Caitlin Huynh Used G3/WCG Funding to Serve Her Community as a CCMA 

May 25, 2023

NOVA continues to celebrate National Nurses Month with CCMA Caitlin Huynh. Through G3 funding, Caitlin received her Certified Clinical Medical Assistant training quickly and affordably. Her experience in the classroom has contributed to her confidence and success in a competitive workforce. 


Why CCMA at NOVA? 
Before NOVA, I worked part-time as a community outreach specialist for a local non-profit. I heard about the NOVA Workforce program after learning that there was G3/WCG (Workforce Credential Grant) funding available for in-demand careers. Initially, I wanted to jump in and take classes to become a registered nurse. After speaking to some academic advisors and evaluating the costs and benefits of starting my healthcare career with G3 funding, I realized that it would be more beneficial to stack my credentials and get clinical experience this way. 

The CCMA course training and clinical skills described aligned with my future career goals. I was also interested because I learned that CCMAs play a vital part in a patient’s medical journey. Most importantly, the length of the program would help me get ready to work. I went from someone with no clinical experience to an employed professional in the competitive medical world. 

How did the WCG/G3 funding help you? 
It took a tremendous amount of financial pressure off me knowing that tuition was covered. I was working part time, and with other financial responsibilities, there was no feasible way of allowing $3,000-$4,000 in my budget for a course.  

With WCG/G3 funding available, I was able to reduce my hours to dedicate more time and attention to my studies, so I could serve my community and patients. Without a doubt, if there was no WCG/G3 funding, I would not be a medical assistant today. 

Where do you work now? Did your experience at NOVA help you get this job? 
I am currently employed as a full-time certified clinical medical assistant at a dermatology clinic. My experience at NOVA definitely helped me get this job. It’s obvious that my NOVA experience helped me prepare and pass the National Healthcareer Association (NHA) CCMA exam. 

Additionally, built into the course is a skills booklet that we had to have sign off on. It included fundamental clinical skills, such as obtaining vitals, phlebotomy (drawing blood), and medication injections. The instructors in the course are either working professionals or have been in the field for a long time. Having those skills evaluated by an experienced professional added more legitimacy to my CCMA certification. I included my NHA certificate and the skills booklet in a professional portfolio that I showed to employers while interviewing, which provided evidence of my competency. 

What are your plans for the future? 
I am excited about my future in healthcare. There is so much room to grow. After I work for another 6-9 months as a CCMA, I aim to return to NOVA to start pre-requisite courses to become an RN. These additional courses will help me stand out as a competitive candidate when I apply for registered nursing programs. With the skills and training I have obtained, I am capable of reaching higher. I don't want to just stop at being a registered nurse. I would like to become a nurse practitioner specializing in psychiatry. 

If you could say something to NOVA, what would that be? 
Thank you for the faculty and staff in your employment. Because of their dedication to creating such a nurturing and encouraging environment, I was more motivated and passionate about my studies. 

There's already some guilt in feeling, "Why didn't I realize I wanted to do "X" job earlier. I could have saved so much money!" Education is valuable, but it is so costly. There is no right or wrong way to enter a career, and there are so many capable individuals out there. The main obstacle for those who want to reach higher is the prohibitive cost of additional education for adults with personal responsibilities. NOVA: Please continue to fight for more funding opportunities. 

For more on the CCMA and other NOVA Workforce healthcare programs, visit here: 

G3 tuition assistance is for students living in Virginia who qualify for state financial aid with a household income that’s less than $100,000. G3 is available for select programs in five of Virginia’s most in-demand industries, including Early Childhood Education, Healthcare, Information Technology, Public Safety and Skilled Trades (construction and manufacturing). As the primary workforce training provider for the Commonwealth of Virginia, all 23 of Virginia’s Community Colleges proudly offer G3 tuition assistance to its students. For more on G3 (Get A Skill. Get A Job. Get Ahead.), click here:  

FastForward, also known as the Workforce Credential Grant (WCG) is a program funded by the Virginia General Assembly to encourage the attainment of high-demand Workforce Credentials by underwriting the cost of approved Credential Preparation Programs.  Most programs take between 6-12 weeks and are flexible so students can get their education while they work. For more information on FastForward, please visit,  

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