(By Jamie Henneman/Chewelah Independent)
IT, Medical Assistant programs launch this spring…
The Colville branch of the Community Colleges of Spokane is planning to offer new classes and programs this spring for students who are interested in getting job training and college credits in Stevens County.
The Colville campus that serves over 300 students offers not only undergraduate credit classes for those working towards a four-year degree, but also vocational and job training programs, according to Manager Maria Swinger-Inskeep.
“Our campus is a good option for people who are looking not only at credit classes but also worker retraining or GED programs,” Swinger-Inskeep said. “We have a diverse mix in our student body, so we can have 60-year-olds and 16-year-olds in the same class, but it creates an environment where everyone can learn from and help each other.”
Two new programs starting at the Colville campus this spring are: a job training program for Information Technology fields and a Medical Assistant program.
The Networking Essentials class will train students for entry-level Information Technology jobs. The class will cover the fundamentals of computers, mobile device hardware and software, while also explaining advanced security and networking concepts.
The Medical Assistant program partners with Mt. Carmel Hospital and has both applied science degree and certificate options. Students will learn how to perform a range of administrative and clinical duties through intense training and hands-on skills. Both the Networking Essentials class and the Medical Assistant program are scheduled to begin in March when the college starts its spring quarter offerings. Swinger-Inskeep said by working with local partners, like Mt. Carmel Hospital, the college is able to provide connectivity to jobs and the community.
“It’s important to provide educational opportunities that will keep people in the community,” she said. “People who live in or grew up in small towns are likely to give back with their time and efforts, which gives our community a positive boost.”
For those ready to head to a job interview, the college also provides a free “career clothing closet” that offers professional clothes to students.
Pickleball to be offered
In addition to the new job-focused offerings, the college is also adding a new sport to its list of classes this winter. Students who need to obtain a P.E. (Physical Education) credit can now sign up to play pickleball—a mix between ping pong and tennis. The school gym/cafeteria area at the college can be converted into three pickleball courts where players can use the flat, solid ping-pong paddles and whiffle balls to play an active game.
The college is also having several “Start Now” events in January and February for students who are interested in learning more or getting the admissions process started. The “Start Now” events are scheduled for Jan. 22., Jan. 29 and Feb. 5 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call 509-279-6704.
ABOUT THE DIRECTOR
Maria Swinger-Inskeep is the Manager of the Colville Campus of the Spokane Community College. Swinger-Inskeep took over for long-time Colville campus manager Donna Jo Smith who retired in 2016. Swinger-Inskeep has a background in working in administration and formerly worked at the University of Kansas, as well as Pend Oreille County as their Human Resources Director. Swinger-Inskeep said she has an enthusiasm for academia and learning. “I love the world of academia and I know the benefits of education. It’s great that our small community college can offer wonderful opportunities to people in our area,” she said.