Bali Surgical Practice, PLLC –
Externship Highlight

Bali Surgical Practice, PLLC has been servicing the Charleston area for the past 13 years. Bali Surgical Practice takes a comprehensive approach to health and wellness, and they are committed to providing the best quality care and support for their patients. They specialize in bariatric, general, and vascular surgery. They also offer a state-of-the-art Medical Spa to help patients become the best version of themselves.

WVJC Charleston and Bali Surgical have created a strong relationship over the past year. Bali Surgical Practice accepts students from the Clinical Medical Assistant program and the Medical Billing and Coding program. Students completing their externship with Bali Surgical Practice engage in a hands-on learning environment to ensure they receive a comprehensive understanding of the medical office setting and patient care. The externs also obtain knowledge of general surgeries and other outpatient procedures.

The future is bright for Bali Surgical Practice as the current business outlook is promising and the demand for services rising daily. They hope to continue building and expanding their practice to care for and assist more patients in the area. The site coordinator, Ms. Latasha McCoy, stated that Bali Surgical Practice benefits from having WVJC students complete their externship at their organization because they obtain an “awareness of current student and educational practices as well as see potential future employees.”.

When asked what advice she would give students entering college in 2021, Ms. McCoy stated, “Always do your best, give it your all and never give up. You are one step closer to your dreams!” WVJC is proud to be affiliated with Bali Surgical Practice and hopes that the relationship strengthens in years to come.

If you’re looking for a fast-track, Clinical Medical Assistant or Medical Billing and Coding program that provides you an externship experience like the one students receive at Bali Surgical Practice, PLLC, then take the first step today and 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!

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!

Bullock Properties, LLC – Externship Highlight

West Virginia Junior College Business Administration program is grateful for the relationship established with Bullock Properties, LLC. The owner of Bullock Properties, LLC, Mr. Tighe Bullock, serves as a great resource to WVJC students. Bullock Properties is a real estate development company specializing in historic preservation and small business development. Bullock Properties works with prospective tenants to select and redevelop historic properties in the Elk City Historic District of Charleston’s West Side.

The company’s climate has shifted slightly since the COVID-19 pandemic. The company has expanded its product offerings and now contracts out work for specialty historic preservation projects, in addition to providing specialty hardwood slabs, light fixtures, and other unique offerings. Bullock Properties hopes to expand its service and product offering beyond Charleston to other historic properties and neighborhoods in West Virginia. As the company grows and expands geographically, it also hopes to expand its offerings through vertical integration.

The WVJC Business Administration student externs at Bullock Properties are provided an opportunity to learn about real estate acquisitions, property taxes and tax maps, contract drafting and execution, human resources management, legal compliance, finance, and banking relationships, among other skills. Mr. Bullock stated, “Bullock Properties is afforded a great opportunity through the externship program to meet young emerging professionals and hear new approaches to old problems. The externs are sharp, caring people who add a new element to the regular office workday. The externs also allow other employees to interact and get to know the students.”

Mr. Bullock has several pieces of advice for WVJC students entering college in 2020/2021:

  • “Take this opportunity to grow yourself and your work habits.
  • Double the amount of studying you did in high school. You get what you put into your work.
  • Make friends and stay in touch with them. You will thank yourself later in life.
  • Learn to appreciate helping others. We find intrinsic meaning by giving ourselves to our fellow human beings.
  • Be professional, but have fun.”

To learn more about WVJC’s exciting externship program, request information here!

Yolanda Bass – Student Highlight

WVJC graduate, Yolanda Bass, enrolled in college at WVJC in 2013 because of the fast-track programs, location of the school, and friendliness of the staff and faculty. She graduated with an Associate Degree in Business Administration in 2014. After receiving her business training, she worked as an administrative assistant.

Yolanda always had an interest in the medical field, and in 2019, she decided she wanted to further her education at WVJC. Yolanda applied, and was accepted, into the fall 2019 Associate Degree in Nursing program at WVJC Charleston. She said, “I attended WVJC previously and I loved the smaller classes where people know you by name, instead of just a number.”

The staff and faculty at WVJC follow “WE CARE” values and strive to help empower change by creating opportunity for students. Yolanda said her favorite part of attending WVJC is the friendliness of the staff and the sense of community. She said, “I have built friendships that have become great for networking.” We asked Yolanda who her favorite teacher is and she said, “I love Kishia, she is always happy and her personality is contagious.” She further stated, “Kishia inspires us to do our best and is always available to offer help or answer questions.”

After graduation, Yolanda would like to work at Charleston Area Medical Center as a registered nurse. Yolanda is looking forward to financial stability and a flexible schedule as a registered nurse so she can spend more time with her daughter. If you would like to know more about the fast track medical programs or other programs at WVJC, request information here!

Omni Strategic Technologies – Externship Highlight

West Virginia Junior College and Omni Strategic Technologies have built a valuable and vital partnership to assist students in preparing for their careers in the technology field! Over the past several years, Omni has been accepting students from the Network Administration/Security program for their hands-on externship experience. Additionally, graduates have been hired by Omni into full-time employment.

Omni Strategic Technologies was founded in 1986 as HGO Technology. Omni is a full-service information technology firm, offering a wide range of technology services to clients. They have a particular focus on advisory services, consulting with businesses to choose the best technology products and services to meet their needs, and solve the challenges they are facing. Omni’s services have proven particularly valuable to companies during the COVID-19 pandemic, as many employers look to adapt the ways in which they conduct business. According to Steve Kay, Regional Director, Omni continues to see an upward trend in sales, even during the pandemic.

WVJC’s students who complete their externship with Omni have the opportunity to go hands-on with a wide variety of experiences in the information technology field. From helping to configure and deploy new systems, to learning about management of customers’ advanced servers and networks, students see the real-world application of many of the things they have experienced in the classroom. The information technology field offers many opportunities for growth, and the externship experience with Omni helps prepare students for that growth. As Mr. Kay observed, “A lot of the technology field is about growing people from technician to engineer to advisor.”

Both West Virginia Junior College and Omni Strategic Technologies are committed to continuing this partnership well into the future. Omni is a valuable part of Charleston and West Virginia and continues to offer companies important services, even during difficult times. As Mr. Kay observed, the technology field is ever-changing, but the one thing that is certain is that every company will continue to have technology needs and there will be a lot of potential for graduates in the field.

To learn more about WVJC’s externship opportunities, request information here!

Brittany Brown – Graduate Highlight

Before deciding to attend WVJC Charleston, Brittany Brown worked as a cashier at a local Doughnut Connection, earning a little over minimum wage.  She was a loyal employee and worked there for nearly 10 years. Brittany decided she was ready for a change and contacted WVJC. Brittany said, “I chose WVJC because an intelligent person that I know was enrolled in the Dental Assisting Program. She recommended WVJC because the staff is caring and down to earth, but still academically stern.”

During Brittany’s college visit, she knew she had chosen the right school for her career goals. She said, “The staff is remarkable! I decided to enroll that day and began my miraculous journey.”  Brittany chose the Clinical Medical Assistant Program because, at a young age, she was very interested in expanding her knowledge in the medical field. She said, “My favorite instructor is Dr. Settle because his teaching methods are straightforward and he goes into great depth to ensure students have the information they need for their medical careers.”

It seems like yesterday that Brittany walked through the doors of WVJC to start earning her fast track Associate Degree in Clinical Medical Assistant. Brittany completed her externship at the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department during the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to Brittany’s work ethic, dedication, and willingness to learn, she was offered a full-time position at KCHD. Now Brittany is an essential employee and she is working diligently to combat COVID-19.  A typical day as a medical assistant for Brittany is screening patients and taking temperatures, registering patients for testing, conducting blood draws, urine collections, and immunizations, updating necessary paperwork, and communicating with staff. Brittany said, “The faith and encouragement I receive at KCHD is astounding. Every day, I grow and mature into a better medical professional.”

Brittany said, “My favorite part of attending WVJC is the staff. They work around the clock to help students be successful. The support the staff at WVJC has provided is life-changing.” If you would like to know more about the fast track medical programs or other programs at WVJC, request information here!

WVJC and Community During Challenging Times

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!

Chelsea Abbott – Faculty Highlight

Chelsea Abbott is the Medical Program Director at WVJC Charleston. She graduated from WVJC Morgantown in August 2016 with a specialized associate degree in medical assisting. Chelsea is also a certified phlebotomy technician and certified medical assistant through the National Healthcareer Association. Before attending WVJC, Chelsea attempted other universities. She said, “I am so glad I chose WVJC for my education because it has helped me accomplish my career goals.”

After graduating from WVJC, Chelsea accepted a job at MedExpress as a medical assistant. She enjoys providing patient care in an urgent care setting. Chelsea is a great example of strong work ethic. In addition to working as a medical assistant, she is the Program Director for the Clinical Medical Assistant and Medical Office Administration programs at WVJC.  Chelsea said, “I chose to work at WVJC because when I was in school it was like a home to me.”

When we asked Chelsea what she enjoys the most about working at WVJC, she said, “I love the people I work with. Our staff is one of a kind. We help each other and the atmosphere is always positive.” Chelsea is an excellent mentor for students and is a great problem solver. Students are comfortable approaching Chelsea for academic and personal support.  Chelsea said, “I am most passionate about watching students learn and bettering their future. I love being a part of their success.”

If you would like to know more about the medical programs or other programs at WVJC, please visit wvjc.edu for more information and apply today!

We’re Here for You Through COVID-19

Our lives have dramatically changed in the last few weeks as we all adjust to dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. From our movements being restricted, to learning to homeschool our children, to the heroes on the front lines battling this virus, we have all been affected.

At West Virginia Junior College, we want our students, our community, and our future students to know one thing: we are here for you and we will support you in every way possible. We’re all in this fight together, and we will get through it together.

Supporting WVJC Students

At WVJC, we are not just a college, we are a family. Throughout this difficult time, we continue to remain fully committed to our purpose of empowering change by creating opportunity.

We are committed to serving and supporting our WVJC student family through the COVID-19 pandemic. To enable our students to continue training for rewarding careers, our ground campuses are providing live remote classes for all students. Via these live remote classes, students can continue to gain valuable knowledge and develop professional skills, setting them up for successful careers.

Students may travel to campus to receive distance learning materials and other essential services, as educational institutions are considered essential businesses in West Virginia. We’re taking every precaution necessary to ensure our facilities are sanitized and are operating under social distancing requirements. All instructors are also available to remotely assist students with anything they need for those who cannot or prefer not to travel to campus.

To further support our students during this time, WVJC has created an Interim Leave of Absence Policy for active students in good academic standing, who are unable to complete or begin an externship due to COVID-19. We have also revised the current incomplete policy for students who cannot sit for their certification exams during this time. For more information and guidance on these policies, please visit the COVID-19 Information page.

Supporting the Community

In addition to continuing to supporting our students throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we are highly invested in our community and dedicated to serving it by providing the local workforce with trained and qualified medical professionals.

With healthcare programs including Nursing, Practical Nursing, Clinical Medical Assistant, Medical Office Administration, Dental Assisting, Medical CodingHealthcare Administration, and Pharmacy Technician, WVJC graduates are on the front lines fighting the virus, caring for sick patients, and providing critical support to hospitals and doctor’s offices.

We pledge to continue supporting members of the community and local healthcare teams by educating and training essential healthcare workers who are critical to saving lives during the pandemic.

Supporting Future Students

Due to COVID-19 and the mandatory restrictions on non-essential businesses, many people and families have been negatively impacted. There have been many people who have lost their jobs or been laid off, with millions all over the country who have applied for unemployment benefits.

With our purpose of empowering change by creating opportunity, we believe that WVJC has a responsibility to help people by providing them the opportunity to get retrained and back to work. With this in mind, we are now offering virtual campus visits for all potential students. Additionally, we are waiving all enrollment fees for applicants starting college in May or June of 2020. It’s our hope that this will help people who have been affected by providing them the opportunity to start their path to a more secure career.

We also understand that it’s hard for high school students who are dealing with this time of uncertainty while trying to make decisions about what to do after graduation. We encourage all high school seniors to explore our career training college degree programs that may lead to successful, rewarding careers.

To learn more about our healthcare and professional college degree programs, contact us today to schedule a remote admissions meeting.