Sara Westbrook – Staff Highlight

Sara Westbrook has been an employee of WVJC since April 2019.  She started as an Online Admissions Advisor where she contacted individuals requesting information on our online programs and guided potential students through the admissions, enrollment, and onboarding processes. Sara enjoyed hearing the stories of the people she supported and found it very rewarding to help people find the path to change their lives.

In October 2020, Sara transitioned into her current role of Admissions Coordinator. In this role, she works tirelessly behind the scenes supporting the Online and Morgantown admissions teams through reporting, tracking, inquiry management, and distribution, clerical support, special projects, creative designs, social media, and much more. She thoroughly enjoys working behind the scenes and supporting the admissions team. She likes the opportunity to get to know all potential and enrolled students and ensure they have everything they need for a successful start.

When asked, “What advice do you have for someone considering attending WVJC?” Sara replied, “The teams you will work with (admissions, financial aid, academic, and career services) are outstanding.  They truly care about their students and want to see them succeed.  You will definitely not feel like a number, and it’s nice to know that the faculty and staff are 100% invested in your success!”

When asked, “What advice do you have for someone considering employment with WVJC?” Sara replied, “You will feel like family from the moment you walk through the door on your first day of work.  I couldn’t ask for a better work family, as some of them have definitely become lifelong friends.”

Sara has grown personally and professionally during the past two years. She emulates our WE CARE core values every day and has proven to be a valuable resource to our staff and students.  We are thrilled to have Sara as a member of the WVJC family.

To learn more about the WVJC admissions team, request information here!

Christina Hayslett – Staff Highlight

Christina Hayslett is a Financial Aid Officer at WVJC Charleston. She finds it fulfilling to work at WVJC because of the many lives she can be a part of, as she watches students grow into confident and successful individuals. “These are real people, mothers, fathers, first time-students, all making an effort to do and be better. This gives us the responsibility to do and to be better as well.”

Christina understands the demographic of many of our students. A graduate of Marshall University, Christina began her higher education right out of high school, but as she began to have a family of her own, the inconvenience of traditional school interrupted her education. It was several years after her daughter was born that she returned to finishing her bachelor’s degree. “If I had known about a school like WVJC, I would’ve seen that I could both be a mother and student at the same time, and not make a sacrifice to either.”

Christina has previously worked in admissions in low-income based education services and understands the connection between education and finances. Christina says, “It is the goal of WVJC Financial Aid, to make school affordable today, but not leave you with an enormous debt tomorrow.” The financial aid team in Charleston works to establish a plan that allows you to focus on your education and not the burden of cost. As a native of West Virginia, Christina concludes, “West Virginia residents need careers here in our own state, and at WVJC, we can help make that dream a reality.”

“Traditional college isn’t for everyone, but education is. Finding the right school, a program that you are interested in, and a staff that supports your real life is key. We have that here at WVJC because WE CARE about your success.”

If you would like to know more about the short-term programs at WVJC, request information here!

New Year, New Career at the Morgantown And Online Campus

As we enter a new year, we have many things on our agendas. One of the items listed needs to be focused on our careers. Whether you want to start your career, or are currently working in an environment that is not driven by your goals and lifelong career plans, WVJC offers services geared toward assisting you in achieving your ultimate goal!

The Career Services department at WVJC has an objective to assist each one of our students and graduates with any obstacles, by providing career search assistance, resume revisions, and interview practice to help drive you towards this goal! Landing that dream job can be a very stressful process.  Using our resources can help to lighten your load. Use these steps to guide you to your great new career in the new year!

Determination

To successfully find your new career, you must be determined.  Determination is the motive behind our actions. This, along with motivation, is what keeps you on a successful path, even when times get hectic or stressful.
To help keep you on this path of success, you should know exactly what it is that is motivating you and keeping you determined. Make a list. Maybe purchasing your first home, or starting a family is something that you are determined to achieve. Remain determined to meet those goals!

Skills

You may have an ultimate goal relative to a specific job field but may not have the qualifications to obtain that employment. Let WVJC be your guide to a great career, by assisting you with obtaining skills in your dream career! We offer hands-on opportunities that include real-world externships and clinicals.

Resume


Your resume is the first thing that an employer will notice about you. Your ability to complete a professional resume is needed. Ensuring that you use an appropriate format, with a clean and professional look, will help you catch a hiring manager’s attention.

Choosing to enroll in a career-driven degree program will be a great addition to your resume. Employers will look at your education and see that you are driven to excel. Be sure to include your dates of attendance so they can verify whether you are currently enrolled or graduated from your program!

In completing your resume, be sure to utilize keywords. Keywords will help a recruiter quickly add you to a qualified candidate list, increasing your odds of employment. Include pertinent information, including contact information, education, experience, certifications, skills, and any networking platforms that are beneficial. Lastly, try to keep it minimal and check it over for grammatical and spelling errors.

Employment

Once your resume is properly completed, you should optimize your job search! Many perceive the thought of looking for employment while attending school to be too early, but it is in fact the best time to start! Research your preferred employers. Locate available positions and hiring processes for each employer. Within this research, you will know answers to many questions such as how their hiring process works, requirements of available positions, and often, at times, the salary and benefit information for the positions you are seeking.  Also, remember that you can reach out to employers to learn more about their processes.

Jump Start your Career

WVJC offers several different program opportunities to fit anyone’s needs! Let us be the team that assists you in your career goals!  Our goal is to encourage and support you in your career development and growth from our Admissions team to Program Directors and Instructors.

Thankful For Our WVJC Charleston Students

WVJC offers short-term, career-focused programs in Nursing, Clinical Medical Assistant, Dental Assisting, Medical Billing and Coding, Business Administration, and Network Administration/Security. At WVJC, our purpose is to empower change by creating opportunity. We believe in a WE CARE approach to helping students succeed in their education.

This Thanksgiving, our staff and faculty would like to share what we are most thankful for at WVJC, our students!

    • Michelle Miles, WVJC Campus President said, “I am so grateful for our students. I have the pleasure of interacting with students daily and I love witnessing their growth and seeing their accomplishments. Students, thank you for allowing me to be a part of your lives!”
    • Katie Harvey, WVJC Academic Dean said, “As an educator, I am thankful that our students allow us to become part of their extended families. We can experience their joys and offer support when they experience sorrows. I am thankful I can watch the growth of the student from the time they first step foot in the building to seeing them walk across the graduation stage. There is nothing like witnessing a former WVJC student find success in their career field as well as life itself!”
    • Selena Ramey, WVJC Career Management Director said, “I am thankful for students who apply themselves and overcome obstacles to be successful in their careers.”
    • Stephanie Duncan, WVJC High School Admissions Advisor said, “I am thankful for our students because they allow us to see real growth every day. Every student is different, but watching them during their journey from WVJC student to graduate is something I will always hold near and dear to my heart.”
    • Kellie Moore, WVJC Admissions Manager said, “I’m thankful for our students because they bring me so much joy and happiness! I love seeing them accomplish their goals and transition into careers!”
    • Sheena Pack, WVJC High School Admissions Advisor said, “I am thankful for the relationships I have with our students. I love witnessing their success and look forward to seeing them when I come to work.”
    • Christina Hayslett, WVJC Financial Aid Representative said, “I am thankful for our students because they remind us every day is a new opportunity to start, to grow, and to succeed.”
    • Chelsea Abbott, WVJC Medical Director said, “I am so thankful for my students. I am passionate about teaching them the skills they need for the medical field and watching them apply those skills in their careers.”
    • Renee Rollins, WVJC Dental Assisting Program Director said, “I am thankful for my students who make me laugh in class and bring joy to not just me, but their fellow students.”
    • Aaron Settle, WVJC Adjunct Instructor said, “Interactions with my students allow me to learn from them daily, just as I hope they are learning from me!”
    • Kisha James, WVJC Nursing Instructor said, “I am thankful for our students because they remind me that we still have a striving generation in our future. All programs offered at WVJC are to better not only those coming out of high school but also adults in higher education. All of our students have a drive and determination and every day they make me feel like a proud momma.”
    • Jonathan Lucas-Neel, WVJC Nursing Instructor said, “Teaching nursing at WVJC over the past year has brought me so many joys. I am thankful for the excitement that comes when students get to practice a new skill for the first time, to be present when they make a difference in the life of a patient, or even to see the satisfaction when they do well on an exam that I know they struggled to master. Working with nursing students has taught me to be a better nurse. It has made me evaluate the ‘why’ of the care we provide. I am enthusiastic to start our second cohort here at WVJC and thankful to have the opportunity to help train the next generation of nurses to care for our community.”
  • Jennifer Bird, WVJC Administrative Assistant said, “This year has been so hard on everyone and I wanted to share some of the reasons why I am thankful for our students. I am thankful every day I get to see our students walk in the door, even with their masks on, I can see that they are smiling and happy to be coming in for class. I am thankful to be able to watch our students achieve their goals to graduate and provide a better life for themselves and their families. It is simply amazing to see them overcome obstacles to graduate; one of my favorite quotes is “So often you find that the students you’re trying to inspire are the ones that end up inspiring you.”
  • Holly Mitchell, WVJC Adjunct Instructor said, “I am thankful for our students for overcoming a myriad of challenges and remaining relentless on their pursuit to succeed! They are truly inspiring and I’m blessed to be a part of their journey at WVJC!”
  • Kelly Pauley, WVJC Nursing Director said, “I am thankful for my nursing students because they are so eager to learn, so driven to accomplish their dreams, and so compassionate.  They teach me every day why I love what I do.”
  • Mark Light, WVJC Adjunct Instructor said, “I’m thankful for my students because they challenge me.  When I started at WVJC, I was worried that I would not be able to relate to my students’. One of the things we had in common was that we all spoke Appalachian American.  (If you need to know what that is just ask one of my students).  I was able to present the information to them in a way that was easy for them to understand and there is nothing more rewarding as an instructor than to see the lights go on in their students eyes that let you know they understand and comprehend what you are teaching them.”
  • Hydiah White, WVJC Adjunct Instructor said, “I am thankful for our students because they are always helping me to become a better teacher. Everyone has a different learning style and I enjoy finding creative ways to explain the material. It can be challenging, but it is worth it!”

If you are ready to earn your education in a fast track, hands-on, career-focused program at a college with staff and faculty that cares about your success, request information here!

Tierra Justice – Student Highlight

“I was three years into a teaching degree and decided I wanted to be a nurse.  I moved to Morgantown and started applying to programs.”- Tierra Justice

The path to college and a career can have its twist and turns. Sometimes a student can enter into one field of study and find a more appealing path along the way. Tierra Justice certainly found herself along that path prior to coming to WVJC. Not only did she seek a path to the nursing field, but she also moved from the southern part of WV to Morgantown in the process.

Once she started looking into WVJC’s Nursing program, Tierra knew it was for her. “Unlike most nursing programs, our program is set up into 6-week terms instead of full semesters. It allows us to focus more on the individual classes and graduate quicker,” she said.  Tierra also noted that the admissions process was really simple along the way.

As a student in WVJC’s Nursing program, Tierra has really found a home.  She says that Joanne Kozich was her favorite instructor.  “She is always ready to go to bat for us when we have concerns. She goes out of her way to make sure we understand the material and makes herself available for questions. I’m the president of my cohort and she has been the biggest help with fundraising and pinning planning as well.”  In addition to classroom instruction, Tierra says that her clinical instructors have really made a mark on her education as well. “The factors that stand out most are the small class sizes, instructors, and clinical experiences.”

Want to learn more about WVJC’s Nursing program?  Request information here!

A Step-by-Step Guide to the Nursing admissions process

One of the most commonly asked questions of our admissions department involves entry into the Nursing program. For most people, when considering the healthcare field for employment, they think of becoming a nurse (RN). As you read this, you probably have an image of one in your head…scrubs, stethoscope, white shoes, and a kind demeanor. The person in your mental image may be someone that you have met, someone that took care of you or a family member in a time of need, or maybe even your future self!  Now, the reality is that there are MANY types of healthcare professionals (Medical Assistants, Licensed Practical Nurses, Registered Nurses, etc.) that fit the image you have created, but you have decided that this person is an RN and that is what you want to become.

The question is, how?  The guide below will help give you a picture of what it takes to navigate the Direct Admittance Nursing (RN) program at West Virginia Junior College in Morgantown.

Step 1: Call the WVJC campus at 304-296-8282, request information on our website, or even walk into the campus to ask for more information on the program.

Step 2: Work with our Nursing admissions advisor to schedule a campus visit personalized to determine your needs, your correct fit, and the right timing for you.  YES! While becoming a Nurse is the goal, how and when that happens is very much personalized to your needs and situation.

Step 3: Schedule your TEAS exam or consider our TEAS Prep Program, first, to prepare for the exam.  Most Nursing programs require an entrance exam of some sort, and at WVJC, it is the TEAS. This is an exam designed to test your knowledge as the ACT or SAT would…but with a heavy dose of science. You should plan on spending 3-5 hours at our campus on test day, and be sure to study in advance (see TEAS Prep program option mentioned above). The key in this step is to keep moving forward. Choose a path, TEAS or TEAS Prep, and commit to it. There is little time to waste as space in the program is limited and competition is high.

Step 4:  Complete the Nursing application.  The components of this application can be, and are recommended to be, completed as you are preparing for the TEAS exam. The nursing application includes your TEAS scores (showing passing and competitive scores), your application, a fee, multiple essays, letters of reference, transcripts from high school and all post-secondary schools you have attended, and any other items requested by your nursing admissions advisor.

Step 5:  Interview with the Nursing Program Director. Think of this as you would a job interview. Be prepared, confident, and dressed appropriately. If accepted by the Program Director, you move on to step 6.

Step 6: Meet with Financial Aid:  At this point, you have been accepted into the program, and meeting with financial aid is the next step on your way to becoming a nursing student. In this step, you will meet one-on-one with a financial aid representative who will walk you through the college financial aid process and help you determine what aid you may qualify for.

Step 7:  Complete clearances, immunizations, and health screenings prior to orientation.  This is one of the last steps, but a very important one as you prepare for orientation and the start of classes.

Step 8:  Attend orientation and begin classes.  With all of the required steps and approvals out of the way, you are now ready to begin your ultimate task, being a student who is fully committed to the rigor of the nursing program, striving to be successful for the next 18 months and, ultimately, walking across the stage as a graduate of WVJC’s Nursing program.

We know that taking that first step can be a little daunting but the faculty and staff at WVJC will be there with you every step of the way! For more information on WVJC’s nursing program, or any of our other allied health programs, please visit our website at wvjc.edu!

Jessica Polen – Admissions Representative

Jessica Polen - WVJC Online Admissions Representative
At WVJC, our admissions department works very hard to make sure each student is welcomed with a warm “hello”! Jessica Polen is one of the representatives responsible for that. She has been with us for close to a year now and has had the opportunity to work with many students. She enjoys getting to hear everyone’s story and hearing the excitement in their voices when they decide to finally start working toward their goal of a college education!

Like many students, after high school Jessica didn’t know what she wanted to do. She did know that she wasn’t ready to attend college at that time. At the age of twenty-one she made a big decision and moved to Florida! She spent five years running her own restaurant called “Joey’s Café”, all while going to school full time. While in Florida, Jessica earned an associate degree in education. Her plan was to switch careers and become a teacher, until she got a call from her sister one day. She found out that she was going to be an aunt! “I wanted to be very involved in my niece’s life, so I decided it was time to move back to PA”. Once she came back, she started working as a waitress, and decided that she wanted to continue her education yet again. She enrolled at California University of PA and earned her bachelor’s degree in Spanish. At CalU, she would meet her husband, and start a family of her own. Jessica currently lives in Washington, Pa with her husband and two children, Lucy, who is six, and Asa, who is two!

Advice she has for new students? “Know going into college that it isn’t easy. It is difficult. You will test yourself more than you thought possible, and then the college will. But also remember that you do have the strength and ambition to be successful. You just need to follow your heart”.

Employee Highlight – Kellie Moore

Kellie MooreIf you have ever requested information about one of our programs, chances are, you have spoken with Kellie Moore. As our Senior Admissions Representative and Training Manager, Kellie is your first contact with the school. When a request for information is made, Kellie is the one who calls, texts, or emails you. She is also responsible for scheduling interviews with prospective students where she explains our programs, talks about available benefits, and gives personalized tours of the campus.

Kellie Moore attended WV State University where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications with an emphasis in Public Relations. While there, she was a news anchor for the WVSU news channel and also Vice President of the WV State University Public Relations Student Society. After graduation, Kellie found herself working for a local college. She never expected to be in that type of career, but found she really enjoyed working with students. Her love for people kept her on that career path and eventually led her here — to West Virginia Junior College!

When asked why she chose to work at WVJC Kellie responded, “I have always enjoyed working with students and helping them transition from being a student, to finding a career. When I interviewed with West Virginia Junior College, I could clearly sense the dedication they have to seeing each of their students succeed. That dedication, combined with the friendliness of the staff, convinced me this was definitely the right place for me!” Kellie has been part of the WVJC Charleston team for two years now. She says she gets a lot of satisfaction from seeing students she has enrolled now working in her local community. “I love to walk into a business and see one of my students! It truly thrills me to watch them thrive in a new career where they are happy and fulfilled. I’m just so glad I could play a small part in that.”

In addition to her love for people, Kellie also has a soft spot for animals. She has always been an ardent dog lover and has two adopted dogs of her own. Trooper and Willow are her “fur babies” who she dotes on every day. If her husband would let her, she would have a whole house full of puppies! She is also a huge advocate of rescuing animals from shelters. “Adopt, don’t shop!” has always been her motto. “There are so many animals out there who need adopted, I just think it’s a shame to look anywhere else.”

As for what she would like to do in the future, Kellie says she would love to travel the world with her husband. “There are so many amazing places I would like to see!” Every year they travel to a different Sandals resort to celebrate their wedding anniversary. This year marked their eighth visit to a Sandals location. “I just can’t help it! I love the Caribbean! Since we were married in Jamaica, the area holds extra special memories for us.”

We at West Virginia Junior College Charleston love Mrs. Kellie Moore dearly. Her ever-present smile, bubbly laugh and cheerful attitude are sure to brighten even the gloomiest day! If you ever need a quick pick-me-up, her office is the one to visit!

If you are considering coming back to school, or possibly enrolling for the first time, Kellie would love the chance to talk with you. She is passionate about helping students find their perfect career and can help you overcome any obstacles that might be standing in your way. Don’t waste another day working a job you dislike, give her a call today at 304-345-2820 and take those first steps towards a better future!