The Benefits of Refresher Courses

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We're confident at Concorde that the health care education received by students is enduring and will have a lasting benefit. The health care world, however, is complex and always changing, upgrading to new technologies and procedures. It's difficult to keep on top of the skills and techniques one needs to remain successful. That's where refresher courses come in. Concorde offers its graduates the opportunity to come back and re-take any course they've previously taken at any time, tuition free. There is a small processing fee of around $100, and students must purchase any new textbooks they might need. But, it's a great opportunity to brush up on old skills learned years ago, or pick up a few new, updated skills used in the field today. Also, students have access to refresher courses at any campus as long as it has the program the alum graduated from earlier. A student who received his or her health care education originally from Concorde's campus in Aurora, Colo. could move to, say, Texas for a job and attend refresher courses at our Dallas or Grand Prairie campuses. "Say a graduate is working at a facility that implements a new process or piece of equipment," said Graham Nott, Concorde's Vice President of Academic Affairs. "The Concorde alum learned the skill while in school, but it's been a few years. The graduate could easily return and refresh on the process or piece of equipment." According to Concorde statistics, since 1999, 932 students system-wide have taken refresher courses. Those totals range from 357 at our campus in Portland, Ore. to single-digit participation at others. "It's just a good way for students to keep their skills fresh, especially if they haven't used them since graduation," Nott said.

Other benefits to refreshing a health care education

Nott pointed out that refresher courses also are a good way for graduates to re-insert themselves into the college community. "They have opportunities to reconnect with Graduate Employment, start networking," he said. "It could lead to other opportunities." "Any course they've taken and passed ... and as long as the student has graduated," Nott said, "they're eligible for a refresher course." Unlike Continuing Education Units (CEUs) required by many health care careers such as Nursing to further existing health care education, refresher courses are mainly designed for graduates to sharpen existing skills, Nott said. Take that student who graduated in Colorado, but wants to move to Texas. He or she might, depending on the program, first have to pass a licensure exam for that state. "They would probably want to go to Dallas or Grand Prairie and take a refresher," Nott said.
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