Frequently Asked Questions About Health Careers Programs

Can I continue to work full time while I’m pursuing a health careers program?

Many of our students must continue to work while pursuing their educational programs. However, our programs take intensive time commitments since they involve class lectures and labs, study time outside of class and clinical rotations that may be on evenings or weekends. You need to consider the financial implications of reducing or modifying your work commitments in order to devote adequate time to your studies. Financial aid and scholarships are also available.

I don’t see the program I’m looking for in your list. Where can I go to find it?

Many of the colleges offer non-credit allied health programs in their Continuing Education divisions. Take a look at our Quick Guide for a broad overview of non-credit classes, and also check the current semester class schedule at the DCCCD college most convenient to you for additional possibilities. Contact the Health Careers Resource Center for help.

How well do I need to speak English to start a health careers program?

You will need to have a good understanding of conversational and written English to be able to keep up with your coursework and to communicate effectively with people on the job. All of our colleges offer classes in English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL or ESL) if you need to get your English-language abilities up to speed before applying to a health careers program.

It’s often an advantage to be bilingual in a health-related profession, especially in Spanish here in Texas. Be sure to let your program director and future employers know if you speak another language so that your skills can be used to full advantage in the workplace.

Is financial aid available? What about scholarships?

For those with tight budgets, we offer financial aid, scholarships and a variety of payment methods.

The DCCCD Foundation offers more than 350 scholarships to current and potential students, including Rising Star scholarships for Dallas County public high school graduates who have demonstrated financial need and who meet certain academic requirements.

If you think you will need financial aid or want to apply for a scholarship, please check all of your resources and be sure to allow adequate time for the application and approval process before you plan to enroll in a DCCCD college. It may take several weeks to complete and submit applications.

Are there any dress codes or restrictions about my appearance?

Technically, no. However, health careers put you in public settings where you will have to deal with different segments of society, and a neat, clean appearance will help put people at ease with you. You may need to cover visible piercings or tattoos and groom your hair neatly. Remember that many of our students are hired based on their work during clinical rotations or cooperative work experience, so put your best foot forward.

What kind of computer skills do I need to begin a health careers program?

Computer skills are critical in every area of today’s health care industry. You will need not only basic computer skills to keep up with your coursework but also the ability to master specific health-related computer programs for your future career. All of the colleges have computer labs with help and tutoring available.

I’m not very good at math – can I still choose a health career?

Math tutoring and skills labs are available on all seven of the colleges. You will go through assessment testing when you enroll at any DCCCD college, and developmental math classes are available for those who need help bringing their math skills up to college level. Find out more about why math and science are so important.

What about health certifications or immunization records?

All immunizations must be completed before you can begin clinical rotations, which are a part of many DCCCD college health careers programs. For example, the three-part Hepatitis B series of immunizations must be completed six months in advance of enrollment. Check with any high schools or colleges you attended to see if they have your immunization records; records may also be provided in a notarized letter from a parent/guardian or physician.

Current certification in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) may be required in health careers programs that have direct patient contact.

I see that many health careers program require a criminal background check. I have something in my background that may be a problem — is there any leeway on that?

It depends. Bring up your specific situation with the director of the program that you’re applying to. There are some instances in which restrictions can be waived. You may also contact the licensing board that accredits your health careers program.

When is the deadline to apply for health careers programs?

Application deadlines vary widely. In noncompetitive programs, you need to enroll for each semester during the regular college admissions process. In some of our competitive selection programs — which begin at various times of the year — there is a firm deadline to apply for the next program class.

Please ask about specific application deadlines at the campus where you plan to pursue a health careers program or by contacting the Health Careers Resources Center. The program information packet (given out at information sessions) should include this information.

Do I have to attend an information session before starting a health careers program?

You are strongly encouraged to attend an information session wherever they are offered for a health careers program, and in some instances they are mandatory. Information sessions provide a perfect time to meet faculty and staff from the program you’re interested in and to have your questions answered face to face.

Check with the college you plan to attend to see if an information session is offered or required in your intended health careers program.

What kind of transcript do I need to enroll in a DCCCD college?

You must provide an official academic transcript. The envelope containing it can be opened, but the transcript cannot be written on or altered in any way.

I’ve attended another institution of higher education and have already earned some college credits. Will they transfer into a DCCCD college health careers program?

Many of the DCCCD college health careers program has a set of prerequisites that may be met by college credits from another institution of higher education. You will need to take your official transcript (see question above) to an academic advisor at the college you plan to attend to verify transferability of credits.

I plan to earn a bachelor’s degree. Will my DCCCD college credits transfer to another institution?

DCCCD college courses that are designated as Core Curriculum are guaranteed to transfer to any public four-year educational institution in the state of Texas.

Some of our health careers programs also have articulation (transfer) agreements with area universities. Check with an academic advisor at the college you plan to attend to determine whether your associate degree will count towards a bachelor’s degree at an area university.

I’m almost finished with my health careers program; how do I go about finding a job?

Contact the Health Careers Resource Center for help with the job interviewing and placement process. Job placement services are also available on each of the college campuses.

Remember, cooperative experiences and clinical rotations are where many of our students find their first jobs out of college.