Eastland-Fairfield CTC News Article

Agriculture/Heavy Equipment and Pharmacy Programs Get Boost Through Acquired Industry Accreditations

In recent months, two high school programs at Eastland-Fairfield Career & Technical Schools have created new pathways for its students by earning industry accreditation in their respective fields. The Pharmacy program, located at the Fairfield Career Center, is continuing to offer additional growth opportunities through its accreditation with Pharmacy Technician Certification Board, while at Eastland Career Center the Agriculture and Heavy Equipment program has become one of just two Ohio high schools to be recognized by the Associated Equipment Distributors.

Agriculture and Heavy Equipment now accredited by Associated Equipment Distributors

Agriculture/Heavy Equipment student can now graduate with certification that put them further ahead of the competition.Effective October 5, 2021, the Agriculture and Heavy Equipment program at Eastland Career Center is now recognized as an accredited program by the Associated Equipment Distributors (AED). 

AED is an international trade association representing companies involved in the distribution, rental and support of equipment used in construction, mining, forestry, power generation, agriculture and industrial applications. It is also the only industry-standard training to be recognized. Accreditation was not available to high school programs until 2019. With acceptance as an accredited member, the Agriculture and Heavy Equipment program, and its students, will be only one of two high schools to have such recognition. 

Instructor Mr. Ed Kunka revealed that having the Agriculture and Heavy Equipment program at Eastland Career Center was a goal since he was hired to lead the program in 2019. The process required the completion of five steps:

  1. Find companies to co-sponsor the program

  2. A panel of businesses must successfully complete an extensive review process to evaluate facilities, equipment, curriculum, and instruction

  3. Prove the ability to provide approved college-level coursework to students 

  4. Complete a successful  inspection of facilities, equipment, and curriculum by AED

  5. Cover AED membership fee

With AED accreditation, Agriculture and Heavy Equipment students from Eastland-Fairfield have already experienced newly-opened doors contributing toward their futures. Kunka explained that many businesses in the industry are looking for employees that come from AED-accredited programs, which often means greater exposure to highly-recognized companies, higher-paying jobs, and access to both at accelerated rates.

By completing the program at Eastland-Fairfield, students will also earn college credit that will count for up to six course credits, translating into up to eight fewer weeks of post-secondary school. All Eastland-Fairfield students that complete the program will also graduate on the cusp of earning Bronze level status in the industry field.

As of November 4, Kunka reported that two seniors in the program have already been offered employment opportunities as a result of completing the required coursework and certifications to be AED certified. 

“This shows that we are one of the leading programs in the state. Now we are not just talking the talk; we are walking the walk,” said Kunka.

For more information about the Agriculture and Heavy Equipment program at Eastland Career Center, please visit www.eastlandfairfield.com/AHE.  

Pharmacy offers students options and growth opportunities by renewing its accreditation with PTCB

A Fairfield Career Center Pharmacy Tech student poses after sealing a bottle of placebo medication.Earlier this school year, the Pharmacy Technician program at Fairfield Career Center completed the process and was notified that it will continue to be accredited by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB). 

Pharmacy Technician instructor Ms. Tiffany Rhoades explained that PTCB is the accrediting body that possesses a unifying standard for pharmacy technician programs when addressing medication safety and patient care. By completing a pharmacy technician program accredited by the PTCB, learners are then eligible to take the PTCE (Pharmacy Certification Board Exam), which is more widely accepted throughout the industry and opens doorways to future opportunities. 

By completing a PTCB accredited program, learners are not required to become state board approved before taking the exam and are not required to work the necessary 500 hours under physician supervision before taking the exam. PTCB-accredited programs also prepare Pharmacy Technician program completers the flexibility to explore both retail or institutional (ex: hospital, clinic, dispensary) pharmacy across the country.

Being a PTCB accredited program also makes additional certifications available to students looking to create their own custom-built experience to prepare for life after graduation. These certificates allow students to specialize in specific areas of the pharmacy technician industry, heighten the level of tasks they are certified to complete, and increase the level of independent engagement with patients. They will also prepare individuals for their next steps be it entering the workforce, medical school, or a post-secondary pharmaceutical program.

The Pharmacy Technician program became PTCB-accredited upon Ms. Rhoades’ arrival in 2017 and requires re-application to PTCB every two years to maintain its accreditation status.

Formed by a collaboration of pharmacy societies and associations across the United States, PTCB became the first certification organization for pharmacy technicians in 1995. PTCB is the only nonprofit pharmacy credentialing organization in the US.

For more information about the Pharmacy Technician program at Fairfield Career Center, please visit www.eastlandfairfield.com/Pharmacy

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