Education - Page 7 - Workforce needs, from page 1

- Page 7
Workforce needs, from page 1
Training to become a central sterile processing technician consists of one face-to-face noncredit course, one online noncredit course and a 400-hour externship (four courses) that can be completed in six months. Students examine the responsibilities of a central sterile processing technician in various medical settings, including general hospitals, public health clinics, private doctors’ offices and specialized surgical centers. They learn about inventorying tools, sterilizing equipment, and ensuring the cleanliness and safety of operating rooms, tables and other equipment.

The job outlook for CSP technicians is very favorable. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in the field is projected to increase by 12 percent through 2027. The average annual salary in Maryland is approximately $37,000 per year. “CSP technicians are the heart of the hospital,” says S. Dana Marron, transition coordinator for adult education and English language learning at AACC.Marron adds that AACC is currently working on similar ESL programs for dental assistants and radiology technicians.

For her externship, Henderson was placed at Johns Hopkins Bayview where she received hands-on experience in washing, cleaning, dis- Workforce needs, from page 1 infecting and sterilizing equipment, before packaging the pieces and then assembling trays for surgeries. Henderson is now employed at Johns Hopkins Bayview.

Henderson studied nursing in the Philippines but had not previously worked in health care, though she had previous experience in quality assurance for a retail operation. After completing her studies at AACC, she is now working at Johns Hopkins Bayview and is setting her sights on pursuing equipment-specific certifications and doing her best to be a professional CSP tech. “I want to help doctors and nurses to be supplied with clean and safe instruments to save patients’ lives,” says Henderson.

University of Maryland and Capital One Collaborate on Tech Incubator

This past November, the University of Maryland and McLean, Virginia-based Fortune 500 bank Capital One opened the new Capital One Tech Incubator. This partnership is located in the new Diamondback Garage, a startup hub behind the Hotel at the University of Maryland. The 7,500-square-foot facility is part of a $2 billion revitalization of the community around the campus known as Greater College Park. The mission of the incubator is to provide cuttingedge research opportunities in machine learning and data science as well as create a pipeline of job opportunities for students and new talent for industry.

When the partnership was first announced, the University noted the many advantages to UMD and its students. “The opportunities that this partnership will bring to UMD will have a tremendous impact on our students’ ability to meet urgent workforce needs,” says UMD Senior Vice President and Provost Mary Ann Rankin. “This partnership will not only help attract and retain top faculty and students, but will also propel UMD to national prominence and excellence in these critically important fields.”

“Through this partnership, UMD students will be able to take what they are learning in the classroomand apply it to real-world problems that Capital One and other companies will present to them,” says Amitabh Varshney, Ph.D., dean of the UMD College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences.

By working with Capital One, Varshney observes, UMD is helping to position the state of Maryland not only to determine its high-tech workforce needs but to meet those needs as well.

“We hope that the incubator will serve as a magnet for talent from across the world, with students coming to UMD and then remaining to work in Maryland,” says Varshney.

Varshney sees the incubator as an “exciting, intellectually stimulating learning environment that will provide maximum enrichment for students,” while also helping meet the ever-increasing demand for high-quality talent in the computer sciences. •

The value of hands-on learning

According to Building4Education (, hands-on learning has numerous benefits, no matter how old the student. It helps them understand something they have never experienced, understand what is happening or how to do something (especially beneficial for learners who learn best by doing), and also teaches practical problem solving.

For students pursuing higher education, hands-on learning experiences also prepare them for the workplace by encouraging creativity and innovation along with the hard skills they will need to succeed in the workplace. •