Well - I'm out here on the Left Coast, and had a rather different experience, to say the least.
Just completed ARC & have to say - think twice before committing. This program was really quite a disappointment. Took it through the Inland Empire chapter & it tends to make me think that their program needs some outside evaluation - here's a short sampler.
First - the instructors were (IMO) unnecessarily hard-nosed with the students; the experience was closer to "boot camp for CNA's" than an educational experience. I was thoroughly sick of being treated like a three year old by the time we went to our clinical site.
Second - there were continual changes of direction, both in the class and at the clinical site; we'd get instructions to meet in a given location at a given time, and literally with 15 minutes to go before the meeting (if the instructor bothered to disseminate it at all) we'd get contradictory instructions - end result was we had students coming in from all directions, and of course it was the student's fault for not listening. Assume that you're getting instructions from an early-stage dementia patient, and that was what it was like.
Third - class size was too large. The lab was set up for 15 students, tops. We had 30 students, and it was expected that we'd just sort out among ourselves who used the lab & who would use the classroom. End result was the less assertive students never got the opportunity to practice skills & the more assertive ones didn't necessarily ace the class, either.
Fourth - HUGE emphasis on homework. The skills we weren't able to practice in the lab? Yep - we were supposed to use relatives & items at home to practice on. So, you're now in the position of using relatives as lab dummies to practice bed baths, peri care, etc. To some extent I can see doing this - taking blood pressure readings really takes a fair amount of practice, and I could understand that. But bed baths? C'mon - I had to drive 2 hours to get people to practice vitals on - asking them to allow me to practice making an occupied bed using their linens/beds/bodies/etc.? Or peri care? And, don't get me started on dentures - at least that I could do outside of the lab (when I could get the materials to practice with). Nonono - I paid $1900 for this class; you need to provide me with the proper materials to practice with.
So - do I necessarily disparage ARC training altogether? Nope - but, try and get some feedback from former students before signing on the dotted line. If you can't get that, consider looking at other area programs - for instance, my niece took CNA training through a local ROP & had a very good experience.
The ARC programs aren't all the same - caveat emptor.
p.s. Before dismissing this out of hand, consider these points: (a) I hold a B.S. in Computer Science from a state university; (b) I have 23 years of workforce experience as an IT professional, and (c) I passed state certification through the above-mentioned program; this isn't "hating" or anything of the sort - it's a genuine problem. And, it's been duly reported back to ARC in Los Angeles.