Summer Parsons – Student Highlight

Legal Office Assisting student Summer Parsons has been attending WVJC since May 2020. Prior to starting college and after high school, Summer took a year off. She said she was feeling “stuck” in Morgantown and was beginning work as a server. She decided that it was time for her to make a change and followed her heart to begin her career in the legal field!

When deciding where she would attend college, Summer knew that she was not ready to begin a 4-year degree. She wanted something a little faster that would still allow her to obtain a good career. At the time, she was not completely sure what she wanted to do in the legal field, and she also did not want to spend all of the money that a 4-year college costs if she was not sure of her path. With this being said, she knew she was interested in the legal field because she was always involved in politics and wanted to advocate for others. Summer wants to make a difference, and she knows this program will allow her to do so!

During Summer’s time at WVJC, she has made some amazing connections with her instructors. In particular, she said, “Bryce (Adkins) and Dustin (Blankenship) would have to be my favorites. They have helped me with so much.” She said that they both helped her academically and with personal issues, going above and beyond what she expected.

After graduation, Summer plans to go on and get her bachelor’s degree in public policy. She hopes this will allow her more opportunities to work in either criminal defense law or family law. This decision is based on her desire to help others and be their voice when they do not have one. The passion Summer has for the legal field is shown through her work and her goals! She is also hoping to pursue higher education somewhere warmer. Her family is from Florida, so that may be the place calling her name! In conclusion, Summer emphasized multiple times how she loves going to WVJC and tells all of her friends that are struggling with finding what they want to do or who need a good support system to come to WVJC!

To learn more about WVJC’s short-term programs, request information here!

Maddie Owens – Student Highlight

Prior to enrolling at WVJC, Maddie Owens was trying to figure out the right career path for herself. She was enrolled at another institution after graduating high school, but found it wasn’t the best fit. After talking with a few of her friends who were attending WVJC and hearing about their great experience, she decided to look into it for herself. She had always known she wanted to find a career that would allow her to help others and give back to the community, and WVJC’s Clinical Medical Assistant program felt like a great fit for her.

Maddie’s favorite part of WVJC so far has been the teacher-student relationships. “My professors have been so helpful and kind. I am comfortable enough to text, email, or call them at any time.” Her favorite class is her English Composition course taught by Rachel Salvucci. She also loves when Dustin Blankenship helps to teach the class. “He is so approachable and made the learning experience fun.”

Maddie most recently accepted a position as a clinical associate at a local hospital and is excited to become a part of the medical field and continue to grow by furthering her education. Maddie hopes to be working as a medical assistant or a phlebotomist in a hospital or doctor’s office setting after graduating. Her long-term goals include becoming an RN in the next five years.

If you feel that you could benefit from learning more about WVJC’s programs, request information here!

Emily Rock – Student Highlight

Emily Rock is a Business Administration/Accounting student at WVJC Online. Previously a WVU student in their Dental Hygiene program, Emily realized that she did not feel like she was on the path that she wanted her life to go down. She really wanted to find a place where she could be happy, with a supportive community around her. When thinking about how her life has changed, Emily said, “Thankfully, WVJC has been the perfect fit for me and has helped me open up, become more excited to learn, and find a career path that suits my skill set.”

Her transfer was certainly a noticeable and welcome change in her life. “My favorite part of attending WVJC is being able to experience a proper school setting while still being online. Despite never seeing my teachers or classmates face to face, I have felt incredibly close and welcomed by all. I am able to form great connections with everyone to create an environment stronger than an in-person setting, which was so much more than I could ask for. When I first applied to this school, I was not expecting to receive as much support as I did, but I am so fortunate that I have had the opportunity to feel accepted in such a way thanks to WVJC.”

Emily began taking her courses in November 2020 and has gained some favorite instructors during her time with WVJC Online. “Lisa Frank and Dustin Blankenship are both very wonderful teachers that I have been honored to learn from so far in my time with this school.” Though she solely interacts with her instructors online for her program, she still feels just as connected to them. Their support is tangible! “I always was able to have wonderful conversations through email with them and have never been disappointed with any help I have been given. They are both very supportive and motivating teachers. I am fortunate to be able to learn from both of them, as each teacher has left a wonderful impact on me. At the moment, both of my classes are taught by Dustin, which I am thankful for, and I look forward to the next time I am able to interact with Lisa again.”

If you are interested in learning more about the fast-track programs and student-centered learning experience offered by WVJC Online, request information here!

Ansleigh Fisher – Student Highlight

Ansleigh Fisher is attending WVJC Online to pursue her Business Administration degree. She chose WVJC specifically because it offers the flexibility to complete her degree 100% online. She says, “Being a stay at home mother, I needed to be able to access all of my classes online.” She previously attended College of Central Florida, but now lives in West Virginia.

Ansleigh chose her program, Business Administration, because her goal at the end of her program is to own her own business and knew that the only way to reach her goal was to obtain a degree so she would have the knowledge to do so. “My favorite part about attending WVJC Online is that if I have an issue, I can email my professor and they email me back in a timely manner. The staff members that I have talked to since my journey began at WVJC have been professional and helpful,” says Ansleigh.

Shane Welter, Business Administration Program Director, and Dustin Blankenship, professor, stand out to her as being dedicated to making sure assignments are fully understood. They both want to see their students succeed in their classes. She says, “I would definitely refer a friend to attend WVJC because the staff and college are overall amazing. Classes are easily accessible because of Canvas, as well as professors are professional and ready to help you succeed in class to graduate.” Ansleigh says she would definitely refer a friend to WVJC Online because the staff is amazing!

To learn more about WVJC’s online business classes, request information here!

Todd Hughes – Student Highlight

Todd Hughes is currently studying Healthcare Administration at WVJC Online. He always knew that he wanted to get into the healthcare field and his interest became more prominent when he took an EMT course in 2014. He knew that when the time was right for him to further his education, the healthcare field was the direction he wanted to go.

Prior to attending West Virginia Junior College, Todd was working as a manager at Walmart. He had been with Walmart for eight years, and in a managerial role for four of them. He developed an interest for leadership and wanted to develop a skillset in medical office management training in order to reach his future goals.

His wife, Jamie, was attending WVJC Online for Medical Office Administration. He was familiar with the course structure and scheduling, and how it would work for him and his family. After, his wife graduated from our program, Todd began his journey.

His favorite part of attending WVJC is the ability to learn new things. He gets excited to learn, and loves how he has new courses every six weeks. This allows him to constantly develop new skills and knowledge. He really enjoys that aspect.

Todd had a hard time narrowing down his favorite teacher to one because, “I like everyone”; but he did go on to say that, so far, the most impactful instructor has been, Dustin Blankenship. Mr. Blankenship has been an instructor in several of Todd’s classes, but was also his instructor in his favorite class (so far), Management.

Todd’s end goal is to pursue a career as a nursing supervisor. In the next five years, Todd can see himself applying the knowledge he obtained from the Healthcare Administration courses and continuing his education in a nursing program to land him the position he seeks at PMC Specialty Clinic.

One of the best parts about attending WVJC is the relationships Todd has built with other students. He would definitely refer a friend to WVJC and has already spoken to several. He believes that giving those personal testimonies can help others change their lives!

Five Tips and Tricks for a Successful Online Student

The life of an online student can be especially rewarding and full of personal and professional successes – from acing an exam while working a full-time job to nailing a discussion post while caring for a newborn, and everything in between. There are so many opportunities and the online platform provides the necessary flexibility to manage all those endeavors and still succeed in obtaining your degree.

Five Tips and Tricks for a Successful Online Student

Unfortunately, the same flexibility that can help online students be successful, can also lead to disastrous results without attentiveness, time management, and confidence. Sometimes, flexibility leads us to decide that we can “kick the can down the road,” putting off that homework assignment or lecture until tomorrow. Because of this, two students with similar abilities, in the same course, at the same time can have totally different results.

Fortunately, there are a number of tips and tricks that one can utilize to improve their chances of success as an online student and increase their performance at the same time. The tricks are tried and true and are helpful whether you’re brand new to online learning or a seasoned veteran. As the WVJC Online Orientation Coordinator, I work with our new students in developing these habits so that they are ready to run, excel, and most importantly, succeed.

Number 5 – Manage Distractions

Imagine this: While driving, your phone begins to ding with a dozen text messages all being delivered at the same time; the music on your stereo accidentally gets turned up to max; your child begins to scream, cry, and kick the back of your seat; and the car right in front of you slams on their brakes. BAM! You would have avoided the accident, but unfortunately, you were too distracted to notice the car in front of you before it was too late.

The scenario above is not so different when it comes to doing online coursework. When listening to lectures, reviewing for exams, or doing assignments, you may be tempted by the thousand other things going on in your world. It is important to try to find a separate time and place away from distractions so that you can focus on the work in front of you. For some, that means waiting to work on your assignments until after your children go to sleep, for others that means doing your work at the local library or after work at your desk. Regardless of what approach you use, managing distractions is the first step in success as an online student.

Number 4 – Communication

Five Tips and Tricks for a Successful Online Student
(Photo Credit: @LanguageDalek (Twitter))

Sometimes assignments are confusing. Sometimes you will get distracted. Sometimes you won’t be able to see the forest for the trees. You need to know that that is okay and that it happens to all of us at one time or another. There are so many times that I’ve been preparing for a lecture and gotten lost in my own thoughts. This doesn’t mean that there’s something wrong with you. It also doesn’t necessarily mean there’s something wrong with the assignment or lecture you’re reviewing. Sometimes the way information is communicated and the way we comprehend just happen to be working on two different wavelengths.

The solution to this is simple, but often we do the wrong thing. So many times, I’ve seen students shut down or just decide to not turn in an assignment when confused. The solution? Communicate. Reach out to the instructor via phone, text, email, etc. Explain what you are struggling with. Word of advice: Ask specific questions. Good communication will always remedy the worst confusion.

Number 3 – Time Management

I feel like I preach this to my students constantly to the point that saying “time management” probably makes their ears want to bleed. However, it is incredibly important to manage your time effectively when you are working as an online student.

You need to develop a schedule that works for you. Plan for assignments and lectures as they’re due and work on them throughout the week. Schedule in your work as well as things like laundry and dinner. One thing that works incredibly well is to schedule in a reward time as well as leisure time. Plan to take some time out of your week to relax and enjoy yourself. I have a couple of students who bank that time until the weekend. They complete all of their assignments Monday through Friday while working a weekly job, then on the weekend, they plan adventures as a reward for finishing their assignments on time. If they are unable to complete their assignments, no adventure that week, BUT, they still are able to finish them before they are due on Sunday because they have managed their time effectively.

Keep a planner. Use a Google or Outlook calendar. Do whatever works for you, but definitely begin planning early if you want to be successful both as a student and in life.

Number 2 – Confidence

This one may seem short compared to the others, but confidence is key. As an online student, it is really easy to become intimidated by your instructors or even your classmates because you aren’t face-to-face with them each day. It is important to remember that all of us are people and that your fellow students are here to learn and grow just like you and your instructors are here because they are passionate about teaching and have a burning desire to help you achieve your dreams.

One of the most disheartening things I see is a student who is afraid to speak up. Engage with your classmates and your instructor on discussion posts. Contact your instructor and ask them questions about the subject matter. (Even if it’s not something in the assignments, we love this stuff and we will always be happy to engage).

Believe in yourself and your abilities. You are enough. You are able. You can succeed. Show everyone else what you already know – that you are strong and your dreams are within your reach.

 

Number 1 – Understand “You”

I always smile when making this kind of list because it’s so easy for someone to sit here and tell you how to do something when they aren’t in your shoes. Though I have seen these tips and tricks work for students of all ages, it doesn’t mean that everything works exactly the same way for everyone. When speaking about education, everyone has their own learning style and you should never put yourself in a box. For example, if you are a “white board” person –meaning you like to make a large list on a white board and cross it off as you complete it –then, by all means, continue to do that in place of using a planner. Do what works for you. Each of these tips is broad so that you can determine what approach to it will help you find the most success.

If you are struggling to find a solution or you feel like you need more advice (or just someone to spitball study habits ideas off of) please feel free to reach out to me at dblankenship@wvjc.edu. I am always happy to help a student looking to improve themselves and have been in your shoes, so please utilize me as a resource.