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Creating Access to Careers in Health Care

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the CATCH Program?

The CATCH program combines online learning with intensive hands on skills labs and clinical work experience at partner health care facilities to allow low-income students to get the training they need to move into better paying jobs on a flexible schedule, while they continue to work and support their families.

CATCH stands for Creating Access to Careers in Health Care. Key words in this title that help describe CATCH include access and careers. The mission of CATCH is to make accessible work-ready health care certificate programs by:

Through CATCH, students can count on gaining in-demand health care skills along with computer and information literacy, study skills, critical thinking, problem solving, financial literacy, and communications skills.

CATCH is a multi-year, multi-million dollar federally funded initiative that began in 2010. It's managed by Edmonds Community College and boasts a rich local partnership including Business Access, a company that specializes in building in-home learning communities, Edmonds and Everett community colleges, regional health care employers, Snohomish County, and Washington State.

The program will prepare nearly 500 low-income adults in Snohomish County for jobs such as nursing assistant, EKG technician, phlebotomy technician, monitor technician and restorative aide. Additional short certificates and certificates of completion will be rolled out during each of the grant's remaining years.

How do I qualify to participate in the program?

CATCH serves low-income students — specifically, those with an income at or below 175% of the federal poverty level, factoring in family size. If you meet this initial eligibility requirement, CATCH staff will also assess your reading and math skills using CASAS (Comprehensive Adult Student Assessment Systems), career interests using the 0*NET Interest Profiler (Occupational Information Network), and learning preferences followed by a required criminal background check.

Why does CATCH conduct a criminal background check?

CATCH wants to ensure the success of the students it places in clinical externships and prepares for work. Since certain crimes disqualify CATCH applicants from participating in clinical placements and ultimately from working with vulnerable adult populations, all CATCH applicants are reviewed by the Washington State Patrol. Those with certain convictions are ineligible. CATCH initiates and pays for each applicant’s background check as part of the CATCH application process.

How long will the training take?

Six to nine months. CATCH students complete two work-ready certificates. Because CATCH uses online and in class instruction in a fast-paced, compressed format, students can accomplish their goals in a little more than six months. The fast-paced, compressed format is designed to move students to work and advanced degree programs faster and more efficiently.

How many hours per day and/or week can I expect to be in school?

CATCH is a full-time program. For every one credit hour in which you enroll in CATCH at either Edmonds Community College or Everett Community College, you will spend approximately two to three hours outside of class studying. A full-time CATCH course load is 12 or more credits. So at a minimum, a full time CATCH student will spend 24-36 hours in study time per week plus their 12 or more class hours each week.

The daily CATCH schedule varies according to the program's core requirements. CATCH is currently designed so that all in-class and lab requirements can be met during 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., allowing for a typical childcare schedule. Clinical schedules can vary with start times as early as 6 a.m. Clinical externships require you to be available to work full shifts in a medical facility in addition to any classes, work and / or family commitments you may have. Plan early! Alert your current childcare provider now of your upcoming needs.

The core CATCH Program requirements include:

Each component is rigorous, full-time, and necessary for completion of CATCH.

Is transportation available?

CATCH ensures all accepted students receive a pre-paid bus pass, which serves as your official college ID card as well.

I've never done online classes, how do they work?

CATCH uses a unique, user-friendly in-home learning resource called Business Access. All CATCH students are assigned a locally-based, online mentor who guides you through your new online learning environment, and helps you overcome obstacles to your learning. Once you've gained comfort and skills in using the Business Access online learning environment, you'll be well-prepared for your college-specific online learning platform, Canvas. A host of resources are available online to help orient you to these platforms. CATCH ensures you have the online fluency needed for success in our program. Learn about Canvas.

What is I experience academic difficulty while in CATCH?

During each CATCH course, you're encouraged to stay in close contact with your instructor(s), especially if you are having any academic difficulties. Also, a specially trained classroom support instructor will be in class and online to help, too. On campus there is a tutoring center that can also help. CATCH staff are here for you, each step of the way!

I don't have a computer/Internet access at home. Can I still participate?

Yes! CATCH provides students with their own laptop. CATCH further offers four weeks of full-time, intensive online learning instruction using a unique in-home learning model delivered through Business Access, a national expert in in-home learning. Once a CATCH student has earned their first work-ready certificate, laptop ownership transitions from Business Access to the student. Each CATCH laptop includes lifetime access to the rich-array of online learning modules, courses, and resources available on the Business Access web platform. Further, all CATCH students receive 12 months of web-access using a Sprint Mobile Broadband Connection Card. Each student's access to CATCH's online learning resources is 24/7. If you have cell phone access at home, the CATCH laptop and online learning components will work for you!

What jobs will I be able to apply for following the CATCH Program?

Many of the occupations projected to grow the fastest in the U.S. economy are concentrated in the health care industry. CATCH employs a full-time career advisor assisting all CATCH students with career goal clarification, job search, networking and interviewing, resume writing, and support of job performance to help ensure job retention.

Nursing Assistant/NAC or CNA: Work-ready training

In Washington state, Nursing Assistant training is approved and monitored by DSHS and leads to nursing assistant certification testing. Nursing Assistants perform a combination of duties in care of patients in hospitals, nursing homes, or other medical facilities under direction of nursing and medical staff. Nursing assistants perform a number specific and general duties including, but not limited to: answering signal lights, bells, or intercom systems to determine patients' needs. Bathes, dresses, and undresses patients. Serves and collects food trays and feeds patients requiring help. Transports patients using wheelchairs or wheeled carts, or assists patients to walk. Drapes patients for examinations and treatments, and remains with patients, performing such duties as holding instruments and adjusting lights. Further, nursing assistants turn and reposition bedfast patients, alone or with assistance, to prevent bedsores.

Available at Edmonds Community College and Everett Community College.

Phlebotomy Tech: Work-ready Certificate

Under the direction of a physician or other licensed health care professional, Phlebotomist duties include collecting samples of blood and other fluids from patients. Prior to collection, it is the phlebotomist's responsibility to assure that all collection instruments and environments are sterile and of first use. Phlebotomists work in hospitals, blood banks, blood mobiles, clinics and laboratories.

Available at Edmonds Community College and Everett Community College.

EKG Tech: Work-ready Certificate and Monitor Tech: Certificate of Completion

EKG technician is short for electrocardiographic technician. An EKG Tech administers cardiovascular tests on patients by using the electrical impulses that are transmitted by a patient's heart. An EKG Tech will most likely work in hospitals or a physician's office. Further, CATCH offers a certificate of completion in Monitor Tech. Monitor Techs examine heartbeat patterns on electrocardiograph monitors and make notes of irregular rhythms while monitoring changes in patients' heartbeats. They further ensure that monitors are functioning properly.

Available at Edmonds Community College only.

What other requirements are needed to be accepted into CATCH?

A completed CATCH application needs to be on file in the CATCH office. Applications can be obtained by calling 425.640.1361 or emailing terri.webb@edcc.edu.

A Washington State Patrol and a national background checks are required of all CATCH applicants. Certain disqualifying crimes can hinder clinical placements and employment so CATCH works closely with each applicant to assess past crimes and their potential impact on securing future employment. If a student's past criminal record prevents them from beginning a career in health care, CATCH staff members work closely with that student to explore other fields and options leading to successful outcomes.

In some cases, proof of low-income status may be needed such as tax forms or other financial income proof.

Immunizations are required PRIOR to the start of clinical internships. Students will have to complete specific immunization requirements and provide documentation to their instructor. CATCH works with each student while in the program to obtain the immunizations needed prior to clinical placements. Built into the CATCH pre-requisite courses is an instructor-led overview of what immunizations are needed, why, and by when to ensure timely clinical placements.

What supplies and resources will I need for the program?

CATCH provides accepted students with all necessary supplies including, but not limited to, a laptop computer, all course textbooks and materials, scrubs, shoes, gait belts, stethoscopes, and additional lab supplies as needed and required for each course. CATCH staff pre-order all needed student supplies and materials and distribute them to students as they are needed throughout the program.