A partnership between Drumheller Valley Secondary School, Campus Alberta, and Red Deer College has given young adults in the valley the opportunity to fast track their post-secondary careers. 

The Health Care Aide Certificate Program allows high school students to earn a post-secondary certificate along with still earning high school credits.Mikaela Smith HCA Cake CUT

This is the second time the program has run, and students have just wrapped up their practicums.

DrumFM caught up with the thirteen students who took the course at their graduation ceremony.

"It is the graduation of the Health Care Aide Program through RDC. This is the first step program, so you get to work in long term and continuing care with elders," explained student Ocean Bossert.

The program length is one full semester of high school or 20 weeks. Instead of sitting in classrooms learning regular high school curriculum, students were learning the skills they needed to work in the health care industry. Classes were full time and included practicums.

"I really enjoyed interacting with the patients. We learnt a lot through the course and it was very compacted, but there was a lot of knowledge there and our instructors were very informative," continued Bossert.

Students paid a deposit for the program, which they received upon completion. The cost of the course was covered by Drumheller Valley Secondary School.

"I did my first practicum in Drumheller long term care, and my second one was at Points Wests Living in Red Deer," concluded Bossert.

Five of the students who took the course will be continuing on with their careers in the medical field. Drumheller Valley Secondary School has the program set to run again in September.

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