Mountain State Medical Specialties – Externship Highlight

At West Virginia Junior College, we not only provide you with small classes and a great experience, but also with a hands-on externship. During the end of your program, you will be assisted with finding a great site to provide the best hands-on experience for you. Many businesses in the area are more than happy to help our students become the best professionals they can be.

Mountain State Medical Specialties is just one facility that continuously provides our students with excellent hands-on experiences. They provide our students with the ability to see professionals at work every day, striving to be the best medical facility they can be. Mountain State Medical Specialties began in 1994 as a solo practice under the name of C. Bradley Franz, MD. He started his offices in Clarksburg and Elkins, WV. After some time it grew, the first dermatology associate was added, and Franz Dermatology Inc. started. The practice now known as Mountain State Medical Specialties includes providers in dermatology, family medicine, asthma, allergy care, and Mohs Micrographic Surgery for skin cancer.

At WVJC, we are confident in the care they provide to their patients by seeing how much they provide to the WVJC students. This site has many locations and is dedicated to hiring excellent medical staff.   We are thankful that they provide our students with the learning experience they do.

A recent graduate that completed her externship at Mountain State Medical Specialties couldn’t say enough about how wonderful it is there. She said, “Not only did I learn so much there, I became comfortable and felt like I was part of the family.” She was asked to join the team at Mountain State shortly after graduating from the Clinical Medical Assistant program. She is happily employed there and highly recommends them for your health care needs.

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

Molly Connell – Medical Assisting
Graduate to Nursing Student

Molly Connell is a returning graduate from West Virginia Junior College Bridgeport. She began her journey at WVJC in 2015 to pursue her Medical Assisting degree. At that time, Molly knew the medical field was her passion. She checked into WVJC and quickly discovered it was the place for her. Once enrolled and into the classes, she was happy to call this school her home. The small class size and the family-like atmosphere was what she was looking for. Molly said, “It was nice to be a part of a school that everyone in the building cared about your success.”

Molly is a hard-working young lady that is dedicated to many things. She is not only furthering her education for herself, but also setting an example for her two small children. Molly began working as a medical assistant at Stonewall Jackson Hospital, in Weston, shortly after graduating in November 2016.  After working as a medical assistant for some time she applied to a phlebotomy position at United Hospital Center, where she is currently still employed.

As much as she loves her journey and passion for the medical field, Molly knew she had the dedication to go even further. Once WVJC Bridgeport started their Nursing program, she knew that was the path for her. She quickly got in contact with the admissions advisor and began the enrollment process. Molly was accepted into the program. It was easy for the nursing staff to see her dedication and drive. She began classes in June 2020 and has enjoyed the process so far.

When talking to Molly about her day to day responsibilities, it became clear that she is a very organized and goal-driven young lady. Molly is a wife, mother of two children, a phlebotomist at UHC, and a WVJC nursing student. Many people would agree that is a lot. However, she is determined and continues to see the reward and the light at the end of the tunnel.

Molly looks forward to seeing how proud her family is of her when she finishes the Nursing program. In her spare time, she loves playing outside with her kids. She also looks forward to obtaining employment in the ER at UHC once she graduates. She said there are times she gets overwhelmed, but continues to stay focused and refer back to her favorite quote, “Never let the fear of striking out, keep you from playing the game.”

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

Short Term Degree Benefits

In today’s economy nearly all jobs require some form of a credential beyond high school. However, many small businesses find it difficult to find qualified job applicants to fill job openings, particularly those entry to middle skill level jobs that require specific technical skills. These skills are often able to be acquired through a short-term degree program designed in partnership with business and industry standards and expectations. Accordingly, the demand for entry to middle level skills is strong. In 2018, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that 53 percent of the US labor market was entry level skill jobs, yet only 43 percent of the country’s workers possessed the necessary skills.

Thus, short-term degrees and industry-based certifications are increasingly important for individuals who want to advance in the workplace and achieve greater economic mobility. The attainment of a credential demonstrates the mastery of the knowledge, skills, and abilities desired by employers, putting learners on a path towards gainful employment. One recent study shows that certification holders earn 30 percent more than individuals with a high school diploma alone and the wage premium for short-term degree programs is often comparable or higher than bachelor’s degrees in certain fields.

Since the early 2000s, community colleges have been stacking certificates to create career pathways. The short-term degrees embedded into career pathways make up 24 percent of all postsecondary awards in the US today. In the 2014-15 academic year, more than 600,000 short-term degrees were conferred—a 63 percent increase from the 370,000 degrees granted during the 2004-05 academic year. Short-term degrees along with certifications have become so popular that they are now the second most common higher education credential in the United States, signaling that students and employers are recognizing the value of this educational route at an increasing rate.

Nonetheless, short-term degrees only have value if they are a) designed to respond to local labor market needs, and b) designed to ensure long-term success through continuing learning opportunities. When these programs are developed utilizing labor market data and employer engagement in the design, it leaves students with a credential that has high meaning in the local economy. Therefore, short-term degree programs must be thoughtfully designed if they are to improve a student’s employment opportunities.

Labor markets are not static. Rapidly changing technologies and skills are compelling workers to return to school and upgrade their skills just to retain their current jobs. Colleges that offer short-term degrees are able to move and adapt to those changes rapidly in order to meet the needs of the local employers. Providing the local economy a highly trained workforce that is able to fill the needs of changing industries is a key benefit to short-term degrees. Students are looking for ways to improve their economic status in the fastest way possible with as little debt as possible. Short-term degrees are filling that need for the new age of student demographics.

Cheyenne Bolden – Student Highlight

Cheyenne is a 2017 graduate of Liberty High School. While in high school, Cheyenne participated in numerous sports, worked two jobs to fund her summer travels, was a member of the National Honor Society, and enjoyed attending the Friday night football games. She took college classes during her senior year in high school as well.

WVJC was Cheyenne’s choice to jump start her career because she loves the small class sizes and being able to know the teachers one on one. She also loves that the teachers offer free tutoring after class and even in the mornings before class. Currently enrolled in the LPN program, Cheyenne is 21 years old and loves to spend her summers traveling across the globe.

There are many things that Cheyenne loves about her student experience at WVJC. “The library is always open and available when I need to use it. I enjoy being able to ask questions and get answers in a quick time frame. I feel like a person here and not just a number,” said Cheyenne.

When asked who her favorite teacher is so far, Cheyenne said it has been Mrs. Wilson because she has the ability to reach out to students and relay the information in a manner everyone can understand. She is really good at re-explaining something if someone doesn’t understand and uses relatable examples.

“From the time I started my journey here, the teachers and staff have always gone out of their way to make things as easy and smooth as possible. Nursing school is hard enough, it’s nice to have teachers and staff in your corner when things get tough,” said Cheyenne.

Currently, Cheyenne is in the mental health clinical rotation and part of her class has been going to Highland and observing. “I really enjoy mental health nursing, but I imagine it’s very hard at the same time,” said Cheyenne.

Cheyenne is working on finishing up her externship hours at Fairmont Health and Rehab. “I truly love it there. I am hoping to work there with a graduate license until I take and pass my boards. Once that happens, I really hope to secure a PRN job there while planning some much-needed travel plans,” said Cheyenne.

In the future, Cheyenne plans to go back to school and obtain her RN degree. She hopes to become a travel nurse for a few years after getting her RN and once she settles down, she is considering becoming a flight nurse.

Cheyenne’s advice for others is to “not give up, even when you think it’s the only option. In the end, you’re only setting yourself back and keeping yourself from reaching the goals you set out to achieve.”

Are you ready to start down the path to a rewarding career? With short-term programs, small class sizes, personalized attention, and our WE CARE approach to education, WVJC can help you get there. Request information today to get started!

Health Access – Externship Highlight

Health Access in the heart of Clarksburg, WV has been an externship site used by West Virginia Junior College Bridgeport for more than 10 years. Josh Brown, Office Manager, and Trella Reed, MA, are always willing to help our students complete their 165 or 90 hours for their externship. Reed, a graduate of  WVJC herself, takes pride in teaching and letting our students help her through her busy workday. Josh enjoys teaching our students billing procedures. When students arrive at Health Access, they are given opportunities to learn clinical and front office skills. This helps our students obtain a passing score on their Clinical Medical Assistant and Billing and Coding Specialist certifications.

Crystal Bennett, a graduate of our medical assisting program, completed her 165-hour externship at Health Access. While she was completing her externship and maintaining great grades, she was able to balance her home life as well. The skills she was taught as a student, she has now carried over into her career at, Sunbelt Staffing.  Crystal not only passed her Certified Medical Assisting Certification but her Phlebotomy Tech certification as well.

Crystal gives a great deal of credit to WVJC and Health Access.  Health Access was able to give her more hands-on, in the field, career experience that helped mold her into the employee she is today.  Crystal is forever thankful for the experience and is confident that many more WVJC students will benefit from this exceptional externship site.