New programs to give students job skills

Neidenne Arevalo
Staff Writer 

The University of La Verne is introducing a new career readiness program in six demanding medical fields. They offer non-degree certifications for anyone that’s interested in expanding skills and career opportunities. 

Programs include dental assistant, home health aide, medical assistant and medical records specialist.

Extended learning programs are flexible, with of weekend, evening and online self-paced programs. 

Jamie Rush, senior director of extended learning, has spent a lot of time researching which career industries are on the rise to figure out which programs will best suit the extended learning department.

The University will offer these programs in conjunction with Career step, an online training organization. 

“These programs are really designed for an opportunity for individuals to have flexible training,” Rush said.

“Our focus is to provide … high quality non-degree professional development programs that lead to professional certifications that are recognized in the marketplace,” Rush said. 

To earn certifications via these programs, students must complete the program courses along with passing an exam.

“Individuals can take one of these six programs in the healthcare area and finish and be working in their chosen field in a year,” Rush said. “We really want to help our students and the community by creating better futures, healthcare is a growing field, it’s an industry that is growing, and there is so much opportunity.”

The extended learning department focuses on real-time growing career industries to help provide pathways to those interested. 

“All the programs that are offered through La Verne extended learning are non-credit bearing,” Brian Clocksin, vice provost for strategic initiatives, said. “They do not work towards a degree, like a bachelor’s, but they provide skills and certificates that allow those who complete it to jump into the workforce in the healthcare realm,” Brian Clocksin, vice provost for strategic initiatives, said.

Those interested in the extended learning department, specifically the medical field programs, have the opportunity to obtain an American Academy of Professional Coders certified medical biller or AAPC certified professional coder

“We view it as a good opportunity for students, either new –  coming out of high school, or folks seeking to change careers as a way of getting some competencies that allow them to earn and learn their way through school,” Clocksin said.

Courses for each program will be taught by instructors that have an AAPC certification in order to help those enrolled through their experience to achieve success. 

“We really want to make sure that we build out pathways and opportunities for students,” said Associate Provost Roy Kwon. “By providing opportunities like this to make sure that students not only get the education but they are set up for success after they graduate is vital.”  

“We as educators have a moral responsibility to make sure that students have those opportunities,” Kwon said. 

For more information on new and existing extended learning programs visit

Neidenne Arevalo can be reached at 


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