Virginia State University Partners with MedCerts to Enhance Educational Opportunities

Published on January 16, 2024

PETERSBURG, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Virginia State University (VSU) is pleased to announce a transformative partnership with MedCerts, a leading provider of online career training in allied healthcare and information technology. This collaboration aims to enrich educational opportunities for VSU students and residents across the Commonwealth of Virginia. A subsidiary of Stride, Inc., MedCerts’ history of industry expertise will ensure that VSU’s related programs remain current and relevant to the rapidly evolving healthcare and information technology sectors.

This partnership marks a significant step in creating a seamless pathway for students to acquire specialized knowledge and skills in high-demand fields. VSU’s commitment to preparing students for success in their chosen careers is now further strengthened with access to MedCerts’ more than 35 fully online short-term training programs that can lead to credentials and certificate programs.

Dr. Tia A. Minnis, Interim Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs at VSU, shared her enthusiasm about the partnership: "This collaboration with MedCerts is a crucial component of our strategy to expand the VSU academic infrastructure to include industry-recognized professional certifications. It aligns perfectly with our overarching mission to provide continuous workforce development and employment readiness for our students and residents across the Commonwealth in the healthcare and information technology sectors, two fields that are pivotal to the region's economic growth."

MedCerts, known for its commitment to quality education and its dedication to preparing individuals for the workforce, shares a common vision with VSU. Through this partnership, both organizations are reaffirming their commitment to educational excellence, workforce development, and enhancing career prospects for students and residents in Virginia.

“The combination of VSU's academic expertise and MedCerts' industry-specific knowledge will undoubtedly benefit learners in the Commonwealth,” said Rafael Castaneda, SVP of Strategic Partnerships & Workforce Development at MedCerts. “As the healthcare and information technology sectors continue to evolve, this partnership ensures that VSU students are equipped with the skills and certifications needed to thrive in these dynamic industries.”

About MedCerts:

MedCerts – a Stride Inc. company (NYSE: LRN) – is a national online training provider strengthening the workforce through innovative eLearning solutions. Focused on certifications in high-demand areas of Allied healthcare and IT. MedCerts delivers career training through HD-quality video-based instruction, virtual simulations, games, animations, and more. In 2023, MedCerts launched its Partner Solutions brand focused on building partnerships to bridge the gap between our students, job seekers, employers, higher education institutions and workforce agencies. This new brand includes several partnership models, including recruitment, reseller, content licensing options and more.

Since 2009, the company has developed over 50 career programs, trained and upskilled more than 80,000 individuals across the country, and partnered with over 500 American Job Centers and more than 1,000 healthcare organizations to build talent pipelines. For more information on MedCerts, visit For more information on MedCerts Partner Solutions, visit

About Virginia State University:

Founded in 1882, Virginia State University (VSU) is a public, historically black land-grant university dedicated to providing accessible, high-quality education to diverse student populations. With a mission to prepare its more than 5,000 students to be 21st-century innovators and future leaders, VSU offers a comprehensive range of academic programs designed to equip individuals with the knowledge and insight necessary to drive positive change in our world.

Located just 20 minutes south of Richmond, Virginia, in southern Chesterfield County, VSU's picturesque campus overlooks the Appomattox River and the City of Petersburg. The university's extensive facilities include a 231-acre main campus and the renowned 412-acre Randolph Farm, which serves as a cutting-edge agricultural research facility. Virginia State University is proud to be accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, underscoring its commitment to academic excellence and continuous improvement. With a rich history and a forward-looking approach to education, VSU stands as a beacon of opportunity and advancement in the heart of Virginia.


Jennifer Harrison for MedCerts
Pando Public Relations
[email protected]
+1 916-716-0636

Written by
Rafael Castaneda
Senior Vice President of Workforce Development

With more than 20 years in the postsecondary arena, Rafael has focused on workforce strategies that build programmatic pathways for unemployed and underemployed students from underserved populations.

Before joining MedCerts, Rafael was the chief academic officer and dean of education at CBD College, a private two-year allied health college in Los Angeles. He also served as a strategy and innovation leader for Jobs for the Future (JFF) crafting connections between postsecondary actors and thought leaders. He is a member of the advisory board of the University of California, Irvine’s Customer Experience Program. Rafael has worked with over 2K schools and 1K workforce organizations & employers on solutions.

He strongly believes the three-legged stool of workforce success are schools, businesses, and community organizations but they need a catalyst and that is where MedCerts comes in – as the driver of the solutions to supplement and complement the three.

A passionate believer in education as a great equalizer, Rafael joined MedCerts because the organization provides the opportunity to actively participate in bridging the digital divide and skills gap for unserved populations of students. This extremely rewarding and tangible championing of education-based initiatives alongside serving all demographics students provides a rare opportunity to not just speak, but do.

Rafael is a husband to a brilliant and talented wife, father to two ambitious daughters, and an active member of his community. You will find him at a spin class most weekday mornings and doing outside activities with his family and their French bulldog, Penny, on the weekends. He has lived and worked in all time zones and in nine states over the past 12 years. Connect with Rafael on LinkedIn.

Published on January 16, 2024

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