Ivy Tech Community College partners with IHCA/INCAL to launch new credential in health care

Ivy Tech Community College and the Indiana Health Care Association/Indiana Assisted Living Association (IHCA/INCAL) have developed a new credential, Long Term Care Specialist Certificate, to meet the increasing demand for bedside caregivers in long term care facilities. 

Ivy Tech has long offered training programs for Certified Nurse Aides (CNAs), however the looming workforce crisis has created a need to formalize career pathways for CNAs—who are considered the backbone of long term care. The Long Term Care Specialist certificate program will create a foundation for CNAs to continue their education in nursing or other health care related occupations.

The certificate program will offer individuals the opportunity to obtain their CNA and continue their education by earning certifications in dementia care, restorative care, qualified medical assistant and meal planning. Combined, these certifications will result in the newly launched Long Term Care Specialist Certificate from Ivy Tech.

Ivy Tech collaborated with long term care employer members of IHCA/INCAL to develop the stair-stepped approach for the sector’s entry-level direct care employees. Individuals are able to move along a career pathway under one credit-bearing program that also offers them the ability to cross-walk existing on-the-job-training within a long term care setting.

“We are thrilled to work with IHCA/INCAL to create an opportunity to support and provide long term care organizations with the skilled employees they need,” said Mary Anne Sloane, vice president of healthcare, Ivy Tech Community College. “These additional credentials are valuable to the long term care organizations and their residents, and will also result in a skilled workforce and higher wages. We are thankful for our partnership with IHCA/INCAL and the ability to work together to meet the workforce need.”

IHCA/INCAL members have the option to enroll their employees into this certificate program through Ivy Tech’s Achieve Your Degree (AYD) program at no additional cost to the employee. AYD allows employers to provide tuition reimbursement on a deferral basis to their employees, along with concierge services for enrollment, financial aid, and advising.  More than 320 students from long term care have participated Ivy Tech’s AYD program.

“Our members greatly appreciate the partnership with Ivy Tech to develop the Long Term Care Specialist certificate,” said Emily Berger, director of workforce development and member services, IHCA/INCAL. “The need for talented and dedicated professionals to care for our state’s seniors has never been greater. Our state’s seniors deserve to receive the highest quality care from the best trained professionals in long term care. IHCA/INCAL members and Ivy Tech’s administration and faculty worked quickly and collaboratively to assemble this program, which is a testament to the dedication we all have to providing great educational and employment opportunities.”

Those interested in this program may contact their local Ivy Tech campus for enrollment information.  This certificate is pending financial aid approval, however individuals can still apply. Employees should check with their employer to determine AYD or tuition reimbursement eligibility.

About Ivy Tech Community College

Ivy Tech Community College serves communities across Indiana, providing world-class education and driving economic transformation. It is the state’s largest public postsecondary institution and the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system. It serves as the state’s engine of workforce development, offering high-value degree programs and training that are aligned with the needs of its communities, along with courses and programs that transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association.


IHCA/INCAL is the state’s largest trade association and advocacy group representing for-profit and not-for-profit nursing homes, as well as assisted living communities and independent living. The association provides education, information, and advocacy for health care providers, consumers, and the workforce on behalf of its more than 360 member facilities.  IHCA/INCAL Contact: Deeksha Kapoor, 317.616.9002, dkapoor@ihca.org.

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