Tristan Atha – Student Highlight

Tristan Atha is a student in the Information Technology Program and began his education at WVJC in August 2020. Tristan previously attended both Marshall University and Fairmont State University. While at Marshall, Tristan was enrolled in the civil engineering program before transferring to Fairmont State for a short time before leaving school and joining the workforce.

For a few years, Tristan worked in the Carpenter’s Union doing construction work. While working in the construction industry, Tristan was faced with hard-labor jobs that were riddled with inconsistent work schedules and uncertainty of even having a job through the changing demands of the industry. After dealing with the difficulties of the construction industry for a while, Tristan decided it was time to go back to school.

Tristan says he has always had an interest in the Information Technology field and decided to look into programs close to his hometown of Weston, WV.  After some looking, Tristan decided to attend WVJC because he did not want to take online classes. WVJC was also the closest school that offered hands-on, in-person classes for an Information Technology degree.

Since starting school at WVJC, Tristan has come to really enjoy the opportunities and experiences that come with applying what he learns in a hands-on manner. He also says that he enjoys the friendly rivalry between his peers regarding grades and certification* exam scores, which has only pushed him to apply himself further.

Tristan says his favorite classes have definitely been the networking and A+ certification*- related classes. He especially enjoyed his Introduction to Computer Hardware class. He had the opportunity to pick out the parts to build a PC and take those parts and put them together to build a fully functioning PC.

After graduating from WVJC, Tristan would like to land a career that is in the field of networking or security. Beyond a career, Tristan also hopes to someday further his education by earning a Bachelor’s Degree in either programming or a security-related field. Tristan has enjoyed his education experience at WVJC and would recommend the school to anyone looking to get an education in the field of Information Technology, but stresses that “you must put in your best effort to get anything out of the education.”

If your story sounds similar to Tristan’s, request information here!

*Certification is contingent upon passing the corresponding industry certification exam. 

Information Technology – Program Highlight

The fast-track Information Technology (IT) Associate Degree Program at West Virginia Junior College Charleston is an 18-month program that prepares graduates for a wide variety of entry-level positions in the technology field.  The IT Program begins with courses in PC repair and troubleshooting, operating systems, peripherals, and mobile devices. Students then progress into an in-depth course sequence focusing on networking skills and technologies, such as routing and switching.  The IT Program also focuses on security and server management, and administration. During the last 12 weeks of the program, students complete an externship to apply the IT skills learned in the classroom in the workplace.

Professional certifications are important in the technology field. In addition to earning an associate degree, WVJC students in the IT program prepare for three leading industry certifications from CompTIA. These include the A+ certification, which focuses on PC troubleshooting and repair, the Network+ certification, which focuses on networking skills and technologies, and the Security+ certification, which is optional and focuses on information security.

The Information Technology program is now enrolling for evening classes.  If you are interested in learning more about the fast-track, career-focused programs at WVJC, such as Information Technology, request information here!

Nathaniel Tichinel – Incoming Student Highlight

Nathaniel Tichinel first heard about our WVJC campus in Bridgeport when his older sister was looking into colleges several years ago.  He was only a freshman in high school at that time, but he and his parents knew this would be a great opportunity for him and kept in touch with High School Admissions Representative, Kristin Kirk, for his 4 years of high school.  Fast forward to 2019 and Nathaniel is now a senior at Doddridge County High School and ready to make his college decision. 

Most of his life has been spent in front of a screen, whether it was a television, a PC monitor, a laptop, or his Nintendo DS. Information Technology has always interested him and he knew that taking courses in this field would give him the opportunity to further understand the computers he appreciates so much. During a college interview with Kristin Kirk, he learned about the Network Administration/Security program and they both decided this was a good fit for him.  He would learn the skills and obtain the knowledge to pass certifications, like Certified Cisco Network Security, Certified Cisco Entry Network Technician, Certified Cisco Network Associate, and the A+ Certification. Having the skill set and potential certifications would give him the opportunity to reach his goal: obtain a career in the IT field, which he is most interested in and passionate about.

What Nathaniel likes most about the NA/S program at WVJC is that he will only be attending classes 4 days a week, thus giving him more time to focus on his homework and give him some free time to play video games.  He is excited about the externship he will be doing in his last 12 weeks of classes and hopes it will turn into a paying job after he graduates.  If not,  he is still grateful for the experience he can put on his resume that most recent college graduates don’t possess when going into the workforce. He is also juggling with the idea of continuing his education at one of the institutions we have articulation agreements with, specifically Salem International University because it is close to home.

In five years Nathaniel sees himself as a college graduate from WVJC Bridgeport.  He would like to be living on his own and working at a job that is capable of earning him enough money to buy whatever video games he pleases, whenever he pleases.  When asked if he would refer WVJC to a friend, Nathaniel replied excitedly, “I would absolutely suggest WVJC to them, knowing they could get their necessary certifications and experience in nearly half the time!”

Wesley McGee – Student Highlight

Wesley McGee began attending West Virginia Junior College freshly after high school. He is seeking an associate degree in Information Technology. He considered many careers paths in high school but none really fit what he wanted to do. Following his father’s advice, he enrolled in the IT program to give him a good starting point.

Wesley wants to make a name for himself in the world and plans to use his degree and certifications he obtained here to do so. He is motivated by his own drive to be the best he can be at whatever he does which he proves every day in the classroom.

Wesley chose WVJC because of his father’s recommendation and because of the small classes. He gets the chance to be hands-on and is provided a much more direct learning experience from his instructors. The small classes also give him the chance to know his classmates better and make friendships that will be the foundation of his time here. His favorite classes are the core IT classes. He said he gets to become better versed in the things he already knew a little bit about and apply them to the real world.

Wesley already has his foot firmly in the door of employment. With his A+ certification he received from his hard work and dedication, he has already landed a job at Staples and is well on his way to doing great things for his career.  With the experience he is gaining from this job, Wesley hopes to take those skills and turn them into a profitable and exciting career.

With a solid certification under his belt and the experience he will gain from his current job, Wesley has a bright future ahead of him. His education at WVJC has been a rewarding adventure and he won’t settle for anything less than the best for himself and his career.

Dawn Riley – Student Highlight

Dawn Riley - Student Highlight

Dawn Riley grew up in Lewis County and graduated from Lewis County High School in 2007.  She has always been interested in computers and could always make them work.  One day, her mom brought home a computer from Goodwill and handed it to Dawn and said, “If you can make this work, it’s yours.”  Dawn made it work.  It became the “family” computer.  As Dawn was preparing to graduate high school, she began looking into Computer Science programs in Arizona.  As she was doing her research, she thought to herself, I’m not smart enough for that.

Dawn found herself applying at WVU and getting accepted.  She began there the fall after high school graduation.  She majored in International Studies with an emphasis in Business and minored in Religious Studies and Spanish.  (WOW)  Only one semester from graduation, Dawn found herself facing more emotional turmoil than she could handle.  Having to deal with these personal problems while juggling everything else was profoundly difficult.  Dawn decided to stop attending college; she needed a break.

A few months had passed and Dawn had no idea where her path was leading.  She was planning on traveling.  Where to go, what to do?  She did a lot of driving and seemed to always hear the same radio commercial.  Great Career, Great Life, West Virginia Junior College.  It was stuck in her head.  She will never forget the day that she was sitting and traffic singing the jingle when it came on the radio.  Dawn rolled her eyes.  As she did so, on the left sat West Virginia Junior College.  Dawn realized she needed to check it out.  She went home and put the request in for more information.  She received a phone call from Matt Hahn, an admissions representative.  Dawn was impressed by Matt’s passion for the program.  She came in to speak with Matt and was even more impressed.  Dawn enrolled in the Network Administration Security Program after speaking with Matt.  For once, she didn’t feel like she would be a fish out of water.

Dawn’s NA/S program began on February 14, 2017, run by Mrs. Robin Addis.    Dawn has learned an enormous amount since starting college here at WVJC.  She has learned that public speaking is not one of her strengths, but she is continually working on it and is no longer filled with anxiety when presenting.  She also has earned numerous certifications during her program which include:

CCENT     CCNA     MTA Server      A+

She continues to add to that list on her own.  She has earned the MTA in OS and is working on the Network MTA.

Dawn Riley and Meagan Brown

Not only has she surpassed her own expectations, her instructors let her lead as well.  For example, she had a hand in building one of our classrooms here on campus.  That entailed configuring all of the routers and computers and running the Ethernet cable to provide internet service to each computer, 15 in all.  She has done her externship at WVJC as well, as work study.  If any of the campus employees are having issues, Dawn is responsible for troubleshooting said issues and also for password security.  She works inside the campuses personal database to run reports that are pertinent to the employee’s daily routines.  Some of her day is also spent tutoring fellow classmates.

Dawn’s experience here so far has been an excellent one where she has grown both professionally and personally.  Dawn admits that she is most proud of her personal growth.  She has learned that her voice matters.  WVJC has given her the tools academically and personally to be able to overcome any fears she once had.  Her text anxiety has subsided with the personal help of her program director.  She has also taught herself to find balance.  When she put her education first, everything else fell into place.  In a field dominated by men, this young woman stands among them.  She stands strong.  She teaches the men around her how to perform in this environment.  She is truly kicking at the glass ceiling in the IT world and wants to be a part of the gender shift in the field.

After graduation in November, Dawn isn’t sure of her plans.  She wants to stay in Morgantown and earn more certifications so that Microsoft and CISCO are breaking down her door to hire her.  We at WVJC believe in Dawn Riley and all of her successes.