This year’s Health Information and Pharmacy Technician cohorts of Adult Career Training Program students are here! Before they cracked open their textbooks in September, they experienced a week of WMCAT’s Leadership By Design curriculum to prepare them for the year ahead; this content continues each week throughout the program.

Leadership By Design is our personal and professional leadership development curriculum that supports adults in leveraging their lived experiences, recognizing the power of their stories, aligning values and experience to assets in the workplace, building social capital, and strengthening their emotional intelligence and interpersonal communication skills. This curriculum is used in both Step Year at WMCAT and the Adult Career Training Program, as well as facilitated externally through customized workshops.

Here’s a look into the work Adult Career Training students have been doing to prepare for their next steps.

Building Community

Getting to know each other is one of the first steps in building a community of support. Students started sharing their own experiences and hearing classmates’ stories through team-building exercises at a program kickoff retreat at Little Pine Island.

Digging into DiSC

DiSC – a behavioral assessment and model – is one of the first tools students receive as part of Leadership By Design. By identifying and examining their DiSC profile, students learn to recognize how they show up in different spaces – from work, to the classroom, to home life. Understanding their style is a foundation for personal discovery, establishing healthy communication with classmates and instructors, and identifying opportunities for growth.

Alumni Panel

Pictured left to right: Brandy VanderPol (Medical Coding ’19), Elijah McGuire (Pharmacy Technician ’22), and Elizabeth Herron (Medical Billing ’21).

As students step into the Adult Career Training Program, they get to hear from alumni who were in their shoes not so long ago. Students ask questions about the program experience, externships, career search, and life after WMCAT. Building social capital with alumni is a unique opportunity for community support.


Taking all their experiences from the first week of Leadership By Design, students formally introduce themselves to their classmates with a “WM-tro” (a WMCAT intro!). In a presentation, each student creatively represents their values, interests, support system, and anything else that makes them who they are. WMCAT welcomes and embraces the fullness of each students’ lived experiences and sees those experiences as an asset to what’s next.

Mix + Mingle

Building social capital is one of the most important parts of pursuing a new career. We hosted our annual Mix + Mingle networking event for students to connect with employer partners, community leaders, and alumni.

All this is just the beginning. Throughout the rest of the program, students will continue to focus on personal and professional development alongside career-specific, technical learning.  The journey to economic security is not easy. WMCAT is dedicated to providing opportunity for students to build social capital now in preparation for their futures in new careers.

Learn more about the Adult Career Training Program at