Maryann Garcia of Chandler had been working for Banner Health for several years as a technician and a certified nurse assistant when she decided she wanted more training to become a surgical technologist. With a full-time job and two children, she needed a school that could provide a quality education while meeting the needs of her busy schedule.
She found what she was looking for in adult education at the East Valley Institute of Technology.
“At EVIT, I was able to get in right away. There was no wait list,” Garcia said. “The program was challenging, but would also fit my schedule.”
Now, Garcia is about two months away from completing the EVIT training that could help her land a surgical technologist job paying $5 to $7 more an hour than she earns now.
Every year, hundreds of adults like Garcia take classes at EVIT, a career and technical education school serving adults and high school students in the East Valley. Adult programs charge tuition at rates that are competitive with private trade schools, and an EVIT financial advisor can help adults identify assistance opportunities, such as grants or the G.I. Bill. Most adult classes are offered at the Dr. A. Keith Crandell (Main) Campus, 1601 W. Main St., Mesa.
EVIT Adult Education offers:
- An afternoon and/or evening Cosmetology program with enrollment opportunities every four to six weeks for the first 26 weeks of the program.
- Daytime Practical Nursing, Surgical Technology, and Sterile Processing Technician programs.
- Evening Nursing Assistant, Precision Manufacturing Technology, Collision Repair, Welding, and Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning programs.
In addition, adults may enroll in high school programs at EVIT that are identified as “blended” to include adults, said director John Underwood.
“Perhaps the biggest advantage for adults is our program structures,” Underwood said. “Typically at a community college or technical school, vocational courses are tied to the typical semester scheduling and the program is normally broken up into smaller classes as credits … Enrollment numbers for a single 3- or 5-credit class may dictate if that class will be offered – or be postponed to another semester.”
At EVIT, adult programs start with a group of students and continue until finished, ensuring once a student starts, there is a defined end for the training, Underwood said.
Also, EVIT’s adult students typically pass state licensing exams at higher rates. For example, the 2013 first-time pass rate for EVIT’s adult Nursing Assistant program was 100 percent for the written exam and 83 percent for the manual skills exam, according to the Arizona State Board of Nursing website. The 2013 state average was 89 percent for the written exam and 80 percent for the manual skills exam.
Sterile Processing Technician is EVIT’s newest adult program, and there are plans to offer an assisted living caregiver facility training program and an industry-supported residential service and repair plumbing program this fall.
Students in the health programs are required to complete a certain number of hours at a medical site. For three months, Garcia has been doing a surgical technologist externship at Cardon Children’s Medical Center and Banner Desert Medical Center in Mesa . “Surg techs” facilitate invasive surgical procedures and maximize patient safety.
“It’s been very, very interesting, all the different types of cases I get to see,” Garcia said.
She would recommend EVIT to other adults. “My instructors were great, EVIT as a whole is great, and the hours were great,” she said. “I have two children and I’m managing a full-time job and school. It’s hard, but it can be done.”
Adult students at EVIT must be 18 and have a high school diploma or GED. Adults in “blended” high school programs must pass a fingerprint clearance, and some programs have additional requirements. Information: www.evit.com/adulted or (480) 461-4028.