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CCC&TI program provides for hospitals

News-Topic - 1/17/2019

Jan. 16--Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute is adding a degree to help fill the need for medical personnel at local hospitals.

The CCC&TI Board of Trustees voted Wednesday to approve adding a Human Services Technology associate's degree and a mental health concentration within that degree.

The program comes after discussions with several local hospitals planning expansions of their mental health treatment services, said Dr. Mark Poarch, president of CCC&TI.

Caldwell Memorial Hospital in Lenoir and Cannon Memorial Hospital in Watauga County are both building new mental health wings, each with 27 patient beds and 30 new mental health jobs. The hospitals have been trying to figure out how they'll fill the new positions and turned to CCC&TI, Poarch said.

"This is a direct response from us to meet the needs of our local industry," he said.

Graduates with a Human Services Technology degree will be able to get jobs assisting social workers or working as mental health technicians, psychiatric aides, substance abuse counselors, health educators and more.

The two-year program is expected to be approved by the state in time to start this fall semester, Poarch said.

In other business, the board of trustees also voted to dissolve CCC&TI's landscape gardening program because there have not been any students for two years.

Reporter Virginia Annable can be reached at 828-610-8724.

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