Palm Beach State College began in 1933 as Florida’s first public community college. Three of the most popular certification programs at Palm Beach State College are in the fields of dental assisting, medical assisting, and surgical technology. While the staff at Palm Beach State College has always gone out of their way to provide their students with a real-world training environment and the knowledge needed to succeed on their certification exams, the students were having a tough time adjusting to new online versions of the tests.
“We needed to give the students more exposure to online testing, with the goal of improving our overall certification results,” said Jane Fisher, Program Director at Palm Beach State College. Jane tells us about the success they have experienced since implementing Edmentum’s Northstar Workforce Readiness and Study Island programs.
Edmentum: Describe who you’re serving and what unique needs they have that this solution addresses?
Fisher: Students are required to complete a certification exam at the end of their 10-13months of study. Although students were completing their fields of study with the skills and knowledge necessary to be successful in medical assisting, dental assisting, or surgical technology, translating that knowledge to the online tests was becoming a challenge.
Edmentum: What are the strengths of your online learning solution?
Fisher: Collaborating with management and two other programs on our campus make it affordable for a small program like Palm Beach to purchase Northstar Workforce Readiness and Study Island. Edmentum’s Northstar Workforce Readiness system provides easy-to-use, online practice and preparation for Allied Health certification and licensing exams, making it the perfect tool for the students to use for test practice, instruction, and review. Study Island is also used to strengthen students’ understanding of the complicated terminology involved in their fields.
Edmentum: What results can you share about the success of this implementation?
Fisher: This is the first web based resource for testing our program has utilized. We are very pleased with the area content and believe it has assisted in certification success. The first students to have used Northstar and Study Island during their course of study to complete the medical assisting, dental assisting, and surgical technology programs at Palm Beach State College finished their programs in the spring of 2013. As a result, passing rates on the certification exams have increased.
A new class of roughly 30 future medical assistants, dental assistants, and surgical technologists will begin their programs at Palm Beach State College in the fall and will emerge 13 months later thoroughly prepared for their certification exams. The College is currently investigating whether to adopt Northstar for its other post-secondary certification programs.
Thank you to Jane Fisher for sharing your success. Read their full story here.