Middlesex Community College has been awarded a one-year, $79,000 grant from the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education’s Bridges to College Program to support the college’s new Health Career Credentialing for Adult Refugees (HCCAR) program.

HCCAR is designed to help the employment outlook for Lowell’s significant adult refugee population, explained Denise Garrow-Pruitt, Assistant Dean of Allied Health.

“Many adult learners entering the country have previous experience in the health care field, but do not have credentials recognized by the U.S. government,” said Garrow-Pruitt.

“This new initiative will enable low-income refugees to receive certification through our Academy of Health Professions (AHP), which offers short-term training and college-credit courses that prepare students for entry-level health care jobs,” she explained. “This training can enhance the adult-refugee students’ employability at higher wages in local hospitals, offices, nursing homes or clinics.”

HCCAR will provide intensive student supports to 30 adult learners of diverse ethnicities, and give them access to academic coaching and a bilingual advisor. Students can enroll in one of three AHP programs: Nursing Assistant, Phlebotomist, and Medical Office Assistant.

Student refugees completing the AHP programs will be able to register and take national certification exams in their fields, added Garrow-Pruitt. Certifications are also stackable and can be applied toward associate degrees at MCC, and enable students to transfer in pursuit of bachelor’s degrees.

For further information about MCC’s Health Career Credentialing for Adult Refugees program, contact Denise Garrow-Pruitt, Assistant Dean of Allied Health, at PRUITTD@middlesex.mass.edu or 978-322-8407.