Becky McKee

Frontliners program is helping students achieve career goals

After 25 years, Rebecca McKee is back in the classroom, although this time it is virtual, and her tuition and mandatory fees are now covered through the Futures for Frontliners program put into place by the State of Michigan last year.

“It’s so different,” said McKee. “All my classes through Glen Oaks Community College are online, which was all a new experience for me; but fortunately, my 23-year-old son has been a huge help in steering me through the hoops of online learning technologies. I don’t own a textbook as my books are online. And since the start of Covid-19, ZOOM meetings with pharmaceutical reps at work has helped my comfort level with technology.”

Glen Oaks had 144 students eligible for the Futures for Frontliners program out of which 98 are currently enrolled.

“Of those enrolled, 66 received funding from Frontliners,” said Tonya Howden, vice-president of student services. “Students who did not receive Frontliner funds may not have met the six- hour credit requirement of the program or may have already received federal/state aid to cover tuition costs. For those who did qualify for the program, Frontliners offered a great opportunity for financial assistance to earn a college credential.”

McKee obtained her medical assistant certificate in 1999 and has been working in a cardiology office in Kalamazoo (Bronson Advanced Cardiac Healthcare) for over 15 years. She is assigned to a doctor and handles the paperwork and prescriptions.

Working toward her Associate of Applied Science degree in Business Management with a Certificate in Business Management, McKee began the program in January. She is working to advance her career in the medical field. “My boss is going to retire in a few years and I heard about the Futures for Frontliners program, so the timing was ideal,” said McKee.

McKee does most of her coursework when she gets home from work and on weekends.  “Even though I can work at my own pace, I want to stay ahead of the course material.” Plans for her would be to finish the program sometime next year.

A Three Rivers resident, McKee has recently been promoted to co-clinical coordinator where the clinical staff report to her. Her job entails making sure providers and patients are taken care of, along with creating daily schedules,

“My Glen Oaks experience has been challenging – but good. I’m looking forward to the next semester,” said McKee.