St. Clair College Getting Set to Offer Tuition-Free PSW Training


The province is moving to improve direct daily care for residents of long-term care homes by offering free training for personal support workers at colleges across Ontario.

Over $115-million has been earmarked by the government for 6,000 new students in the PSW training program at 24 colleges, including St. Clair College in Windsor. 

As part of the effort, 2,200 existing PSW students will be eligible for a tuition grant of $2,000 to assist them in finishing their studies.

The historic campaign to accelerate training is a step towards hiring enough personal support workers to provide four hours, on average, of direct daily care to residents — a promise made by Premier Doug Ford.

Chair of Nursing Program at St. Clair College, Linda Watson, says the PSW program currently runs over two semesters with eight months of training

Watson told AM800's The Afternoon News that the program will be cut back to six months with this change.

"Classes will be a little more heavy in terms of the number of hours in the day. But we will get through all of our theory content in 12 weeks and then they will move into their clinical placement for the second 12 weeks of the program," she says.

Watson says students will start in April or June with everything paid.

"They will have their full tuition paid, they will have money for their books, for their uniforms, for their shoes, for their CPR courses, for whatever expenses they have to be enrolled in the program," she says.


(AM800 file photo)

Watson says it takes a special person to want a career as a personal support worker.

"It takes someone who cares a lot. Someone who wants to work with people, someone who likes to work in a very fast-paced environment where there's a lot of interaction with vulnerable people that need your help," she adds.

Long-Term Care Minister Merrilee Fullerton says, "Modernizing long-term care requires innovative solutions and programs that allow us to recruit and train PSWs quickly so that they can begin their meaningful work caring for our loved ones."