Josie Cooper knew she had to change careers after her employment as store manager unfortunately ended. Before deciding on attending WVJC, Josie had always been on the fence about returning to college. “With always working before, I felt I never had the time to follow that dream. It was a dream of mine to go back and complete what I had started.” Josie wanted a better and brighter future for her family. “That future started with me, and I knew I had to go back.”
Josie chose WVJC after researching local colleges in her area. “WVJC seemed to have everything I needed to succeed. The staff was accommodating along the way, and admissions made sure to put me in a program that best suited my interest.” Josie also noted that the new student orientation made the worries of being a new student fade away. “I was through the first term before I knew it!”
Josie knew she always wanted to be in the medical field but didn’t know where to start. What she did know was that she wanted to complete her education, earn her degree, and enter a promising career field. That is the reason she chose WVJC Online’sMedical Coding program. Her favorite part about attending WVJC was the flexibility it offered. “I was able to enjoy my personal time with my family and continue working full-time while furthering my education.” Her favorite teacher was Dr. Kacey Eagle. “She made sure all her students had the resources needed to succeed and was always there when she was needed.”Now that Josie has graduated, she is happy to say she is working in her career field. After obtaining her CPC certification for medical coding, Josie is now a Coding Assistant Analyst! With her experience, she says she would absolutely refer any friend to WVJC. “I would encourage anyone to go back to continue their education, and if carrying a full-time job was a worry, I would let them know it was possible at WVJC. I am an example of just that.”
WVJC is Carlita’s first official experience attending college. Prior to starting with us, she took all the necessary steps to further her education, but wasn’t able to get the support she needed at the time.
Before starting her program, Carlita was a stay-at-home mom to her son, Ezra. She wasn’t initially looking to start school, but when her fiancé came home after hearing a commercial on the radio, they felt it was time to start making their dreams happen.
Carlita chose the Medical Office Administration program because she wants to continue furthering her education to become a medical coder one day. She felt this program would allow her to get her foot in the door within the healthcare field and allow her to get experience under her belt.
Carlita’s favorite part of attending WVJC is the flexibility it allows her. She was worried when starting the program that it would be difficult to balance her schedule, but she has found that she still has the freedom to maintain her normal schedule with her son while getting all of her coursework completed throughout the week.
Although Carlita has only completed a few courses so far, her favorite has been Student Success Strategies. She was able to gain useful skills that will help her both in and out of class. Having this as one of her first courses was able to give her the confidence boost she needed.
Carlita has just the right idea of what a great day would look like for her. “My perfect day would have to be waking up to a clean house, getting my and my son’s school work done, and then spending the rest of the day on an adventure as a little family,” she says.
In the next five years, Carlita would like to see herself owning her own property (with her own goats and bumblebees), being married to her fiancé, and living debt-free. Her dream job would be working in a multi-specialist doctor’s office or a larger hospital. She is excited to see what her degree has to offer her in the future.
To learn more about the flexibility that WVJC Online has to offer, request information here!
Amanda Poling has been employed by WVJC since December 2020 as the Clinical Coordinator for the nursing programs. She is responsible for the clinical side of both nursing programs at the Bridgeport campus. As the clinical coordinator, Amanda is responsible for developing affiliation agreements with various area hospitals, clinics, and long-term care facilities. She ensures all students are compliant with West Virginia Board of Nursing requirements for clinical experience and schedules all clinical assignments for the practical nursing students and registered nursing students. She takes great pride in developing sound clinical experiences for the students and enjoys hearing all the stories students have from the clinical rotations.
When asked what motivates her, she had this to say, “What motivates me is hearing the excitement the students have after a wonderful clinical day. They are able to take the information and knowledge learned in the classroom and apply [it] to real patients. It gives them a sense of accomplishment when they are able to link a concept learned in the classroom to their live patient in the clinical setting.”
Prior to working at WVJC, Amanda wore many hats. She graduated from Alderson Broaddus College in 2008 with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. After completing her nursing degree, she worked as a pediatric oncology nurse, traveled as a pediatric oncology nurse, worked as an outpatient infusion nurse, surgical nurse, and most recently, as an assistant professor of nursing. Amanda continued her education and obtained a Master’s of Business Administration in Healthcare Management Degree in 2016 from Western Governors University, and a Master of Science in Nursing Degree from Walden University in 2017. She also recently applied to The University of Southern Mississippi’s doctoral program.
Her favorite part of working for WVJC is watching the students become successful professionals. She also appreciates the flexibility and the wonderful administration and staff that have the same passion for seeing students succeed.
After a few phone conversations with an admissions advisor, Lindsey made her decision. “I remember thinking, wow, these people are truly on my side. They want me to succeed. They’ll push me to do my best, and they’ll let me know how to do better if I’m not.”
Lindsey’s college experience wasn’t always this way. Before attending WVJC, Lindsey was a student at another institution. She felt the class sizes were too big, and she wasn’t getting the help she needed from instructors, which led Lindsey to feel overwhelmed. Now, with attending WVJC Online, Lindsey is able to have the flexibility she needs to further her education while still spending time with family and working full-time.
Lindsey chose to enroll in the Clinical Medical Assistant program because she feels it will allow her to broaden her skills in the healthcare field. The program’s credentials will allow her to enjoy the best of both worlds between administrative tasks and direct patient care.
Lindsey’s favorite class so far has been Psychology. She has always been fascinated by the human mind, and she loves being able to understand different behaviors and developments.
A perfect day for Lindsey would involve spending the day with her family and indulging in her favorite junk food – potato chips.
After graduating, Lindsey’s ideal position would be working in a doctor’s office or specialty practice, such as gynecology and obstetrics or pediatrics. If you’re interested in getting more information about WVJC’s fast-track online Clinical Medical Assistant program or any other program, request information here!
Lori attended college the first time at the age of 19. As life often goes, she was faced with challenges that took her away from that experience. “As I look back now, I realize how beneficial online learning would have been for me. I wouldn’t have had to drop out had online classes been offered.”
Lori is currently working in management in the retail industry. Having been in that industry for a while, she decided that she wanted to create a plan that would allow her to stop working retail and find something less stressful. Having management experience under her belt, she decided to go into WVJC’sBusiness Administration/Human Resources program. This is the first step in her plan to exit the big box retail setting and achieve her goal. “I chose my program because it has a broad job field that gives me a wide variety of options in the job market.” Lori says she would love to see herself helping others or marketing products for a company.
Lori chose WVJC Online because of the flexibility of the schedule, having a campus close to home, and the friendly staff. Her favorite thing about being a student at WVJC Online would be the instructors. “They don’t nitpick about everything and the timeline for assignments is very fair.” So far, her favorite class has been marketing. “Marketing really gives you a chance to use your creative side and the course makes you feel like you are doing real job-related work in the field.”
Lori’s ideal job after graduation is working in the Human Resources department for the state of West Virginia. She enjoys helping employees develop their skills and finding the best path. Her five-year plan is to be settled down and in a position with little to no stress. Lori feels that when you love what you do, you career is much less stressful.
While she would recommend WVJC Online to friends, she does want to make it clear that online classes are not easy. “You have to have lots of willpower and self-discipline to get the work done by the deadlines. The work is simple so long as you follow the steps outlined in each syllabus and have a goal set. The staff is always ready to help, so when you combine people who want to see you succeed and your own willingness to see it through, then WVJC Online will be your easiest route for online learning.”
“I chose WVJC because they offer great, detailed programs to assist with giving you a kick start to your career! I also loved the flexibility of the online programs, because I was able to take care of my son, while also working towards my degree and working full time.”
Lindsey was a graduate of WVJC’s Business Administration-Accounting program. Lindsey knew she wanted to increase her knowledge of the business field, with a specific focus on not only the administrative side, but the accounting side as well.
The business field was not Lindsey’s first vision when thinking about her future. She started her college career with Penn State in 2006, after graduating high school. Lindsey was an English major at Penn State, but found it difficult to juggle the responsibilities of figuring out the adult world while also trying to earn her degree. She decided to take a step back from school to focus on establishing a stable job.
Lindsey was able to earn a full-time job with Mylan Pharmaceuticals and, after gaining more work experience, decided she was ready to go back to school. Lindsey put English to the side this time around and decided to continue her education in the business field.
Lindsey chose WVJC because it allowed her to continue working full-time and take care of her son through the flexibility of our online programs. She had support through her instructors who were able to help make her experience a great one.
Career Prep, a class offered here at WVJC, was Lindsey’s favorite course throughout her time. She knew the course would be very beneficial to her long-term career success, as she was able to learn how to properly make a cover letter, resume, and reference list to help with her career search.
After graduating, Lindsey was able to apply the skills she learned in Career Prep, and has now found her ideal job, assisting students with their career placement right here at WVJC as a Career Management Director!
Her career goals for the next five years include still working at WVJC and being able to excel and grow within the company. Lindsey would love to continue her education by getting more certifications, such as a Human Resources certification.
As far as her personal goals, Lindsey hopes to be married and hopefully adopt a child in the future.
Lindsey refers WVJC to anyone thinking of going to school, because of the positive experience she had.
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.
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.