By PAULETTE PARKER
At the beginning of April, staff changes came to the Competency-Evaluated Nursing Assistant testing site at Washtenaw Community College. The center, once staffed and operated by WCC, will now be operated by staff from the state-certification exam provider, Prometric. Prometric https://www.prometric.com/en-us/Pages/home.aspx is a large U.S.-based company that runs a variety of certification tests and has testing sites throughout the U.S. and 160 other countries. This change comes as a result of the state of Michigan selecting Prometric to provide all of their state-certified exams, including the CENA exam.
“The state of Michigan, in order to be consistent, made the decision that they wanted Prometric to give all of their state-certified exams,” said Val Greaves, dean of health sciences. “This is not uncommon to happen with a state exam because they want to make sure everything is administered the same across the board.” A stipulation of this decision is staffing all sites with Prometric employees.
“It wasn’t that they had any issues with our testing site or anything was wrong; they just wanted Prometric to run all the sites,” Greaves said.
“Prometric gave us an ultimatum and basically said, ‘We come in, and we operate the testing center, or your students can’t test here; they’ll have to go to another testing site,’” said Kris Good, dean of math and science. After a cost-benefit analysis, it was decided that it was in the best interest of students to provide on-site testing. Prometric rents the testing space, providing WCC with revenue.
“We tried to preserve everything for the students so we wouldn’t raise costs or logistical problems or any of that kind of thing,” Good said.
“We wanted to do that because it’s really convenient for our students,” Greaves said. “We don’t want our students having to go down to Detroit and other areas where they’d have to take the exam.” Beyond staff changes, the testing will remain the same.
“When we ran the testing center, we hired the employees, but we still had to follow their rules,” Greaves said. “We had to follow all the state rules, and Prometric was involved in that, making sure we complied and such.”
Of the lab assistants that formerly staffed the center, those who wanted to remain at WCC were absorbed into labs on campus. Some chose to retire.
“Prometric was willing to hire our staff, but most of our staff, actually, I don’t think any of them wanted to go with Prometric,” Greaves said. No changes have come to the CENA program at WCC.
“The actual CENA program is still definitely 100 percent Washtenaw taught, created and controlled,” Good said.