Care Taught Here

SCC health programs earn high marks for quality

When Dean Vantiger (SCC ’09) was sidelined from his
carpentry business due to a knee injury, he decided it was time
for a new career.

He was inspired to return to college after the care he received
from SCC grads during his surgery and recovery.

“I was involved with my fire department as a first responder
and always had an interest in helping my community,” Vantiger
explains. “I remember hobbling in my full-length cast to meet
with the counselors about getting into the nursing program.”

He thrived thanks to the support he received from the staff.
Three years later, he walked across the stage with his RN degree.
Vantiger credits his SCC instructors for their encouragement
along his journey.

Dean Vantiger stands outside his place of employment.
Watch his story.

“I really gained insight and a deeper understanding of medicine.”

Vantiger’s story is not uncommon.

Pay a visit to a health care provider anywhere in the region
and chances are you’ll come in contact with a Blackhawk. That’s
because for decades, SCC has been the go-to destination for area
residents wanting a health care career.

“Not only do people choose SCC for
the local convenience,
they choose us for our reputation and
job prospects once they graduate.”

says Dean of Health Professions Kristi Schroeder.

Each of SCC’s six health care programs regularly score high
marks for academic quality and student achievement. These
indicators come in all forms, including test scores, employment
statistics, and job satisfaction.

Schroeder is quick to mention that 94% of 2019 graduates from
SCC’s RN program passed their licensure exam, or NCLEX-RN,
on their first attempt.

The standardized national exam measures the competencies
needed to perform safely and effectively as a newly licensed,
entry-level RN. It is required before students can start their
nursing career.

With so much riding on passing successfully, student stress
levels are always high, making passing on the first attempt an
extra special accomplishment.

“The NCLEX isn’t just another test,” says Cole Roberts, nursing
program coordinator. “One reason our grads do so well is because
of the high quality of instruction they receive while in the program.
We make sure that when our grads leave SCC, they know their
stuff because lives depend on it.”

SCC students fared better than the Iowa average of 87% and
exceeded the national average as well.

Roberts continues that with the most recent 6-quarter average
of 98%, SCC’s pass rate isn’t a one-off statistic.

“Our students regularly outperform many Iowa and national

This consistency translates to employability. Grads from all
SCC health programs are a hot commodity in facilities large and
small, within the region and beyond. Respiratory care students
regularly receive job offers and hiring bonuses in advance of
graduation. And that success continues well after the initial hiring.
The medical assistant program earned 100% satisfaction among
employers and grads last year as well.

“All of these indicators are outside validation of the quality of
our programs,” says Respiratory Care Program Coordinator Stacy

Sells also evidences a less scientific – but equally telling –
statistic as a quality indicator of SCC students among their peers
in other Iowa colleges: Iowa’s annual intercollegiate knowledge
competition among respiratory care students called the Sputum

“Our students have won the traveling trophy eight out of the
past ten past years.”

Schroeder credits SCC’s health programs’ strengths on a
combination of skilled faculty and staff, and quality healthcare

“Our instructors spent years caring for patients before
beginning their teaching careers,” says Schroeder. “Pair that
with the new Health Professions Center in West Burlington and
refurbished lab facilities in Keokuk, and our students couldn’t ask
for a better education.”

Learn more about SCC’s health programs at

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