LAKE WORTH — New degree and certificate programs in construction and the health sciences are slated to begin this fall term at Palm Beach State College to meet industry hiring demands.
With the Building Construction Management Associate in Science degree and related certificate, Palm Beach State aims to bring much-needed new talent into the growing construction industry to replenish its rapidly aging workforce. In the health sciences, the A.S. degree and certificate programs in health services management, surgical services and medical assisting will provide employers with the better-prepared workforce needed to handle the increasing complexities of health care delivery.
Fall term classes begin Aug. 23, and prospective students may attend virtual information sessions for the construction programs on June 22, surgical services on June 23 and medical assisting on July 7. To attend, register at palmbeachstate.campuslabs.com/Engage and search for either “construction” or “health.”
Building Construction Programs
The Building Construction Management A.S. degree and Building Construction Specialist College Credit Certificate focus on managing the construction process and high-demand knowledge and skills in construction materials and methods, cost estimating, scheduling and planning, building information modeling, site logistics and more. The A.S. degree includes a summer internship, and the CCC is designed for those who already have a degree and need a faster route to employment.
“We identified with our construction industry partners that there was a gap in quality candidates for entry-level management positions and used their guidance to develop the curriculum,” said Thomas Gauthier, Ed.D., associate dean for industrial and technical programs. “In a sense, these are the industry’s programs. When students graduate, they will have the competencies necessary to launch a successful career in construction management.”
Dale Hedrick, founder and CEO of Hedrick Brothers Construction, likes the industry experience of Palm Beach State’s faculty and staff, as well as the college’s affordability.
“These programs offer an incredible opportunity for the next generation to learn this valuable knowledge from skilled members of the construction industry,” Hedrick said. “Palm Beach State College is filling a tremendous need to train and educate a workforce that will be the future of our industry.”
The timing is right for students, too. According to Robert Smithwick, executive vice president of operations for Kolter Homes, Florida is the best state for home construction.
“This is a great industry. It’s tangible, and financially I think it’s one of the stronger industries that you can go into,” Smithwick said. “With PBSC’s programs, our intent is to rebuild our bench strength and give local students the chance to start and grow a career right where they grew up.”
For more information about the construction programs, visit www.palmbeachstate.edu/career-pathways/pathway-industry.
Health Science Programs
The Health Services Management A.S. degree will prepare students to work on the business and financial sides of health care delivery. Health services managers are critical to the functioning of hospitals, outpatient and rehabilitation facilities, large medical practices and public health agencies. According to U.S. News & World Report, this position is the No. 1 business job for 2021.
“Health care facilities and providers are looking for more educated, skilled workers,” said Julia Steff, professor and department chair for health information programs. “Graduates of this degree program will be able to combine accounting skills with business skills, IT skills and health science knowledge. They’ll be able to work with anybody on the health care team, from clinicians to insurance companies.”
The Surgical Services A.S. degree replaces PBSC’s Surgical Technology clock-hour certificate program and will continue to prepare surgical technologists who, as members of the surgical team, ensure safe, sterile and fully equipped operating rooms in local hospitals and outpatient centers. The transition to an A.S. degree — a nationwide trend in the field — addresses the sophisticated techniques and advanced technologies used in surgeries today, which in turn makes more demands on surgical technologists.
The development of the new Medical Assisting Advanced A.S. degree followed a similar path. The College’s Medical Assisting clock-hour certificate has been replaced by the A.S. degree as well as the new Medical Assisting Specialist College Credit Certificate for those who want a faster route to employment. Both the A.S. degree and CCC prepare students for employment as members of a physician’s health care team, capable of handling both clinical and administrative duties.
Obtaining any of the new A.S. degrees will also allow students to pursue a bachelor’s degree. Palm Beach State’s Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Supervision and Management has general and health management concentrations, as well as tracks in entrepreneurship and project management, and is designed as a transfer option for associate degree graduates to continue their education. As more education is always an advantage, graduates of CCC programs may put their credits toward the A.S. degree in the same field of study.
For more information about the health science programs, visit www.palmbeachstate.edu/career-pathways/pathway-health.
For more information about PBSC’s bachelor’s programs, visit www.palmbeachstate.edu/Bachelors.