Equivalent Allied Health coursework offered at both campuses

By Juan Calvillo

Allied Health students from East and South Los Angeles have the same resources and classes available to them at both the Monterey Park and South Gate campuses of the college.

The South Gate campus of East Los Angeles College makes both the lecture and lab coursework for theory and clinical classes in Allied Health available to these diverse communities of students.

Pablo Garcia Jr., director of Allied Health Department’s Health Occupations Program and ELAC professor at South Gate, said the communities served at South Gate are from different walks of life.

He said the students are young and old; they take classes during the day and online and have different backgrounds.

He said the main idea is that the communities in the area are being serviced and that students can see the feasibility of taking Allied Health courses at South Gate.

Garcia said the overarching idea is to be there for the students. He said the best way to show students that they can become part of the Allied Health Department is through recruiting events and community outreach. 

This means showing students that they can take both their lecture and lab classes at South Gate.

Monica Thurston, Allied Health Department chair, said the department has offered classes in the various programs that make it up at South Gate since the fall of 2020. 

She said setting up the program at the campus was a challenge due to some of the limitations of space in the building. 

She said the department was able to figure out how to create a viable workspace with the help of Erica Mayorga, South Gate campus dean.

Thurston said Mayorga found the department the adequate space for a lab that was dedicated entirely to the Allied Health Department. Mayorga also helped with allocating a bin for storage of the supplies needed for Allied Health Department courses. 

“The coursework at both the Monterey Park and South Gate campuses are the same,” Garcia said  and clinical courses at the center are held during the day time. Thurston said this caused some issues with holding them at South Gate.

“I had to be creative and strategic in creating the schedule every semester. This was very challenging at times because all programs wanted to offer daytime courses to the students and there were not enough classrooms on campus,” Thurston said.

Garcia said being able to offer all the different disciplines with the same content and experience is entirely a testament to the department staff. 

He said all the clinical skills and information for each class in the department are the same throughout. Garcia said faculty collaborate to make sure that all classes have the same information and all students learn the same things.

“We want to make sure that all of our courses are in alignment with one another. What I mean by that is, if we are teaching a specific course (then) everything that is on the syllabus that we are going to be teaching is universal. Whether I’m teaching it, or for example another faculty member is going to be teaching it, we are all in alignment,” Garcia said.

He said this alignment allows for all students to be up to date and not miss out on anything that is going on. 

He said week one material in a specific class is taught the same way no matter the session or campus that it is being taken at.

Thurston said the Allied Health Department’s goal is to make sure that short-term health care programs are represented and taught at the South Gate campus. 

She said the department plans on offering additional courses in the future and include: Transporter (Orderly), Community Health Worker, Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), and Pharmacy Technology. She said the idea is to help the students in the community scholastically.

“These short-term programs will allow the students in the community to earn a Certificate of Achievement and be eligible for gainful employment,” Thurston said.

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