A new Surgical Technology will open in October as the first of a handful of new educational opportunities following an extensive expansion at Canadian Valley Technology Center’s Cowan Campus, near Yukon.
The $19.6 million project is an example of the school’s efforts to educate people for in-demand jobs in various industries across central Oklahoma, said Superintendent Dr. Gayla Lutts.
“The northern portion of our school district in Canadian County has grown more than 28 percent in the last decade,” Lutts said. “We constantly hear from patrons who want classes that will enable them to work in the healthcare industry.”
The COVID-19 pandemic caused an already overwhelming demand for health care workers to skyrocket, she said. CV Tech’s Cowan Campus, located at SW 15 and Czech Hall Road in west Oklahoma City, opened in 2008. It has since been re-branded as a healthcare-only educational facility.
New construction adds 60,000 square feet of educational space, including a “safe” seminar center. Added floorspace provides for new programs to meet demand associated with rapid area population growth, Lutts said. Students and staff also will be assured shelter in the event of severe weather.
The Surgical Technology program prepares people to assist doctors with operations. Technologists also prepare operating rooms and arrange equipment before surgeries.
The job outlook is strong for surgical technologists, with anticipated growth of 7 percent through 2029, according to information supplied by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Median pay (half earn more, half less) is $24 per hour, or just shy of $50,000 per year.
The additional space at the Cowan Campus also has permitted Practical Nursing to relocate from the El Reno Campus. That’s important, said Cowan Campus Director Joe Meziere.
“Having students with common interests and goals helps create a good campus community,” he said. “Our student interests range from working in a long-term care facility to becoming a surgeon.”
Meziere said the campus is ideally situated to be a healthcare education hub with its proximity to Interstate 40 (two miles north) and its closeness to area schools. Mustang and Yukon high schools, both among the top 10 largest in the state, are within six miles of the campus.
“Area growth and the pandemic have together created more stress to the already needed jobs in our local healthcare industry,” he said. “This campus is ready to provide the education necessary to help fill current needs while continuing to prepare for what the next phase of health careers in our county holds.”
Other programs in the future might also include Dental Assistant and Ophthalmology Assistant. No timetable has been established for a start date for either of the proposed programs.
As for most programs at CV Tech, high school students attend programs for a half-day. Adults have options of a half-day, full-day or even part-time, based on their needs. Students enrolled in Practical Nursing or in Surgical Tech must attend all day. Adults under age 24 may attend tuition-free using the Next Step Scholarship if they live in-district and have a diploma or equivalent.
In addition, dozens of short-term, Adult Career and Community Development classes are offered at the campus. The Nurse Refresher and Phlebotomy courses are the most popular. For a full list of short-term and full-time classes, visit cvtech.edu.
For Surgical Technology enrollment information, call (405) 345-3333 and ask to speak to a career counselor. CV Tech also offers the program at its Chickasha Campus.