Donna Hendrickson – Graduate Highlight

Donna Hendrickson, CCMA, is a graduate of the Clinical Medical Assistant program at West Virginia Junior College Bridgeport Campus. She originally heard of WVJC from a radio ad and decided to look into the campus. After she visited the campus, she decided to enroll in the program. Donna was always dedicated to her work, grades, and attendance record while a student, and because of that, Donna graduated in August of 2020 with her associate degree and obtained her National Healthcareer Association, Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) certification.

After graduation, she went on to work at the Clarksburg Health Department, where she was working alongside the staff in the fight against COVID-19. While working, Donna decided that she wanted to go back to school for nursing, so she contacted WVJC Bridgeport to further her education. In January of 2021, Donna utilized the bridge program between the Clinical Medical Assistant program and Practical Nursing program to further her career from CMA to Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)*.

Donna says, “I cannot express how much the CMA program changed my life. I would not be accomplishing all that I am in the LPN program without that foundational knowledge.”

Donna’s favorite parts of WVJC are the instructors, the small campus, and how supportive everyone is to each other. She says, “Even after you leave, the instructors like to hear of your news and adventures in your new career.” The instructors that made the biggest impact in her life during her studies as a CMA student were Mrs. Syrews and Ms. Holyfield. In her current studies as a practical nursing student, Ms. Prusa, and Mrs. Foster.

In five years, Donna would like to be in a job that she enjoys, where she is helping patients and making their experience in a medical setting the best it can be, whether it’s working as a school nurse or an LPN in an outpatient setting.

When asked if Donna would recommend WVJC to a friend, Donna smiled and said, “I would definitely recommend WVJC to a friend. There is great support, encouragement, and career guidance if you are willing to commit to studying and attending classes.”

If you’re interested in learning more about the fast-track, career-focused programs at WVJC, request information here!

 

*Passing the NCLEX-PN exam is required to become a Licensed Practical Nurse.

Carlie Wagner – Graduate Highlight

Before deciding to attend WVJC, Carlie Wagner was a senior at Buffalo High School. Carlie understands the importance of a college education and she knew from a young age that she wanted to earn her degree.  When she started looking at colleges, she knew she wanted a fast track program that would lead her into a career. Carlie also knew that she did not want to spend years taking classes that were not related to her field of study and the burden of unnecessary student loan debt.

Carlie was interested in the medical field starting at a young age. She chose the Clinical Medical Assistant Degree Program at WVJC because her goal is to be a Registered Nurse. Carlie said, “My favorite part about attending WVJC was meeting new friends and learning new information.”  Carlie enjoyed her Anatomy and Physiology classes with Dr. Settle. She said, “In high school, I hated Anatomy, but in college I thoroughly enjoyed it! Dr. Settle and Chelsea Abbott made learning fun.”

During the last 6 weeks of her program at WVJC, Carlie completed 160 hours of externship at Charleston Area Medical Center Urology.  She loved her externship experience at CAMC! She even had the opportunity to work with her mom during that time. Carlie described her externship as an easy transition into the medical field. She said, “I received training for a week and then I was able to chart and triage patients by myself.”

In December 2020, Carlie accepted a position as a Certified Medical Assistant at Marshall Pediatrics. She said, “I am looking forward to learning new things and working with babies and little kids.” After getting some experience as a medical assistant, Carlie’s goal is to further her education to become a Registered Nurse.

Carlie said, “I would totally recommend WVJC to any friend I know who doesn’t want a big debt and is looking for a quick program to get them out in the world and love what they are doing.”

If you would like to know more about the fast track medical programs or other programs at WVJC, request information here!

Katherine Hinchman – Graduate Highlight

Katherine Hinchman was new to the college world when she decided to explore WVJC Online back in 2018. At the beginning of her college search, Katherine worked in Elkins at Davis Medical Center as the lead patient access representative for their specialty service clinics. She ended up choosing WVJC Online because “they were extremely helpful and supportive to help me get started in the program that best fit me to improve in my career.” Since this was Katherine’s first college experience, she had “no clue” how to enroll, and her online admissions advisor, Emma, helped walk her through the process step-by-step. Emma was able to assist Katherine in her application, took her on a virtual college tour, got her set up for a financial aid consultation, and helped her through enrollment and her first term as a student.

Katherine chose the online Medical Office Administration program for a few reasons. She wanted to improve her education, earn her degree, and be a good example of the lead patient access representative at Davis Medical Center. Katherine enjoys her career in the medical field, and she has currently been working in the field for 12 years.

While Katherine has now graduated, she can still look fondly back on her time at WVJC Online. “I have enjoyed many of the courses, but one of my favorite parts would be the discussion board. I enjoyed the interaction with the other classmates.” Another favorite memory of her time enrolled in her program is her interactions with her instructors. “All the teachers in my opinion are great! They were all extremely helpful and supportive. If I must choose one it would be Ms. (Kacey) Eagle, because when I was going through a tough time this past winter when my mom was ill and in the hospital, I was extremely exhausted and stressed. Ms. Eagle was quick to respond to my text and supported me through this difficult time when I could have given up on my college courses.”

After graduating, Katherine has continued to work in the medical field and has stayed employed at Davis Medical Center. She now works in the Central Scheduling department, scheduling ancillary tests. She said that she would “absolutely” recommend WVJC to a friend or family member. “They have a great program, and the online courses were perfect for my busy work schedule. I would encourage anyone that is concerned if they can go to college and continue to hold a full-time job that this can be done while attending WVJC. I am an example, along with many others.” Everyone at West Virginia Junior College Online is so proud of Katherine, her work ethic, and her determination to succeed!

To learn more about WVJC’s Medical Office Administration program, request information here!

Hydiah White – Graduate Highlight

West Virginia Junior College graduate, Hydiah White decided to enroll in the Clinical Medical Assistant program when she was a senior in high school.  Hydiah was working at Dollar General and understood the importance of earning a fast-track degree and getting into the professional workforce quickly.

As a senior in high school, Hydiah was not sure what she wanted to do as a career. However, she did know she did not want to spend years working on a degree and she wanted a smaller college. Hydiah visited WVJC during a college visit and after she met the staff and faculty, she knew WVJC was the perfect fit.

As a student at WVJC, Hydiah was a President List and Dean’s List recipient. The flexible class schedule allowed her the opportunity to work while she was earning her degree. Hydiah said, “My favorite part of attending WVJC was the environment within the school. The teachers were always available when you needed them and the rest of the staff is always so welcoming and friendly. I also appreciated how accommodating everyone was when I was trying to balance, school, work, and my externship all at once.”

Hydiah’s favorite teacher at WVJC is Medical Program Director, Chelsea Abbott. Hydiah said, “Chelsea made all of our clinical lab classes fun. She is very knowledgeable of the material and has a lot of experience as a medical assistant and phlebotomist. She is a great teacher and provided us a lot of hands-on experience.”

While in college at WVJC, Hydiah was hired at CAMC Memorial. After graduation, she moved into a full-time night position as a medical assistant. The skills she learned in the Clinical Medical Assistant program were phlebotomy, EKG, obtaining vital signs, wrapping limbs and sutures for a wound, diagnostic procedures, electronic health care records, and so much more!

We asked Hydiah if she would recommend WVJC to a friend and she said, “Absolutely if you take your studies seriously and show up every day, the benefits, in the end, are very rewarding. On top of that, you will have an amazing support system the entire way and receive help with finding a job in your field after graduation.”

If you are interested in learning more about the Clinical Medical Assistant program or another program at WVJC, request information here!

Trent Stewart – Graduate Highlight

Recent West Virginia Junior College graduate Trent Stewart recalls weighing his options and searching diligently for the right college after graduating from high school. He had the opportunity to take some basic coding and graphic design classes during high school at a vocational facility and decided he wanted to pursue a program that he thought was “the right start for getting into the IT field.”

Trent revealed, “I never thought a traditional 4-year college degree program was right for me.”  He decided, instead, to attend WVJC where he was excited to pursue many employer recommended certifications and could earn a degree in just 18 months. He chose the Network Administration/Security program because he was impressed by its versatility. “I could learn not only about networking, but computer hardware, software, and databases as well!”

During his time at WVJC, Trent enjoyed his networking classes the most! He said that he received real-life experience and training by learning the inner workings of the Morgantown campus, focusing on the internal part of the network, commands, and troubleshooting. He credits IT/NAS Program Director Robin Addis and instructor Bobby Viands for being knowledgeable, accessible, and helpful guides with any issues he encountered with classroom projects.

Trent is a true WVJC success story! After earning his degree, he secured a position as an IT Support Technician for a local internet service provider company. He claims that, right now, it is “the ideal job with opportunities to grow and continue learning.” In the future, Trent hopes to advance his IT career by earning security clearance and he looks forward to becoming a homeowner.

“I would definitely refer WVJC to a friend,” Trent said. “The small classes allow more dedicated time to each individual student and it creates a family atmosphere! I think those are two really good reasons to recommend it!”

To learn more about WVJC’s hands-on IT programs, request information here!

Lindsey Price – Graduate Highlight

“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.

For more information on our online Business Administration-Accounting program, as well as other programs offered at WVJC – click 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!

Kim Morrison – Graduate Highlight

Kim Morrison was born and raised in a little town in Texas. She came to West Virginia in 1993 to go to school but life had a different plan. She has been married for 17 years to her one and only love, David. Kim is also a loving and wonderful mother to her two children, Zoe and Elijah.  Life has taught her many things, but her family holds the key to her success.

Kim had plans to go to school but chose to stay home to care for her children instead. Once Kim’s children reached an age of independence, she began to wonder what to do with herself. After some thought, Kim took advantage of a free class to earn her certification as a CNA, which led her to begin working at United Hospital Center, in Bridgeport as a Patient Care Assistant. “I fell in love with the work. I feel like working in the medical field was what I was born to do.”

As Kim worked and continued to love the medical field, another worker told her about West Virginia Junior College. At that moment she knew she wanted to learn more. “I needed to learn more about the school and the hands-on 18-month program they had to offer.” Kim quickly made the choice that WVJC was her path and was going to be the college that helped her to succeed in her next adventure.

For Kim, picking the program she was most interested in was easy. “I chose medical assisting so that I could take my time and learn the basics of nursing from the ground up.” She enjoyed her opportunity to spread her wings in a school that she could trust. “It was a great opportunity to learn with only a small number of students, yet large enough in knowledge.” This was all very exciting for Kim and she described it as “finding a diamond in the rough.”

Kim said she enjoyed all the courses and instructors at WVJC and she can’t pick a favorite. “Each class had its learning curves and without the teachers that were teaching it, I don’t know if I would have excelled as I did.”

After graduating from WVJC, Kim was offered a job at Health Access Inc. Health Access is a free and charitable clinic for those under-insured or who have no insurance at all. Kim proudly said, “We here at Health Access have the ability to help those that cannot get help otherwise. All walks of life enter the clinic and yet they are all treated with kindness, patience, and caring, that at times they may not see. I do more than assist in the medical area of the clinic, I have learned to work the business side as well, and thanks to WVJC I know what to expect. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t count my blessings for my path leading to Health Access.”

Kim offered some advice for those that are thinking about WVJC or for those that are in one of the programs now. “Show up. Be on time. Be kind to yourself. Allow yourself to learn and to keep your parachute of a mind open.  It will be a challenging experience with huge rewards at the end.”

Kim would like to leave you with “wonderful advice” of Dr. Seuss “You have the brains in your head.  You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go.”

To learn more about WVJC’s fast track Clinical Medical Assistant program, request information here!

 

Taylor Daft – Graduate Highlight

In December of 2018 Taylor was preparing herself for her upcoming enrollment into the WVJC Bridgeport PN program. Before this, she was the traditional college student that went to a university right out of high school without any real plan. When that did not work out, she was left discouraged and worried about what to do next. Then she started hearing about WVJC, did some research, and set her plan in motion. The draw for her was a smaller school and better student to teacher ratio. Little did she know, WVJC would surpass her expectations.

Orientation last December was an eye opener, but in a good way. The instructors were genuinely excited while they were greeting each and every student. It had been a long time since Taylor had encountered someone that was actually excited to teach and wanted students to really learn. The instructors’ excitement was contagious, and she was now more than ready to begin the year – even with the mountain of books, syllabi, online reading material, and homework assignments she had been given.

    WVJC continued to surprise Taylor and kept her wanting to learn. They jumped right into classes the first day, and hit the ground running, learning the things they needed to know to function in the future as great nurses. The teaching strategies her instructors used kept her focused. They had lectures where students were encouraged to interact, videos, visuals, and even hands on opportunities in the lab. With all of these things, she could just tell that the instructors had done their research, figured out what worked and did not work for students, and put it into action. Add and check another couple of things off her expectations list.

Everyone knows that nursing programs are difficult. She means they are hard! Not every day has been a walk in the park, but Taylor said it has been more than worth it. There were days that she was not sure how she was going to make it, and she really felt like giving up. That is when the instructors really showed their true colors and helped set WVJC apart from the rest. When she – or anyone else – had their off days, the instructors were right there pushing them. That is a HUGE thing to add to her expectations list and cross it off over and over again. The instructors genuinely care, and that means more to her than anyone will ever know.

Those hard days had really helped shape Taylor. She had no experience in healthcare whatsoever. She was the type to avoid hospitals and doctor’s offices like the plague. Now she’s putting on her scrubs, grabbing her stethoscope and blood pressure cuff, and all but running into the hospital or nursing home for her clinical and externship hours. She feels so much more focused and driven not only to succeed in school, but to be the best nurse she can be. This program has helped her realize she can set her goals and know she is also capable of getting there.

Her externship is something she’s extremely thankful she got to do in the last term. Students have the opportunity to get forty two hours by themselves in a nursing home, clinic, home health, etc. under the supervision of a nurse. She chose to do her hours in a nursing home because, throughout the whole year, she felt like she did not want to go to work in one. Taylor could not have been more wrong about that. She started going in every Monday for seven hours, but now she’s going on both Monday and Friday because she enjoys being there. In the hospital, you can give good care to your patients, but you aren’t able to really get to know them and see them day in and day out. At the nursing home, you are with the same patients each shift, and can really build a good professional relationship with them. It is hard when one of them starts to decline because you somewhat get attached to them. However, she leaves there feeling like she’s really made a difference and helped someone. She has had patients call her a sweetheart, thank her for helping them for just covering them with a blanket, and hold her hand when they are in pain. It has really changed her and opened her eyes to what she want to do. She thinks she was just intimidated from not ever working around that population before.

It has been a completely different experience not having the teachers there as a safety net. She knows the nurse she shadows with would never let her fail, but it is still a different experience not having classmates or the teacher there. It has helped her become more independent and confident in her skills. Taylor has gone from a very scared, intimidated student to being one that wants to jump in and experience anything new that she hasn’t seen. She has her teachers and classmates to thank for that. The teachers are always seeking new experiences for students, and classmates always want to share their experiences with one another. Taylor is grateful for her externship for showing her what she wanted to do after graduation and the type of nurse she want to be. This whole year has been full of growth and learning that has changed her for the better. It has been difficult, but she wouldn’t change a thing about it.  Taylor passed her NCLEX-PN on her first attempt and is working where her heart led her…at a local nursing home.

For more information on WVJC Bridgeport’s PN program, click here!

Michael Asbury – Graduate Highlight

Michael Asbury was a senior at Riverside High School when he learned West Virginia Junior College offers an associate degree in Information Technology. Michael always had an interest in learning about computers, specifically hardware. He scheduled a college visit to learn more about the program and during that visit, he realized WVJC was a great fit for him. Michael chose WVJC because of the short-term programs, small school environment, and hands-on training.

One of Michael’s favorite classes at WVJC was his server course. During this class, he learned how to install and manage a Microsoft server. Michael said, “Mr. Pinkerton really knows what he is talking about and always made class very interesting.”  Michael graduated from the Information Technology program at WVJC in February 2019.  He said the best part about attending WVJC is “the community feeling. The staff and classmates are all supportive and willing to help.”

Less than a month after graduating with an associate degree, Michael started a job as a technology service desk agent. His career in technology has provided him financial security, IT and customer service experience, and a job that he enjoys going to daily. Michael said, “I enjoy helping customers resolve their technology issues.”

When asked if Michael would refer a friend or family member to WVJC, he said, “Yes. WVJC is a great way to earn your education in a short amount of time and receive training for a career.” If you would like to know more about the IT field or another program at WVJC, please visit wvjc.edu for more information and apply today!