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SUNY Broome Brings Home Health Care to the Masses with New MOOC

Girls study with a tablet computer at a table.

At this time of year, with the heat and humidity beating down on us, there is one thing that we need to remember – check on your elderly neighbors. They are fragile, susceptible to heat exhaustion, and often need a helping hand in staying cool and doing things around the house.

You don’t need to be a nurse or medical professional to do some of this work. But there may be some skills that you are not as familiar with or just haven’t had to use in a while.

That’s where SUNY Broome comes in.  This summer, they are offering their first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) called “Foundations for Assisting in Home Care.”

The self-study course guides students through everything from nutrition and meal planning through budgeting and first aid. While there are some lectures and quizzes, students also learn some of the material through videos and interactive exercises and simulations.

One of the best parts of the course, aside from re-learning some skills you probably haven’t used since high school health class, is that the course is offered for free through Coursera.  The course began on Jun 29 and runs through September 2. Over 500 students have already enrolled and students can still join.

Right now, the course does not provide students with any certifications in the home health care field, but it does provide basic knowledge for those who may either care for an elderly or infirm person or for those that wish to pursue a credentialed program in the future.

In the future, SUNY Broome aims to have the course offered to students on an “on-demand” basis, rather than through a semester schedule. They are also looking to enhance future versions of the course with free online text materials and job recruitment and referral resources.

SUNY campuses have been offering MOOCs for a few years now. In fact, Buffalo State College offered a MOOC through Coursera this spring called “Ignite Your Everyday Creativity” that enrolled over 40,000 students world-wide.

This course was recently highlighted in an article that originally appeared in the Binghamton Press and Sun Bulletin on July 18, 2015 by reporter Shannon Hazlitt. Read how “Open SUNY MOOC Targets Workforce Gap.”

Emily Schwartz

Written by Emily Schwartz

Emily Schwartz is the Coordinator of Open SUNY Communication and Projects.

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