Allied Healthcare Consortium Wins Grant

A consortium of eight academic institutions in Colorado, Alaska, Montana, South Dakota, and Wyoming has been awarded a $14.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to enhance allied health programs and train a highly qualified healthcare workforce. The four-year grant, part of the federal Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training Initiative, will fund the Consortium for Healthcare Education Online (CHEO) as it develops online and hybrid allied healthcare courses and programs, with the ultimate goal of creating and awarding certificate and degree credentials in a host of areas, from emergency medical services and hospice care to practical nursing. In addition, CHEO will help to forge partnerships between allied-health providers, community colleges, and local workforce centers to train returning veterans and unemployed and underemployed workers, among others. The project builds on the work of the WICHE-managed North American Network of Science Labs Online (NANSLO), an innovative U.S.-Canadian consortium of institutions that facilitates the sharing of remotely accessible scientific equipment through use of the Internet and a distributed network, providing students with the opportunity to conduct virtual-hands-on science experiments online. WICHE’s role in the CHEO project will be to coordinate the use of NANSLO and put together professional development programs for career coaches at the eight participating institutions: Alaska’s Kodiak College; Colorado Community College System’s Pueblo Community College (the CHEO project lead and fiscal agent), Otero Junior College, and Red Rocks Community College; Montana State University-Great Falls College of Technology, as well as Montana’s Flathead Valley Community College; South Dakota’s Lake Area Technical Institute; and Wyoming’s Laramie County Community College.