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Frequently Asked Questions

What is I-CATCH?

I-CATCH stands for Innovations in Creating Access to Careers in Health Care. Key words in this title that help describe the program include access and careers. The mission of I-CATCH is to make accessible work-ready healthcare certificate programs by:

  • Minimizing costs. I-CATCH covers an array of direct college costs including some tuition and fees, textbooks, and classroom supplies.
  • Addressing individual needs. I-CATCH provides an array of intensive social and academic supports for students with little college experience to ensure academic and career success.
  • Planning for career success. I-CATCH's focus is on gaining the array of technical and workplace skills needed not only for immediate success on the job but for a life-long enriching career.

I-CATCH uses the five core principles of Holistic Student Support:

1. Building genuine relationships.

2. Providing a safe environment.

3. Focusing on student strengths.

4. Using a solution focused approach.

5. Providing a supportive community.

Through I-CATCH, students can count on gaining in-demand health care skills along with computer and information literacy, study skills, critical thinking, problem solving, financial literacy, and communications skills.

CATCH is a multi-year, multi-million dollar federally funded initiative that began in 2010. It's managed by Edmonds College and boasts a rich local partnership including Business Access, a company that specializes in building in-home learning communities, Edmonds, Everett and Skagit Valley community colleges, regional health care employers, Snohomish County, and Washington State.

The program will prepare nearly 500 low-income adults in Snohomish County for jobs in the healthcare field.

How do I qualify to participate in the program?

I-CATCH serves low-income students — specifically, those with an income at or below 200% of the federal poverty level, factoring in family size. A required criminal background check will also be conducted. Citizenship status must be either U.S. citizen by birth, naturalization, or immigrant eligible for public benefits.

200% 2020 Poverty Guidelines for the 48 Contiguous States

Persons in family/household Poverty guideline
1 $25,520
2 34,480
3 43,440
4 52,400
5 61,360
6 70,320
7 79,280
8 88,240


For families/households with more than eight persons add $8,960 for each additional person.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Adults that live in or around Snohomish, Skagit, Island, or Whatcom counties.
  • Those who receive benefits from TANF, BFET or whose income is at or below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines.
  • Immigrants who are eligible to receive federal benefits.
  • Have the ability to complete all prerequisites and at least one healthcare training certificate program before September 2020.

Why does I-CATCH conduct a criminal background check?

I-CATCH wants to ensure the success of the students it places in clinical externships and prepares for work. Since certain crimes disqualify individuals from participating in clinical placements and ultimately from working with vulnerable adult populations, all I-CATCH applicants are screened by the Washington State Patrol or SentryLink national background screening. Those with certain convictions are ineligible. I-CATCH initiates and pays for each applicant’s background check as part of the application process.

How many hours per day and/or week can I expect to be in school?

For every one credit hour in which you enroll you will spend approximately two to three hours outside of class studying. A full-time course load is 12 or more credits.

Clinical externships require you to be available to work full shifts in a medical facility in addition to any classes, work and/or family commitments you may have.

The core healthcare requirements include:

  • College and Healthcare Career Success Course
  • Digital Literacy
  • Health Care Core Pre-Requisites
  • Health Care Labs
  • Clinical Externships

Is transportation available?

I-CATCH ensures all accepted students receive a pre-paid bus pass, which serves as your official college ID card as well.

I've never done online classes, how do they work?

All CATCH students are assigned a locally-based, digital navigator who guides you through your new online learning environment, and helps you overcome obstacles to your learning. A host of resources will be made available to help orient you to the online Canvas platform. I-CATCH will prepare you to have the online fluency needed for success in our program. Learn about Canvas.

What if I experience academic difficulty while in I-CATCH?

During each course you are encouraged to stay in close contact with your instructor(s), especially if you are having any academic difficulties. Also, I-CATCH has an academic advisor and community navigator ready to assist you with other life issues or barriers that arise. Our admin staff are also here to help provide additional supports you may need to achieve academic success. On campus there is a tutoring center that can also help. I-CATCH staff are here for you, each step of the way!

I don't have a computer/Internet access at home. Can I still participate?

Yes! I-CATCH provides students with their own laptop. Once an I-CATCH student has earned their first work-ready certificate, laptop ownership transitions from I-CATCH to the student. Further, any I-CATCH students that needs internet access from home will be provided 12 months of internet access via mobile Wi-Fi Hotspot. If you have cell phone access at home, the I-CATCH laptop and online learning components will work for you!

What will my career options be after I complete a certificate or degree with I-CATCH?

Many of the occupations projected to grow the fastest in the U.S. economy are concentrated in the healthcare industry. I-CATCH employs a full-time employment navigator assisting all I-CATCH students with career goal clarification, job search, networking and interviewing, resume writing, and support of job performance to help ensure job retention.

Nursing Assistant/NAC or CNA: Work-ready training

In Washington state, Nursing Assistant training is approved and monitored by DSHS and leads to nursing assistant certification testing. Nursing Assistants perform a combination of duties in care of patients in hospitals, nursing homes, or other medical facilities under direction of nursing and medical staff. Nursing assistants perform a number specific and general duties including, but not limited to: answering signal lights, bells, or intercom systems to determine patients' needs. Bathes, dresses, and undresses patients. Serves and collects food trays and feeds patients requiring help. Transports patients using wheelchairs or wheeled carts, or assists patients to walk. Drapes patients for examinations and treatments, and remains with patients, performing such duties as holding instruments and adjusting lights. Further, nursing assistants turn and reposition bedfast patients, alone or with assistance, to prevent bedsores.

Available at Edmonds College and Everett Community College.

Phlebotomy Tech: Work-ready Certificate

Under the direction of a physician or other licensed health care professional, Phlebotomist duties include collecting samples of blood and other fluids from patients. Prior to collection, it is the phlebotomist's responsibility to assure that all collection instruments and environments are sterile and of first use. Phlebotomists work in hospitals, blood banks, blood mobiles, clinics and laboratories.

Available at Edmonds College and Everett Community College.

EKG Tech: Work-ready Certificate and Monitor Tech: Certificate of Completion

EKG technician is short for electrocardiographic technician. An EKG Tech administers cardiovascular tests on patients by using the electrical impulses that are transmitted by a patient's heart. An EKG Tech will most likely work in hospitals or a physician's office. Further, CATCH offers a certificate of completion in Monitor Tech. Monitor Techs examine heartbeat patterns on electrocardiograph monitors and make notes of irregular rhythms while monitoring changes in patients' heartbeats. They further ensure that monitors are functioning properly.

Available at Edmonds College only.

What other requirements are needed to be accepted into CATCH?

A completed I-CATCH application needs to submitted at www.catch4careers.com. If you need a paper application please call 425.640.1122 or email catch.admin@edcc.edu.

A Washington State Patrol or national background check will be conducted on all I-CATCH applicants. Certain disqualifying crimes can hinder clinical placements and employment so I-CATCH works closely with each applicant to assess past instances of justice involvement and their potential impact on securing future employment. If a student's past criminal record prevents them from beginning a career in healthcare, I-CATCH staff members work closely with that student to explore other fields and options that can lead to a more successful outcomes.

In some cases, proof of low-income status may be needed such as tax forms or other financial income proof.

Immunizations are required PRIOR to the start of clinical internships. Students will have to complete specific immunization requirements and provide documentation to their instructor. I-CATCH works with each student while in the program to obtain the immunizations needed prior to clinical placements.

What supplies and resources will I need for the program?

I-CATCH provides accepted students with all necessary supplies including, but not limited to, a laptop computer, course textbooks and materials, scrubs, shoes, gait belts, stethoscopes, and additional lab supplies as needed and/or required for each course.