Health Profession Opportunity Grants




HPOG is a FREE healthcare training program for residents of Albany, Fulton, Montgomery, Rensselaer, Saratoga and Schenectady Counties who meet household income requirements.

HPOG is operated by Schenectady County Community College in partnership with Schenectady Community Action Program (SCAP) and Albany Community Action Partnership (ACAP). Together, we offer the opportunity to become a certified healthcare professional.  We pride ourselves on being responsive to your needs so that you will be successful. We are dedicated to providing academic, work readiness and other supports to ensure you have the knowledge and skills needed to enter the healthcare workforce and meet the challenges that lie ahead.

* Those who meet household income requirements:

  • Receive Temporary Assistance for needy Families (TANF) or
  • Meet the 200% federal poverty guidelines

* Those who have no criminal history, are Drug-Free and meet the Functional Abilities for the training program. Read More on These Requirements.

Certified Nurse Aide (CNA) combined with Personal Care Aide (PCA)
Join a career that is personally rewarding while helping others that are in need of assistance. A CNA performs tasks involving the personal care of residents in long-term care skilled nursing facilities. The seven-week course includes classroom learning and lab training with a minimum of 30 hours of clinical rotations. Included in the seven-week course is 40 hours of PCA training for those who would prefer to work in home settings. Graduates of the course are eligible to apply for the competency exam through the NYCNA website. Upon passing the exam, graduates are then registered as Certified Nurse Aide.

Home Health Aide (HHA) combined with Personal Care Aide (PCA)

This course is ideally suited to those wishing to work with patients in their homes. It will provide you with a knowledge base of important personal care skills that can be applied at work or can be used no matter where you go or what you do in life. It consists of a four-week, 75-hour training that combines 40 hours to reach PCA certification with an additional 8 hours of hands-on experience in a home- or assisted-living setting. Upon passing the required exam student’s names will be entered in the New York State Registry for HHA and PCA and issued a certificate.
Books, Supplies, Uniforms, Test fees and CDTA passes are provided for each training.

Personal Care Aide (PCA) upgrade to Home Health Aide (HHA)

Under this new training program individuals who currently hold a valid PCA certificate will learn the skills to become a Home Health Aide (HHA). The job of the Home Health Aide is to support healthcare workers who, under the supervision of a Registered Nurse, provide assistance with personal hygiene, housekeeping and other related supportive tasks to a patient with health care needs in his/her home. This is a two week course that includes an eight hour clinical rotation to be completed before the final skill assessments. Please call the Health Profession Opportunity Grant (HPOG) office at (518) 621-4007 or (518) 708-6556 for additional information about scheduling and cost.

Community Health Workers (CHW) Certificate
Community Health Care Workers are a vital link to promoting health and wellness throughout communities and to lowering health care costs. Certified Community Health Workers (CHW) act as part of a team within public health, hospital, social service and other community support organizations to promote health and wellness, and provide support and services as directed by the organization. The certification can be obtained after successful completion of 96 hours of classroom training (divided into four consecutive courses) and 96 hours of internship with area hospitals, medical centers, Department of Health, other health care organizations, or community organizations. Eligibility requirements include prior experience the health care field (e.g., CNA, HHA, PCA, EMT) or medical science OR prior experience in community engagement, either paid or volunteer, as demonstrated by confirmation by sponsoring organization.

Training will take place at one of our locations:

SCCC - Center City, Schenectady
SCCC - 175 Central Avenue, Albany              

The technical skills learned in these programs are practiced in the specifically equipped student labs.  Students practice learned skills on fellow students and mannequins using a variety of patient care equipment including wheelchairs, gate belts, thermometers and stethoscopes.   After the students have a clear concept of nursing skills and have practiced in the lab, they participate in clinical rotations in healthcare facilities including hospitals, nursing homes and other healthcare facilities. 


The HPOG program is designed to help you get the healthcare career you want.

Academic Assistance
- We offer the Integrated Basic Education and Skills (I-BEST) program which is designed to increase your potential to advance academically.

Adult Basic Education
and ESL–This class is available to individuals who require additional academic support and is geared toward the healthcare field.

Career Readiness
– You will undergo a rigorous career readiness training that will help you examine your skills, identify your goals and prepare you to meet the challenges of today’s job market. Topics covered include:
     •examination preparation
     • time management
     • problem solving and decision-making
     • understanding boundaries between work, home and family
     • work ethics
     • budgeting
     • resume and cover letter writing

Job Search Assistance
– After graduation, our employment specialists help you find a job that is right for you. Once employed, our case managers help you stay employed. Overall, our job placement rate is more than 60 percent.

Career Ladder Support
– We have an agreement with Belanger School of Nursing (formerly known as Ellis School of Nursing) to ensure continued support services for those HPOG participants who want to advance their education and career opportunities.  In addition, on an as needed basis, we offer: tutoring, textbooks, uniforms, transportation and counseling.  While tuition assistance is not available for this additional training, most income-eligible students qualify for financial aid through the school. 


Outcomes as of December 2014:

  • 1,400 Enrolled in training(55 currently in classes)
  • 1,294 Completed training (95% of those enrolled)
  • 1015 Employed (78% of those completed)
  • 922 employed in healthcare (71% of those who have completed)


Contact one of the HPOG partners to get enrolled in the program.  This FREE training program will end soon, so contact us today !!

Schenectady County Community College


For Albany and Rensselaer Counties:

Albany Community Action Partnership
333 Sheridan Avenue
Albany, NY  12206

For Fulton, Montgomery, Saratoga and Schenectady Counties:
Schenectady Community Action Program, Inc.
913 Albany Street
Schenectady, NY  12307

This document was supported by Grant 90XF0007 from the Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS). Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of HHS

Success Stories!

See scenes from our January 28, 2014 HPOG graduation on our
Flickr Page

Read success stories of HPOG graduates by clicking here.