Nine people become CNAs thanks to funding by Texas Public Education Grant

01.13.2017 | By Jeannie Peng Mansyur

Nine people took an opportunity to apply for free job training at San Jacinto College, and now it’s paying off. After 12 weeks they are ready to apply for work as  Certified Nurse Aides (CNA) thanks to the Texas Public Education Grant (TPEG) that covered the cost of their training.

CNA course participants were recently recognized for their completion. Cesalie Caldwell said the course provided a perfect opportunity to begin working in health care while studying to become a registered nurse.

“I’m so glad I did this,” said Caldwell, who was hired as a patient care technician by DaVita dialysis center while in the course. She will continue her studies in spring 2017 to pursue a degree in nursing. “This class gave me insight on where I can go with my certification and an opportunity to dive into the health care field and start working while I study nursing.”

The CNA course is a part of the health occupations program in the Continuing and Professional Development division and offers a variety of health care courses to train participants for quick entry into the industry. Training provides participants with the skills, knowledge and abilities to care for residents of long-term care facilities. Those who complete the training will be prepared for entry-level employment in long-term care facilities, hospitals, and doctor's offices. He or she will also be eligible to take the State of Texas Certified Nurse Aide Certification Exam.

Courtney Melcher, a stay-at-home mom, found out just how easy it was to apply for TPEG funding to get back into the health care workforce. “I had an impulse and stopped by the Central Campus, saw the Continuing and Professional Development window, was handed a TPEG application, filled it out and received the scholarship.”

Like many who complete CNA courses, Melcher decided to continue her studies in health care by enrolling in the College’s Emergency Medical Technician associate degree program.

TPEG provides financial assistance to participants in the form of need-based scholarships to train in Continuing and Professional Development courses at San Jacinto College. A limited number of scholarships are awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis during the fall and spring semesters only. For most eligible courses, the grant covers the entire cost of tuition. Students may be responsible for purchasing books and/or supplies. In addition to CNA, other courses include medical office professional, Microsoft Office computer training, bank teller, accounting specialist and payroll certification.

For more information regarding TPEG-funded job training programs and the CNA course at San Jacinto College, visit or call 281.478.3636.

About the Continuing and Professional Development division
This division at San Jacinto College provides continuing education and training for both current and future employees in the professional and technical job sectors, as well as provides the public with noncredit open enrollment course options to enhance their lives. Professional and technical training is available through contract training, open enrollment, and grant funding. For more information, call 281-476-1838 or visit the Continuing and Professional Development division website.

About San Jacinto College

Surrounded by monuments of history, industries and maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has been serving the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, since 1961. As a fiscally sound institution, the College currently holds bond ratings of AA and Aa2 by Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s, respectively. San Jacinto College is a 2017 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence Top 10 finalist and an Achieving the Dream Leader College. Approximately 30,000 students each semester benefit from a support system that maps out a pathway for success. The College offers seven areas of study that prepare a diverse body of students to transfer to a four-year college or university or enter the workforce with the skills needed to support the growing industries along the Texas Gulf Coast. San Jacinto College graduates contribute nearly $690 million each year to the Texas workforce.

For more information about San Jacinto College, call 281-998-6150 or join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.