will be as beneficial in a first-hand way as this investment,” France said.
France added, "Even as the pandemic eases, I'm confident that there will continue to be a substantial need for Personal Support Workers. The experience with COVID has renewed our society's desire to enhance the care of seniors, chronically ill and disabled – including the very desirable option to keep such individuals comfortable, healthy and safe in their own homes whenever possible. Having an adequate number of Personal Support Workers in the province will be essential to realize those health care goals.”
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