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On the Road to a Rewarding Career at Arlington Career Institute

By S. Mathur

Arlington Career Institute (ACI) differs from a college or a university because of the focus on putting students on a career track. Jon Vecchio, CEO and Campus Director, says, "The biggest difference is we train/educate students for quick entry into the workforce. Most of our programs can be completed in less than one year. This is a pathway to career and not a degree." Legal and health care professionals are in great demand. Not only that, but they offer students rewarding, fulfilling work that they can enjoy while helping people.

Programs in health care and law train students for careers as paralegals, medical assistants, court reporters, nurse aides, administrative assistants, and medical office support. ACI is accredited by Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges and approved by all relevant regulating agencies and professional bodies such as the Texas Workforce Commission, Career Schools and Colleges Section, Austin, Texas, and the Texas Department Of Aging And Disability Services (DADS). ACI has the only campus-based court reporting program approved by the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) in North Texas.

Student demographics vary, and students can be anywhere from 24 to 48 years of age. There are a fair number of nontraditional students as well. Vecchio says, "They have almost all tried four-year or community college, but it was not a good fit. Our classes are small and hands-on, and we provide job placement assistance upon completion. Some of our students do come directly from high school usually to enroll in ACI's more lengthy court reporting program. We also have nontraditional, more mature students who are looking to get retrained for today's workforce."

With a choice of day and evening classes, students can complete their programs even while juggling commitments to jobs and families. Many programs include externships, partnering students with working professionals to give them real world experience. The career placement office works with students for job placement. ACI students are eligible for professional certifications such as those issued by the National Association for Health Professionals (NAHP) and the National Health Career Association. Certification tests are held on campus throughout the year.

Vecchio says, "We concentrate on legal and medical for one simple reason. That is where the jobs are! The demand for health care has always been steady, but we know with the aging population, the demand has greatly increased and will continue for the foreseeable future. There have always been lawyers, judges, and county, state, municipal, and federal courts. All of these individuals and entities require support personnel to get the job done and keep the wheels of justice moving."

Student success is measured in terms of job placement and career satisfaction. Some students find jobs even before they graduate, and comments from alumni show that they find their careers interesting and rewarding.

More information can be found at www.arlingtoncareerinstitute.edu.

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