Angela Sharp earned her Associate Degree in Medical Assisting from WVJC Charleston in 2017. Angela decided to attend WVJC after she graduated from high school. She chose WVJC because of the convenience of being close to home and the small college environment. The flexible schedule allowed her to work while earning her degree. Angela said, “The staff is always friendly and the instructors actually care if we succeed.”
In 2019, Angela was accepted into the Specialized Associate Degree in Nursing program at WVJC. She said, “I always wanted to be a Registered Nurse and the Associate Degree in Medical Assisting at WVJC was a great stepping stone to helping me achieve my goal.” We asked Angela what her favorite part is about attending WVJC and she said, “I love how small the classes are because I get to know everyone on a personal level. Even when we are stressed, the instructors and staff always make me feel better and encourage me.”
One of her best memories while enrolled in the Clinical Medical Assistant program at WVJC were group lunches in the student lounge. In addition to learning, WVJC encourages students to get involved with clubs. Student club members often host lunches in the lounge to raise money for non-profit organizations and student events. This extracurricular activity is a great way to meet other students, be involved with WVJC, and receive volunteer hours.
Angela’s ideal job after graduation is to work as a Registered Nurse in a hospital. She is interested in specializing in cardiology or becoming a travel nurse. If you are interested in taking the next steps to get into a medical career, request information here!
Healthcare is dynamic. There are always new discoveries being made such as better ways to manage illness and more efficient ways of providing and managing healthcare delivery. These concepts have become very apparent in the midst of a global pandemic. Healthcare will be forever changed, but how does a global pandemic affect healthcare close to home?
Harrison County has seen great growth in options for care including increasing availability of specialists and primary care providers, and best care treatment that, at one time, was only available at major out-of-state hospitals. Locally, there are now health coaches and care navigators to support those with chronic or complex medical needs to access the most appropriate care and reduce complications.
However, there are some challenging statistics facing our area. Harrison County is not immune to feeling the effects of a nation-wide nursing shortage. The latest information shows that approximately 35%-40% of nurses currently practicing in WV are within 5-7 years of retiring. West Virginia ranks 4th in the number of residents over 65 and 1st in the number of residents with diabetes. Our facilities are adding advanced technology such as fully electronic records and upgrading to high-tech diagnostic equipment. In the mix of all of this change, COVID-19 hit and changed how we provide direct care to people, how people access care and visit their doctors, and even how we maintain and order supplies. This has also led to an overnight explosion in telehealth use.
Why does all of this information matter? For local hospitals, facilities, and healthcare providers to be able to meet the needs of Harrison County residents, they will require a pool of well-trained individuals. Not only nurses, but those with IT specialties to maintain the growing technologies, and medical assistants and office managers to keep departments running smoothly and supplies readily available. Some other types of healthcare professionals that will be needed include those in dentistry, physical/occupational therapy, and mental health services.
If you have considered a career change or have an interest in pursuing a healthcare career or becoming an essential worker request information here!
West Virginia Junior College has always been an institution that looks to serve the community in any way possible. With COVID-19 and all the disruption it has caused, the faculty and staff knew they had to step up. At the WVJC Charleston campus, we provided meals for healthcare workers on an entire floor at CAMC. At the WVJC Morgantown campus, we collaborated with a local restaurant in Morgantown, WV to supply food for children who were not receiving school lunches due to the pandemic. The Career Management Department also provided information to current students who have children who need to seek meal assistance.
Shortly after the stay at home orders were in place and students were learning in a solely virtual capacity, career management started the “WVJC Strong” campaign. Stickers were mailed to students with a letter of encouragement to let them know we stand united as an academic family and we are in this together. The academic team took pictures of their remote workstations with the logo from the campaign and Ryan Langley, Director of Instructional Design and Technology, created a video to share on social media.
The West Virginia Junior College Career Management Department continues to reach out to employers and build relationships to secure employment for current students and graduates. “Though this pandemic has changed the way we operate to an extent, we are still providing the same level of service to the students/graduates, and the same partnerships to employers in the community that we have always been recognized for,” says Samantha Esposito, Director of Career Management. As things are ever-changing with COVID-19, WVJC continues to adapt rapidly in whichever ways necessary.
To learn more about WVJC Online and its services to help support students, request information here!
One of the most important and fleeting moments in a person’s life is their senior year of high school. The year often begins with experiencing all of the last moments of your childhood. This includes the last first day of school pics for your parent’s Facebook page, the last football game, the last time most will play organized sports or performances, the last school dances, and on and on. These events are so significant that experiencing them while also preparing for your life after high school can be daunting. So, while you are experiencing all of these special moments, WVJC wants to provide you with some ways to make sure that you ARE prepared to leave high school.
The first decisions that you need to make actually should begin BEFORE those last-firsts start. Most people have an idea about how they want their life to be after high school. For some, they will go to work, for others the military, but for so many, the question will be which college you want to attend, the program that you want to study, etc. In short, the people in your life begin to start asking you what you will do next in your life. Assuming that college is on your list, here are a few things that you can do as a junior (and early in your senior year), to get started.
Narrow your course of study.
Most people think that they need to visit colleges first. The people around you will have plenty of thoughts on the school you should attend and the reasons that one college is better than another. However, you have to make your best decision for your life. WVJC actually encourages high school students to focus on a career field, course of study, or the type of career that they want to have. These factors and decisions will naturally narrow the colleges that you should spend time on.
Now start checking on colleges.
Not all colleges offer all programs of study, and some are known for having really great programs in certain fields. Therefore, by narrowing your options, you know that you are focusing on the best colleges or universities for that field of study. Once you have found few that make sense based upon your preferences and field of study, go tour them! Most high schools offer students time to go visit the colleges that they consider. Take advantage of this!
Visit the colleges that you are considering.
Once you have narrowed your school choices to a few, go visit them. So many times, a student gets an idea in their head of what a college experience should look/feel like. Seeing them first hand will actually give you a better sense of fit. AT WVJC, we require prospective students to visit our campus prior to application to make sure that what you think you want and what a college offers coincide.
Apply to the colleges/universities that make sense after completing Steps 1-3.
Apply for the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).
Regardless of the colleges and universities that you have applied to or want to apply to, this is a necessary step. Make sure that you seek out guidance from the colleges that you are considering if you need help with this process. At WVJC, you actually get one-on-one time with a financial aid representative to assist you with road bumps.
This is the most common pitfall for a high school senior. Finding time to apply for scholarships can be difficult, but is absolutely necessary. Check the college and university scholarships that are available, go to your school counselor’s office, and check on the local and community scholarships that exist. The high school guidance department can also assist you with college and university scholarships. Finally, turn to the internet to find scholarships specific to you. There are a ton of services out there that can help you track down scholarships. Remember, scholarships are money that you do not have to repay as you would a student loan, so find as many as you can.
Stay in contact with the college/university that you are considering.
Don’t miss out! Make sure to meet all deadlines and requirements for scholarships, fees, housing, etc. At WVJC, our admissions and financial aid representatives will assist you in meeting all the required deadlines.
Spend time preparing for a different environment.
College is not high school. The expectations are different, accountability can be different, and figuring out a plan to tackle it is critical to your success.
We hope that this information will help you navigate your senior year. If you would like more information on WVJC, click here!
Nathaniel Tichinel graduated from Doddridge County High School in May 2019. He was the recipient of the prestigious Stephen A. Callen Scholarship in the amount of $10,000. He enrolled in the Network Administration/Security degree program in June 2019. Nathaniel says he is very happy with his decision to pursue his degree with WVJC Bridgeport because of the small class sizes that allow for more communication between the teachers and the students, which creates a feeling of belonging.
Nathaniel grew up working with and on computers. He was always very confident that his future career would involve computer technology in some way. The Network Administration/Security program at WVJC is preparing him for computer troubleshooting and network structuring, as well as system security maintenance. Nathaniel enjoys his classes so far and has even been able to build his own computer. One of his favorite things to do is relax in the library during his free time where he can study or even chat with his classmates.
One of Nathaniel’s favorite teachers is Mr. Cutright, who teaches many general education classes at WVJC. Nathaniel says that Mr. Cutright has a teaching style that keeps his attention and makes it easier for him to retain the more complex content from his classes. The teaching style of Mr. Cutright has also helped Nathaniel in his other classes because he has learned how to study more effectively and retain information.
Nathaniel’s teachers all enjoy having him in classes and say that he is one of the most responsible and diligent students they have ever had. His ability to work with others and independently on projects allows him to succeed in any situation.
Nathaniel is not sure where his “dream job” after graduation will be yet. He won’t graduate until December 2020, but he does know that he is learning the skills that will open the doors to many opportunities when that time comes. Five years from now, Nathaniel would like to be able to own his own home and thinks he might like to explore options of living in a different state to spread his wings a bit.
Nathaniel highly recommends others his age attend WVJC because he feels they are able to earn a great education in a shorter time than other colleges, which saves money in tuition costs. He is grateful for his scholarship and knows that helped make his educational goals even more affordable.
To learn more about WVJC’s Network Administration/Security classes, request info here!
The medical industry continues to grow across the United States and in Kanawha County. Healthcare employers are continuously looking for qualified medical professionals to provide patient care. To help with this employment demand, WVJC Charleston offers a variety of fast track, in-demand healthcare programs including Nursing, Medical Assisting, Medical Office Administration, and Dental Assisting.
The Nursing program at WVJC is a direct admittance program. Therefore, students are not required to take pre-requisite courses. The Nursing program curriculum prepares graduates to function as a member of a healthcare team within the scope and practice of a nurse. Students learn nursing diagnosis, planning, implementation, and evaluation of persons, families, and communities in a diversity of health care environments.
The Clinical Medical Assistant and Medical Office Administration programs prepare graduates for a wide variety of entry-level, primarily medical related positions, both clinical and office/administrative. Students learn clinical skills that can be applied in a variety of healthcare settings including, but not limited to, doctors’ offices, hospitals, clinical, urgent care centers, nursing homes, home health services, wellness centers, private care, and a wide variety of health care facilities.
The Dental Assisting program prepares graduates for entry-level positions as a dental assistant and related clinical and clinical administration careers. Students learn to assist the dentist with patient procedures, expose and develop radiographs, prepare instruments, perform lab procedures, and manage dental records.
WVJC works closely with local healthcare employers to provide well-trained medical professionals to the Kanawha County area. Students receive hands-on, fast-track training in a supportive environment. Students also gain real-world experience by completing externships at local doctors’ offices, labs, clinics, and hospitals.
Megan King has spent much of her life taking care of people. She has been a caregiver for over fifteen years. She has always had a passion for helping people and always known she wanted to be in the medical field. Her mom holds a very special place in her heart and she always told Megan she was capable of so much more. She knew her mom wanted her to go to school and she herself wanted something more.
Megan had attended Strayer University for one year directly after high school, working toward a degree in Criminal Justice. She started out taking general education credits. She had so much going on and her teachers weren’t involved, so she felt a lack of support. Megan didn’t continue and went into the workforce. She later decided she was going to pursue her education again and starting looking into her options. She checked online reviews and had known several people who attended West Virginia Junior College and they all had great things to say. They liked how the teachers and staff get really involved and are there to support you. So far Megan’s favorite class at WVJC Online has been her medical terminology course. She has always been drawn to learning about healthcare and the study of it, so she really enjoyed that class. Her favorite part is how she can work at her own pace and own time. Megan says, “I would recommend this school to anyone. I love it!”
Megan knew she wanted to continue her career in the medical field, and with a degree in Medical Office Administration, and the medical career training she’ll be receiving, her plans are to work in a local physician’s office just like her mom. She wants to be settled somewhere with a new, more stable career and a place to call home. After getting through her medical office courses and earning her certifications, she will be better prepared to begin her new career. Megan also plans on coming back and taking her CPT and ICD coding certification.
“I think that WVJC is a great program because the schedule accommodates students like myself, a mom, or others who have to work and raise a family. The classes are small, the instructors are great, and the terms are only 6 weeks. It is very fast-paced, but it’s doable if you try your best!”
One thing about many of the students at WVJC is that they are often not just students. Most work and have families in addition to attending school. When you add in the fact that Lindsay Maxwell is in WVJC’s Nursing program, that adds an extra layer of difficulty to the equation.
Lindsay’s path to WVJC started in 2019. She was looking to continue her education in the healthcare field while working as a scribe at a local hospital. Working in this environment allowed her to see, first-hand, the work and care that a nurse provides in an emergency department. “I heard about WVJC and decided to apply after a coworker of mine started the Nursing program! It was appealing to me that this program was only 18 months, and it was based in the evenings! This worked the best with my schedule.”
Knowing that she wanted to further her education, and finding a program that fit her needs, she started the application process for the WVJC Nursing program. Lindsay had post-secondary education experience, holding a bachelor’s degree in biology and an EMT certification through a local college. She is also the mom of a 3-year-old and engaged to be married. Therefore, finding a program that was short-term was important to her. “I chose the Nursing program because it was the fastest route to graduate compared to other nursing programs in the area.”
After successful completion of the application process and receiving acceptance into the program, Lindsay started school at WVJC. Her first impression was a positive one. Maxwell said, “Our classes are small, and full of non-traditional students like myself. I have made some great friendships during this. It’s nice to have other moms in the class that I can relate to while going through this program as well!”
WVJC prides itself on a family atmosphere and a WE CARE approach to education. One instructor has had a big impact on Lindsay’s success at WVJC. “I would have to say my favorite teacher is Joanne Kozich! My favorite classes so far have been OB and Pediatrics, both of which Joanne taught! She is very knowledgeable and well-rounded as a nurse and instructor! Joanne is genuine, and I feel that she truly cares about all of us and our success!”
It is no surprise that Lindsay enjoyed the Obstetrics and Pediatric courses in the Nursing program. She was very moved by the Nurses that were involved during the birth of her daughter, and she ultimately hopes to work in that environment after graduation at a local hospital. She also hopes that her new career allows her and her husband to raise their family on or near a lake.
Lindsay Maxwell is a healthcare worker, a mom, a wife, and a nursing student in an accelerated nursing program. Lindsay works tirelessly to be successful in all phases of her life and the faculty and staff at WVJC cannot wait to see her success pay off and become a member of the WVJC family of graduates.
Amanda Fernandez is currently enrolled in WVJC’s online Clinical Medical Assistant program and will earn her degree in 2020. Like so many others before her, she started her college journey fresh out of high school at a traditional four-year college, but found that the field she was studying was not the path for her and she did not take her education seriously. After spending a semester there, Amanda and her husband found out that they were expecting their first-born, and so she decided to fully devote her time to working and saving money for her growing family. A few years passed and her children were in school before Amanda decided that it was time for her to go back to school and earn her degree. “After having my children I wanted to show them the importance of school, and how important it was for them to continue their education to help achieve their dreams,” Amanda says.
Amanda was not always interested in the medical field. This interest only emerged after giving birth to her two children. “My team of doctors was incredible along with every nurse at staff change, and staff members. They helped me when I needed it. I was at the most vulnerable state in my life. I could not even get up to walk. The nurses and staff were by my side whenever I needed them. It was at that point I knew that is what I wanted to do. I wanted to be that person who could be there for someone at their most vulnerable state and help them to the best of my ability. I wanted to be able to treat my patients the way I was treated with respect, care, love, and most of all, a listening ear.”
Before enrolling, Amanda was not a stranger to WVJC. She had friends who attended the school and were also enrolled in her program of interest. “Seeing my two best friends start their journey with WVJC (and now almost finishing) only pushed me further to begin to the enrollment process. Without my friend’s support and showing me they could do it, I honestly do not think I would be where I am today.” So far, her favorite parts of attending WVJC have been the one-on-one attention she receives from her admissions representative and her instructors, and the on-site clinicals that help her prepare for her career. “Sure, I am an online student and have learned so much from it, because you are basically teaching yourself, but actually being able to go to campus and have hands-on training is key. All of my clinical instructors have been absolutely amazing and have actually spent time after the clinical was over to spend more time training those who did not understand a procedure completely. The clinical instructors truly went above and beyond to make sure we all had a proper understanding of procedures we could possibly be performing in our future jobs.”
After Amanda graduates, she plans on jumping right back into school at WVJC and applying for our Nursing program. “In five years, I would like to have completed my nursing degree and potentially furthering my education to becoming a Nurse Practitioner. I truly feel like the medical industry is my calling and WVJC is making my dream come true one class at a time. Recently, I completed my certification for my CCMA exam, so I know I am on the right track and have chosen the correct school to help me achieve this goal!”
Following in her friends’ footsteps, Amanda will keep the trend of recommending WVJC going. “I would absolutely refer a friend to WVJC! All of the instructors have been absolutely amazing and have given me the constructive criticism I needed in order to move forward with my education. They have all been willing to take my phone calls with questions, responded to e-mails promptly, and even texted with me. The staff is also wonderful. They have always taken their time with me to make sure I have all of the documentation I need and have answered any possible questions I can think of. This is truly the best school I have attended! I can say with absolute certainty this is the highest GPA I have ever received and have also maintained the President’s List throughout my entire academic career with WVJC.”
Tammy Chewning is a Legal Office Assisting student at WVJC Morgantown and a member of the Student Government Association. Like most students at WVJC, this is not her first attempt at college, but she has found a college that fits her needs and goals. “I love the staff and faculty. The experience they bring to the classroom is exemplary and if you need anything, they are right there to help, both personally and professionally.”
Tammy came to WVJC looking to continue her medical career. However, upon a closer look at the program offerings, decided that the Legal Office Assisting program would be a better fit. “(Before WVJC) I worked as an EMT. I started off in a medical program, but with the guidance of my instructors, I changed my program of interest to Legal Office Assisting.” She credits two faculty members with this guidance. Bryce Adkins and Dustin Blankenship have been instrumental in Tammy’s success at WVJC. “Bryce and Dustin are always there as a sounding board for me. (They) listen when I need it and are always there when I have questions.”
Tammy has been greatly impacted by the faculty at the WVJC campus. She had attended online school in the past, but having face-to-face communication with faculty, and instant feedback when she needs it has been vital to her success. Tammy wants to work in a law firm upon graduation and looks forward to a career that affords her the ability to vacation occasionally. When asked where she wants to be in five years, she said “On a beach somewhere.”
Tammy has enjoyed her experience at WVJC so much, that she recommended WVJC to a friend who is also now a student.