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Scholarship from Adult Basic Education to get students on path to career in health care

Teaching assistant Rebecca Lawton, left, assists Rahmo Arab on Thursday at the Adult Basic Education computer lab. The Adult Basic Education program, Ridgewater College and Central Minnesota Jobs and Training Services have received a grant to offer a three-credit-hour medical terminologies class for up to 11 adult students this fall. Tribune photo by Kyle Rozendaal

Willmar’s Adult Basic Education program, Ridgewater College and Central Minnesota Jobs and Training Services have received a grant from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development to offer a free college class and certification program for up to 11 students who are interested in expanding their education at Ridgewater this fall.

“This program is a pathway for anyone who wants to advance their learning beyond the GED level,” said Julie Mischke, program manager for the Adult Basic Education Consortium. “We work with our students to help them prepare for collegiate-level class work and schedules. It’s an amazing opportunity for someone who has always dreamed of going to college or for someone who sees college as a need so they can better provide for themselves or for their families.”

The class, to be offered in the fall, is a three-credit-hour medical terminologies class that was selected because it is a requirement for five different educational paths at Ridgewater, according to Mischke.

Copperleaf Assisted Living Home in Willmar has also agreed to partner with the program to offer experiential learning trips for the students.

Students will also earn a ServSafe food manager certification that will help with career preparedness as many food-service jobs and nursing homes require some sort of Food Safety certification.

The class will be team taught by Ridgewater staff and an Adult Basic Education integrated instructor. The ABE instructor will help teach students the skills they need to succeed in college and will help organize after-class study groups for students.

To apply for the program, the applicant must take a general skills test at Jefferson Learning Center before Wednesday, they must have a GED or high school diploma, must be 17 years of age or older and must be legally eligible to work in the U.S.

There will be a preparatory education course at the Jefferson Learning Center for the first six Mondays and Tuesdays in August from 7:45 a.m. until 11:45 a.m each day. The three-week course will cover basic college skills, like the use of Microsoft Word and Powerpoint, paper formatting and how to fill out official paperwork such as the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

A second term of the program in Willmar is available in the spring and will offer an anatomy and physiology course and a course in certified nursing assistant certification. Students who participate and succeed in the fall will have a better chance of getting a spot in the spring semester.

Ridgewater in Hutchinson and the ABE program there have offered a similar program the past six years with tremendous success, according to Mischke. She previously worked mainly in Hutchinson until taking over the Willmar ABE position this summer.

For more information contact Julie Mischke at 320-231-8480 or by email at