Branson Crites – Graduate Highlight

Branson Crites originally enrolled at West Virginia Junior College in the Information Technology diploma program. He graduated in 2020 and decided to re-enroll in the Network Administration Security degree program. Branson made this choice because he wanted to get the most out of his education. He enjoyed his first 12 months and didn’t want his education experience to end. In June 2021, he graduated with two degrees from WVJC.

Branson’s favorite part of WVJC is making friends. “Getting to know fellow students and even staff was helpful in getting comfortable with school again, which helped me stick with it,” he says.

Branson’s favorite teacher at WVJC is Ms. Holyfield, who teaches many general education courses and manages the library. Branson stated, “Ms. Holyfield has been instrumental in my success as a student. She has always been there when I needed her, and she never has any problems letting me be myself. I know that even after my time as a student ends, she will always be there for me.” Having someone in his corner every step of the way at WVJC gave Branson the confidence he needed to excel in his courses.

After graduation, Branson would love to have a job that gives him hands-on experience working in the IT field. When asked how he would like his life to be in five years, Branson replied, “In five years, hopefully, I will have learned a lot more about information technology management and maybe turn toward education. Helping others learn about what I am passionate about seems like a great way to live life.”

Branson also stated that “WVJC is the environment that is ultimately set up for you to succeed, and all the support you could need is available.” Branson is very excited to have graduated and hopes to find a great job. He feels confident that he will be a valuable asset to any company he finds employment with. His certifications and experience gained through his externships have given him the knowledge and confidence to get out there and start working in the field he is passionate about.

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


All Smiles Dental, LLC – Externship Highlight

All Smiles Dental, LLC is a dental office located in Bridgeport, WV. West Virginia Junior College has been fortunate enough to have a contract with All Smiles Dental for the past couple of years. This contract allows our students to complete their externship at their bustling office. Students work with up-to-date equipment and newer technology to expand their knowledge as a dental assistant. All Smiles offers dental care such as general dentistry, prevention, implants, denture, crowns, and so much more. This experience gives WVJC students the chance to expand and learn about the different areas of dentistry in one office.

Students who complete their externship at All Smiles Dental gain experience in four-handed dentistry; this means that the dental assistant’s two hands are assisting the dentist’s two hands, reducing the amount of time a dental exam or procedure may take. They are able to interact with the patients, take digital x-rays and even learn how to use a Cerec machine.  A Cerec machine is a machine where you take a digital impression of a patient’s mouth and design a crown. Then, that design is sent to a machine that utilizes computer-aided design (CAD) and can create a crown in the office. This valuable knowledge is what students look forward to in their externship.

Our students at WVJC Bridgeport are very thankful that they have the opportunity to complete their externships at All Smiles Dental. Students rave about how much they love going there and their experience while in the office. All Smiles has also expressed how grateful they are to have our WVJC students. They have also graciously donated their older chairs to the Dental Assisting program, which helps our students in the classroom.

WVJC Bridgeport graduate Kristina Conaway completed her externship at All Smiles Dental and stated that she loved the office. Kristina said she learned how to assist the doctor and take impressions and x-rays on patients by herself. She loved the experience that she received from the office and hopes to work at an office like All Smiles Dental in the future.

If you’re looking for a fast-track Dental Assisting program that can provide you an externship experience like the one our students receive at All Smiles Dental, LLC, then take the first step today and request information here!

Olivia Williamson – Graduate Highlight

Olivia Williamson is a West Virginia Junior College Pharmacy Technician graduate.   Her choice to become a student at WVJC was easy because of the class size and family atmosphere. When making her decision to enroll in school she knew “it would be a challenge” because she is a wife and mother of two small children.  However, she was determined to further her education to better her life.

Once Olivia officially decided on WVJC, she began to take an interest in her general education courses.  These courses brought her out of her shell as she enjoyed being creative and giving presentations on a wide variety of topics. “Mr. Cutright inspired me to think outside of the box and push the limits of my comfort zone.” Olivia has always been a quiet person, but she now feels more confident working with others.

As Olivia approached graduation, she completed a 160-hour externship at Mountaineer Medical Pharmacy. She said, “I enjoyed every moment of this hands-on experience.”  Olivia was given the opportunity to work alongside the pharmacist and observe in every aspect of that career. The pharmacist enjoyed having her there and watching her grow in her field of study.

As Olivia progressed through her education and externship, she knew that she was done working “dead end jobs.” “I am thankful that WVJC provided me with the opportunity to, not only complete my degree, but also, allow me to see that I have chosen the right career path.”

Olivia credits her mother for her decision to enroll at WVJC and is thankful every day that she has a career that will help her provide for her family. Olivia is looking forward to her new career in a local pharmacy!

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

Lisa Phillips – Graduate Highlight

Lisa Phillips is a graduate of WVJC Online’s Clinical Medical Assistant program.  Lisa is employed in her field and loves what she does.  However, to really understand her story, we have to go back to the beginning.

Lisa, like so many others, jumped right into college after high school.  After a short time, she felt that it was not a good fit and exited that school.  She went home, found a job working as a receptionist in a medical clinic, and started a family.. but always knew there was more.

When she decided to go back, she did her research.  “I did my research and spoke with a few people who I knew that attended WVJC and they told me how great of an experience they had. I knew then that it was time to make the leap and apply. I chose to attend WVJC for the Clinical Medical Assistant program, because I love the healthcare field.”

When we asked her why she chose WVJC, she said “I love the healthcare field. I have been a CNA since 2007 and wanted to further my career in the health field. I chose healthcare, because I love to help people and learn new things every day.”

Once in school, she found the experience to be everything she had heard about.  “My favorite part of attending WVJC was that it was very convenient for a mom of two daughters who was also working full time. They were very easy to work with and helped me with any questions and concerns I ever had. I admired all of the teachers that I had while attending.”

Now that Lisa is a graduate, she truly has found success.  “We have an amazing team here (at her new career) and I get to work with multiple specialties on a weekly basis. I am learning so much and gaining a ton of experience. I am employed as a Medical Assistant. I help to room the patients and gather their medical histories in order for the providers to know everything they can prior to their visit. I also help assist with procedures such as corticosteroid injections, catheterizations, etc.”

Lisa said, “I would refer anyone to WVJC if they wanted to further their career path, because they have been wonderful to me and helped me the whole way through. Day, night, weekends, holidays, if I had questions they were there to listen. Don’t be afraid to take the plunge and go for it. It’s never too late.”

If you are interested in taking Lisa’s advice and learning more about what WVJC has to offer, click HERE.

Jessica Travis – Graduate Highlight

Jessica Travis is a recent graduate from the Pharmacy Technician program at WVJC Bridgeport. She showed nothing but exceptional skills during her time at WVJC. Jessica was an exceptional student and was a good role model for her fellow students. On top of working at a local diner she kept up with her homework. It was always completed on time, if not early. She was present during class time, both physically and mentally. Jessica asked the questions that everyone was thinking, but no one would ask. Jessica is a perfect example of a hard working student.

Jessica was placed at a pharmacy in her hometown for her externship and her supervisor had nothing but praise for her. They truly enjoyed her working there! Jessica says she learned a lot during her time at the retail pharmacy, but decided she really wanted to see how pharmacy technicians worked in an inpatient pharmacy setting. She was then off to UHC to finish her externship hours in their inpatient pharmacy and she fell in love with it. The atmosphere in an inpatient pharmacy is very different than that of a retail pharmacy and she enjoyed the differences. In an inpatient pharmacy, technicians do not have patient contact but still get to work with all of the medications.

Jessica was able to pass her certification exam on the first try and was offered a position at both facilities where she completed her externship. Jessica is now proudly employed at UHC in their inpatient pharmacy as a Certified Pharmacy Technician. Jessica is the perfect example of how much hard work and dedication pay off in class and work. She studied hard and payed attention during all of the class lectures, she also asked questions when she had them. Jessica is loving her position at UHC and her supervisor always has good things to say about her.