The Virtual Career Network - Health Care (VCN) is coming soon.
The American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) was awarded a grant in 2010 from the Employment and Training Administration (ETA), U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), to build and operate a Virtual Career Network - Health Care (VCN). The purpose of this platform is to assist un- and under-employed persons transition to health care careers. The platform will offer a structured step-by-step online process designed to assist users:
- Determine whether a career in health care is appropriate for them by linking to labor market information and experiential information, such as career videos or 'day-in-the-life stories', to answer common user questions ("What do jobs like this pay?", "Is this a growing occupation?", "What is it like to be a …", etc.);
- Decide which health care occupation is the best fit for them;
- Identify the credential(s) needed to pursue the occupation or career path they choose;
- Locate instructional programs either online or at a local educational institution, completion of which leads to obtaining that credential;
- Obtain the foundation education (directly through the platform) where online assessments determine that additional academic preparation is required to meet the prerequisites for entry into that school and/or instructional program;
- Find financial aid to help cover costs of taking such an instructional program; and
- Create and maintain a personal Career Management Account in which they can store all of this information (and more), maintain personal control over their academic, counseling, and work records, and direct over time their own career development.
The platform will be structured to deliver free online foundation and e-learning courses leading to health care-related credentials.
The VCN is being built as an open source, open content platform. All of the tools, assessments, user interfaces, labor market information, experiential materials about health care careers, foundation training courses, and other resource materials will be available for use by other systems and other platforms. Any user can create and maintain their own Career Management Account, and gain access to all of the career tools it contains. While initially focusing on health care, the platform is being built to be sufficiently robust to expand easily to cover other occupations or career clusters or industry sectors. Use of the platform, as a delivery system, is free to ETA grantees.