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After six years as a patient care assistant in the BWH float pool, Haitian-born Margareth Lochard is considering a degree in nursing. Through the Partners in Career and Workforce Development (PCWD) program, Lochard was one of eight BWHers to graduate from pre-college classes on June 29, bringing her another step closer to enrolling in college courses.
In Lochard's Pre-College class, JVS instructor Babak Bagheral prepared students to pass college placement exams and to read and write at a college level. “I enjoyed it very much,” said Lochard, one of four BWHers in that class. “It increased my knowledge. I had a very good teacher.”
Another PCWD class, Pre-College Reading and Writing for Non-Native Speakers, aims to improve students' reading and writing skills, said teacher Heather McNemar. One student found the course not only prepared him well for college writing, but also improved his writing of e-mails and reports in his current job. In addition, the students sharpened their Internet, research and presentation skills.
The two courses fall under the PCWD umbrella that covers several programs and helpful career planning tools funded by a grant to Partners HealthCare from the Boston Workforce Development Initiative. More than 100 BWH employees have enrolled in the free PCWD programs to launch career plans with career coaches.
"The PCWD program provides employees with access to a career coach, information about health care careers, career development resources, planning tools and educational opportunities,” said Beverley Sobers, manager of BWH Workforce Development. “The hospital encourages entry level employees to take advantage of its culture of learning to increase their education and skills to advance to higher-paying jobs. The program also addresses some of the hospital's critical labor shortages in areas such as Nursing and Allied Health.”
BWH graduates of the Pre-College Class are Bettina James, Margareth Lochard, Hazel Cannon and Althea McDonald-White. BWH graduates of the Pre-College Reading and Writing Class for Non-Native Speakers are Willy Burgos, Argentina Lopez, Quinley Miao and Gregorio Rodriguez.