We need your help starting a new acupuncture school where working people can afford to go and learn how to be community acupunks in their own communities. Come into the clinic through the 22nd, "buy a brick", and watch the school grow. (We're building a symbolic leggo school at the clinic with initials of those who donate on each brick).
There is a common challenge that POCA clinics like us face as we get bigger and reach more people. A shortage of punks for growing and new clinics exists. And there is an even bigger shortage of clinics in places where there are none. Every week we get emails at pocacoop.com requesting clinics in places where there are none for hundreds or even thousands of miles. The folks requesting these clinics know someone, a family member or friend, who has suggested community acupuncture, but because there are still so many places without clinics, there are still so many people who cannot access affordable acupuncture treatments. This is where POCA Tech comes in…with the help of POCA Coop.
POCATech will be POCA Coop’s training institute. We need affordable community acupuncture education as much as we need affordable acupuncture. Because of the tens or maybe hundreds of thousands of people now connected through our network of clinics, we know that POCA Tech is not just a dream, but something that we can make a reality if we can connect this next great idea with enough people.
We need to fundraise $125,000 to open POCA Tech’s doors. In just 3 months we’ve raised almost 1/5 of that and we’re hoping that through our clinics we can raise at least another $25,000 by the end of the year… in $5 increments! That’s 5,000 donations of $5. If just 200 of our 265 clinics, including us, are able to raise 25 $5 donations that would cover this next chunk of funds that we need.
And then let's all of us imagine that a year from now POCA Tech's first class, including, we're hoping, at least a couple Rhode Islanders, will already have started school… and know that you have been a part of making that happen.
Here are answers to frequently asked questions about the project
1. What is POCA Tech
POCA Tech is a nonprofit educational corporation, 501(c)(3) status pending.
The POCA Technical Institute is the educational arm of the People’s Organization of Community Acupuncture, a multi-stakeholder cooperative owned by patients, practitioners, clinics, and supporters of community acupuncture. POCA’s goal is to make acupuncture available and accessible to as many people as possible and to support those providing acupuncture to create stable and sustainable businesses and jobs. POCA Tech’s aim is to provide the cooperative with educational programs that back up its mission.
Its first goal is to create entry-level training programs for acupuncturists that are affordable to prospective students of ordinary incomes.
2. Why do we need POCA Tech?
We need POCA Tech for a few reasons:
a. Acupuncture school is crazy over-priced and most graduates leave school with $60-100K in debt. Fifty percent of acupuncture graduates are not practicing acupuncture after five years. Of those that are practicing, over 60% practice part-time. Most acupuncturist struggle to make a living. We need an affordable alternative that will attract a more diverse population of people and allow practitioners to graduate free of a debt burden.
b.POCA Tech will train people to be community acupuncturists. Community acupuncturists need a different skill set than private room acupuncturists, including highly efficient diagnostic and treatment skills, distal treatment techniques and deep commitments to social justice. Community acupuncture clinics need qualified practitioners and are having a hard time filling acupuncturist positions in their clinics.
3. How much will it cost to attend?
We are still in the planning process, but we plan for the cost to be around $5,800 per year for a period of three years. POCA Tech’s total program costs, including biomedical clinical science prerequisites but not including cost of living, should be about $25,000. POCA Tech will not be part of the student loan system.
4. Can’t POCA Tech apply for funds or big grants from somewhere else?
POCA Tech can once we gain our non-profit status. But POCA also recognizes that community involvement and investment is a key to successful community acupuncture clinics and will be a key to making POCA Tech successful. We need our community as much as our community needs us!
5. Where will POCA Tech be located?
POCA Tech will start in Portland, Oregon. The goal is to grow so that we can open more campuses in New England, the Midwest, and the South. POCA Tech will offer a schedule that allows students to work while in school and will not require relocation to the POCA Tech campus area.
6. You know how you said you love our community acupuncture clinic and that we have drastically changed your life for the better?
If you donate to POCA Tech, you will be helping to spread community acupuncture so more people can feel like you do.
Thank you so much.
And, don't forget, we'll be watching the documentary movie "Community Acupuncture: The Calmest Revolution Ever Staged" this Saturday at 2:30 at the clinic.