Pathways: VESL Direct Care Worker

This 11-week vocational training prepares non-native English speakers for jobs as caregivers in assisted living facilities (ALFs). The curriculum focuses on general knowledge about working in an ALF (for example, roles and responsibilities, resident Service Plans, confidentiality and privacy guidelines under HIPAA, state reporting requirements); medical information on the human body and the physical effects of aging; and the practical skills required to be a caregiver in an assisted living facility. Students attend class five afternoons a week and work 12 hours a week in an unpaid internship. The curriculum also includes career planning and job search components.

Following classroom training and the internship, students who are not yet employed continue to meet in small groups for assistance in job search. Average starting wages for caregivers are from $9 to $10 per hour.

Students need to have high intermediate to advanced English proficiency and preferably have a high school diploma. They also need to pass a criminal background check and TB skin test. Job Search available after the training.

Questions? Please call 971-722-6218 or email here.
Conveniently located: Portland Community College


  • ESL Direct Care Worker training is in the process of being listed on the State of Oregon Eligible Training Provider list.
  • This non-credit course is approved as a State of Oregon Occupational Preparatory course.
  • The training includes classroom instruction, internships, job search and placement services.

Cost of Training: DCW Cost Sheet FY 11-12

Totals for Tuition and Books:  
DWP and One Stop participants in Multnomah and Washington Counties   $2808* (*Additional Costs including TB screening and parking not included in tuition; please refer to cost sheet)
Third party billing customers - please refer to the third party billing page. (* Additional Costs including TB screening and parking not included in tuition; please refer to cost sheet)

Classroom: 15 hours per week

  • Assisted living definitions, roles and responsibilities
  • Observing, reporting, documenting resident health
  • Physical effects of aging
  • Common diets and hydration
  • Care of diabetics
  • Preventing infection
  • Emergency situations
  • Personality disorders
  • Body systems (including circulatory, digestive, musculoskeletal, nervous, immune, urinary)
  • Caregiver skills (such as Fall Prevention, Personal Grooming, Incontinence Management)
  • Vital signs (pulse, temperature, blood pressure)
  • CPR Card
  • Customer service
  • Workplace communication
  • Safety procedures
  • Career planning skills
  • Job applications, resumes, cover letters, interview practice, videotaped mock interviews
  • Offered in partnership with PCC Institute for Health Professionals

Internship: Approximately 12 hours per week

  • Unpaid work experience at an assisted living facility
  • Practice skills learned in the classroom
  • Job shadow a caregiver mentor under nurse supervision

Job Search: 6-12 hours per week

  • Job search strategies and techniques
  • Individualized one-on-one assistance in job search
  • Customized cover letters and resumes for each position

What should I do next to get into the training?

  • For information on upcoming trainings call 971-722-6218 or email here.