For the past four years, the Ross Medical Education Center campus in Portage has enjoyed their partnership with Progressive Alternatives in Kalamazoo. Progressive Alternatives serves individuals from many walks of life that have experienced traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and orthopedic traumas. The campus regularly sends students from both the Medical Assistant and Medical Insurance Billing and Office Administration programs. In addition to serving as an externship site and graduate employer, the staff has truly partnered with the campus, helping with mock interviews, sending guest speakers, and consistently helping to ensure high levels of student success. The externs in the Medical Insurance Billing and Office Administration program work in their corporate office, learning about mental health and billing. The Medical Assistant externs work one on one with residents, experiencing the day to day of what it means to provide dedicated, focused rehabilitative care. The Career Services team at Ross knows that Progressive Alternatives is always willing to work with students, providing them with a unique and rewarding experience.
To find out more, read the interview below with Cheryl Zellmer, Human Resources Coordinator of Progressive Alternatives:
What do you like about Ross graduates?
There is a lot of diversity in how they are trained. They come in with a lot of knowledge; they are definitely more prepared than other programs that I have worked with.
What is something you like about working with Ross?
The Career Services representatives are very easy to work with. Also, the tracking of the program has a lot of integrity; the students don’t track their own hours, so they are always accurate. The program flows and functions well, and the externship is not too short or too long.
How is the Career Services staff at Ross?
I love them; they are awesome. Many times I work later, and there are nights that they are available. Their Career Services staff will come out for site visits. If I haven’t gotten to something, they will help facilitate it getting done. They make my job easier instead of harder.
How would you describe your experience with having externs from Ross?
It enables me to provide a lot better one-on-one interaction with and attention to my patients. Having them here is really helpful, and it’s been a great recruiting resource to get quality candidates.
Overall, how would you assess the success rate of Ross graduates?
Graduates are usually very successful, some have moved up into management positions. The training lays a great foundation, and sometimes we are a stepping stone to get experience and move on. Most of the externs and graduates are awesome.
What’s the main advantage of hiring a Ross graduate?
One of the main advantages is the quality of their education. They are very well prepped on the expectation in the real world on employment. They come in with real expectations and a good understanding of what they need to do to be successful.
How would your facility be affected if it weren’t for Ross graduates?
We would definitely have to work a lot harder in recruiting to get employees. Around 30-40% of our recruiting is done through Ross.