March 21, 2018 | News

Photo of Confederation College and Healthcare Partners Launching the Living Classroom PSW Program in Dryden

Confederation College Partners with Local Healthcare Organizations to More Closely Align Education with Work Experience

Confederation College Community News, March 21, 2018

Confederation College alongside healthcare partners District of Kenora Home for the Aged (DKH), Patricia Region Senior Services Inc. (PRSS) and ParaMed announced the introduction of an innovative curriculum delivery model to the Dryden community. Together they launched the ‘Living Classroom’ Personal Support Worker (PSW) program, which will be offered by Confederation’s Dryden campus starting this fall. The model combines classroom and real-life experiences to support students in completing the one-year certificate program.

“We’re so pleased to partner with these organizations to help provide a solution to the shortage of PSWs being faced by the local community,” said Jim Madder, President of Confederation College. “We originally launched this delivery model at our Lake of the Woods Campus in Kenora and in expanding to Dryden, we are looking forward to supporting more students through access to this unique learning opportunity where they call home.”

Studying on-site at the connected Princess Court (DKH) and Patricia Gardens (PRSS) facilities, the inter-professional, interactive learning environment will help students gain the knowledge and confidence needed to succeed in a PSW career. They will immediately be able to apply the theory they learn in the classroom by practicing their skills in the healthcare setting. In addition, students may be provided the opportunity to gain meaningful part-time employment when not fulfilling program requirements, supporting students’ ability to earn income, while also supporting the collective need of the partnering organizations.

“In the long term care field we are experiencing an increase in demand for personal support workers while at the same time the College is experiencing decreasing enrollment in the personal support worker program,” said Kevin Queen, CEO and District Administrator of District of Kenora Home for the Aged. “This unique collaborative approach with four organizations brings the classroom into the workplace providing the student the ability to practice the classroom lessons in the workplace immediately. The result is a more confident and proficient graduate. We are very pleased to be part of this effective collaboration.”

Martin MacKinnon, Chairperson of Patricia Region Senior Services Inc. echoed the sentiments. “We are excited about this education opportunity with Confederation College and our community partners,” he said. “The Living Classroom is a unique learning experience that will benefit anyone interested in pursuing the Personal Support Worker career. We recognize that value of hands-on learning and are pleased to invest in this initiative, as we see a true success story for our seniors as well as our community.”

For more information about the ‘Living Classroom’ PSW program, contact the Confederation College Dryden Campus at or (807) 223-3035. Options for tuition assistance – interest-free loans may be available for students.