Since School at Work (SAW) was introduced at Yale-New Haven in 2004, almost 75 employees have graduated from the on-campus, seven-month program. SAW helps employees improve their study skills so they can confidently resume their formal education. SAW is for employees who want to go back to school for a career change, move into a different department or take on additional responsibilities in their current department.
Two-hour classes are held weekly and students take classes in grammar, reading, writing, math, medical terminology, communication and career planning. SAW is free for students who must have the permission of their managers to attend. Employees attend SAW on work time if classes fall within their work schedule.
"We introduced School at Work to get employees thinking about what they need to do to advance their careers at Yale-New Haven," says Patricia Worthy, RN, manager, Workforce Diversity.
"Some students opt to get additional training, others decide to go back to school and get a degree, others learn how to create a better résumé that they can use to advance within the hospital," explained Worthy. "This year, we are excited to offer employees on the Chapel Street Campus the opportunity of applying to SAW."
"School at Work opened my eyes to what I could achieve and motivated me to go back to school as soon as I graduated," says Lakeya Cannon, Patient Transport associate, who earned a degree in accounting from the University of Phoenix. When she could not find full-time work in her field, she began to study for a master's degree in healthcare administration and hopes to work in the growing field of informatics.
For years, Tania Palmer had worked as a PCA on a general medicine unit and then as a technical assistant in the Adult ED, but always wanted to go back to school to become a nurse. In 2007, SAW gave her the opportunity to pursue her goal.
"SAW encouraged me to get back into school mode," says Palmer, who had graduated from high school in 1997.
"The structure of the classes got me into the groove of homework and studying. I applied to Southern Connecticut for nursing and got in!" says Palmer, now a registered nurse in the Adult Emergency Department. "SAW is a wonderful stepping stone for employees."
The next SAW class — with approximately 10 openings — begins in February. Classes will be held on the York Street campus in the Max Taffel conference room. To be considered for admission, employees must take a comprehension test.
For more information, employees should contact Cynthia Lowman, career counselor, Human Resources, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 688-1085. Employees may also go to Employee Self Service and click on the School at Work link under Employee Programs.