Chandice Litton started the Dental Assisting program at West Virginia Junior College in June 2020. Before coming to WVJC, Chandice was attending Braxton County High school. Chandice wanted to become a dental assistant and knew that WVJC had a dental program. When she visited WVJC to see the program, Chandice really liked how small the class sizes were. She knew that with smaller class sizes, she wouldn’t feel so overwhelmed. She also enjoyed that the classes were hands-on and would help her understand and learn more in the classroom.
What Chandice loves most about attending WVJC is the friendships she has made while attending the school. She said, “with the classes being so small, you can socialize with everyone allowing you to make friendships with your classmate.” She also likes that you get to know the teachers well, making it easier to talk to them when you have a question about class.
The Stephen A. Callen Memorial Scholarship* was awarded to Chandice. She said, “I was in shock and very surprised. I was very excited and thankful to have been the one chosen for this scholarship, as it would be very helpful in paying for my college education.”
Once Chandice graduates from WVJC, she intends to work as a dental assistant in general dentistry. She doesn’t believe she wants to work with a specialist. She enjoys many things involving different aspects of dentistry, but general is the best option for her.
It goes without saying that the year 2020 has been a roller coaster ride for us all. As we are rapidly approaching a new year, hoping it will be better than 2020, let’s consider a new you. We all make the cliché “New Year’s resolutions,” like dieting, eating better, and exercising more. These are all important to our overall well-being, but this year maybe a new you, and a new career, is what you are seeking.
This is the time and year to evaluate your lifetime goals and dreams, and really think about your career. Perhaps for some, the pandemic has made you reevaluate your job. Many of you have possibly been putting off taking the next step to continue your education, due to children being your number one priority. However, even though that is understandably something that could hold you back, perhaps in 2021, it’s time to begin thinking about yourself and the career of your choice.
The time is now! Use these steps to help guide you to a great career in the new year!
Brainstorming is a way to generate new ideas and is the beginning stage in developing the possibilities of what you are looking for. This creates an environment that is uninhibited and non-judgmental to explore all the many options of what you are looking for in your new career.
Motivation can be difficult from time to time, but is a key factor in being successful. Staying motivated to work toward your goals and dreams will help your dream and goals become a reality. Take the time to find a group of people you can rely on to help you stay motivated on the tough days.
Start Your Job Search:
Once you have decided to continue your education with WVJC and the program of your choice, start job searching. Researching the field and understanding the job market’s needs and demands will help you finalize your choice. This will help you explore your career choice and understand the places that would work for you and your lifestyle. Understanding the job demands in your town/city will be beneficial to you and your new start.
Toward the end of your program, every WVJC student is offered a Career Prep class that will help you build your resume, cover letter, interview skills, and, most importantly, assist you in landing that career you have always wanted. WVJC’s career management director will sit with you and really get an understanding of what career fits best with you and your lifestyle.
Dreams come true here at WVJC, and this is the year for you. When considering those new year’s resolutions this year, dig a little deeper and find the education and career you have been looking for.
As another year passes by, now is the time to take the next step in finding your career! At WVJC Charleston, our goal is to empower change by creating opportunity. We love to welcome students to the WVJC family and watch students succeed! WVJC is offering these suggestions for making this New Year the best one yet!
Choose a Specific Goal
Establishing a specific goal will help you stay on track to fulling your New Year’s resolution. When setting your goal, make sure it is realistic to accomplish.
Once you have established your goal, commit to yourself, and take steps to make it happen! Write your goal down and post it on your refrigerator or carry it in your wallet. This constant reminder will help you stay committed.
Establish a Solid Support System
Having a solid support system can help you stay motivated to accomplish your goals. If you have a friend or family member who wants to take steps to improve their life, set a goal together! If you have negative wizards in your life, leave them behind and surround yourself with people who support and encourage you to accomplish your goals.
Set up a personal reward system to encourage yourself. These rewards can be small such as buying yourself a special treat or a trip to the movies.
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!
Latasha Hedrick is a mother of three and looking forward to her new career as a dental assistant. Latasha is not new to the West Virginia Junior College family. She graduated the first time from WVJC in 2019 with an associate degree in Medical Office Administration. After graduating from that program, she began working at Mountain State Medical Specialties in Clarksburg. She enjoyed her work and the facility but wanted something more hands-on.
As a mom of three and the youngest only being seven months old, Latasha decided to continue her education one more time. She thought about what her interests were and wanted something that was not only hands-on, but also fast-paced, so she decided on the Dental Assisting program. Picking the program was harder for her than picking the college. Latasha knew she wanted to go back to WVJC! “WVJC was a great fit for me the first time. The 18-month program, reasonable schedule, and small class size fit my availability with being a mom of three.”
Latasha enjoys being a mom and chasing after her kids, as most parents do. However, she is looking forward to obtaining employment as a dental assistant. Latasha has a lot to offer to any dental facility. Her degrees in medical office and dental will serve her well as an employee. Her ability to assist the dentist as well as the front office will be greatly beneficial and look great on her resume. “I look forward to this career path and can’t wait to start working.” Latasha is confident that her skills, education, and work ethic will serve her well in this field of study.
At West Virginia Junior College, we understand the challenges that COVID-19 has created. Many of us have been faced with uncertainty, concerns of financial security, economic strains, and of course, our health and the genuine concerns for our loved ones, our neighbors, and our communities. Even though we are living through difficult times, West Virginia Junior College is here for you. Now is a great time to think about your future and take the next steps to further your education in one of our career-focused programs.
The West Virginia Junior College Charleston campus offers many fast track, academic programs to assist you with your academic growth and to present you with opportunities in many different career fields, all of which can provide financial stability for you and your family.
Programs that are offered at the WVJC Charleston campus include:
Our purpose at WVJC is to empower change by creating opportunity. Our staff and faculty are eager to help you begin your journey in obtaining your college education in a fast-track program. If you are interested in enrolling in fall classes, please request information here. Our admissions advisors are available to conduct a one on one college visit to identify your career goals and help you develop a plan on how to reach those goals. We look forward to hearing from you and are excited to help you take the plunge in finding that right career path for you! Request information HERE and learn more today!
Cleah Slack graduated from Lincoln County High School in 2019. During her senior year, an admissions advisor visited her class to discuss the specialized associate degree programs at WVJC. After the presentation, Cleah knew she wanted to apply for college at WVJC. She was looking for a short-term program that would help prepare her for a career. Cleah said, “It was important to me to be able to get a great education and earn an Associate Degree in Dental Assisting in a short 18 months.”
When asked about her long term goals, she said she would like to further her education and become a dental hygienist. She said, “I have always been very detail-oriented and really wanted to make sure the dental field was the right path for me and that is why I decided dental assisting was the best first step.” Cleah loves her dental assisting classes because of the hands-on activities and Mrs. Rollins style of teaching. Cleah noted, “Mrs. Rollins is such a great teacher. She makes sure everyone in class understands the material. Our dental classes are small and very hands-on, so everyone gets a feel for what we are doing.” Cleah has enjoyed her time at West Virginia Junior College because of the caring atmosphere and fast-track program. She said, “I love the wonderful instructors and I’ve also made lifelong friends.”
Cleah is flying through her Dental Assisting program at WVJC! She is an excellent student with nearly perfect attendance and a President’s List recipient. In addition to her excellent academic achievement, Cleah also volunteers as a Student Ambassador for the dental assisting program. She assists with new student orientation, school events, and offers tutoring services for students. We cannot wait to see all that Cleah accomplishes after graduating from WVJC! If you would like to know more about the fast track dental program or other programs at WVJC, please visit wvjc.edu for more information and apply today!
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.
Taylor Wagner is a student in the Dental Assisting program at West Virginia Junior College Bridgeport. Prior to attending WVJC, she obtained her certification as a Certified Nursing Assistant through her high school. She began working at a local hospital (United Hospital Center) and worked as a CNA for 5 ½ years before realizing this wasn’t the direction she wanted her life to go. Taylor reevaluated and made the choice to further her education with WVJC in the Dental Assisting program. Her future in dentistry was an easy choice for her. Taylor said, “I have always found dentistry interesting and loved going to the dentist growing up.”
Taylor is currently a full-time dental assisting student, while still working a part-time job as a CNA at UHC. Taylor says that at times, “it can be difficult to have so much on my plate, but I continue to do what needs done, so that I can have the future I want. WVJC makes it easier because of the small classes, hands on activities, and close drive from home.”
Taylor is excited by how much she is learning and looking forward to putting her knowledge to the test in the workforce. Taylor says she thoroughly enjoys Mr. Cutright’s classes. “He is my favorite teacher. He is always there for his students and makes every class interesting.” As she approaches her last 12 weeks, Taylor is completing her externship hours at All Smiles Dental. “I love it there. The doctors are so nice, and the staff always answers my questions and makes me feel at home. I love the hands-on learning experience I am gaining.”
Taylor is not only excited to graduate but is really looking forward to a full-time job in a field she is passionate about. Taylor is ready to begin her career but is also already thinking about one day continuing her education even further.
Marrissa Merill is attending West Virginia Junior College Bridgeport where she will soon obtain her associate degree in Dental Assisting. In December, Marrissa will be sitting for the National Registered Dental Assisting certification exam. She is anxiously awaiting her test date. However, she feels confident that her education has prepared her for success. Marrissa began her career at WVJC shortly after graduating from Lincoln High School. She spent several years being a waitress and realized she wanted a career instead.
Marrissa has always had a passion for the dental field but wasn’t sold on the idea “completely”, until entering the Dental Terminology course at WVJC. At this point, she realized how passionate she was about teeth and the importance of oral hygiene. The Dental Terminology class was her favorite for many reasons. It helped her realize she was in the right field and she enjoyed learning all the proper terms and the order of teeth.
During her time at WVJC, Marrissa has had many great instructors, but two in particular have inspired her the most, Mr. Cutright and Mrs. Holyfield. “These two instructors are passionate about teaching and making sure their students succeed. They inspired me to strive for greatness.” During her education, Marrissa is required to complete 160 hours of externship. She has already completed 60 hours at Mountaineer Orthodontics. During this time she has gained the hands-on experience that is needed to further her education and career. “I have learned so much and love being a part of their team.” Marrissa is looking forward to completing the remaining 100 hours in General Dentistry.
Marrissa has already been offered a full-time Dental Assisting position upon graduation in December. She is excited to graduate and begin her career in a reputable dental facility. We enjoyed having Marrissa at our Bridgeport campus and are confident she will achieve greatness in her career. She offers a quote to anyone that is undecided about their future, “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing” (Walt Disney).