Tristan Atha – Student Highlight

Tristan Atha is a student in the Information Technology Program and began his education at WVJC in August 2020. Tristan previously attended both Marshall University and Fairmont State University. While at Marshall, Tristan was enrolled in the civil engineering program before transferring to Fairmont State for a short time before leaving school and joining the workforce.

For a few years, Tristan worked in the Carpenter’s Union doing construction work. While working in the construction industry, Tristan was faced with hard-labor jobs that were riddled with inconsistent work schedules and uncertainty of even having a job through the changing demands of the industry. After dealing with the difficulties of the construction industry for a while, Tristan decided it was time to go back to school.

Tristan says he has always had an interest in the Information Technology field and decided to look into programs close to his hometown of Weston, WV.  After some looking, Tristan decided to attend WVJC because he did not want to take online classes. WVJC was also the closest school that offered hands-on, in-person classes for an Information Technology degree.

Since starting school at WVJC, Tristan has come to really enjoy the opportunities and experiences that come with applying what he learns in a hands-on manner. He also says that he enjoys the friendly rivalry between his peers regarding grades and certification* exam scores, which has only pushed him to apply himself further.

Tristan says his favorite classes have definitely been the networking and A+ certification*- related classes. He especially enjoyed his Introduction to Computer Hardware class. He had the opportunity to pick out the parts to build a PC and take those parts and put them together to build a fully functioning PC.

After graduating from WVJC, Tristan would like to land a career that is in the field of networking or security. Beyond a career, Tristan also hopes to someday further his education by earning a Bachelor’s Degree in either programming or a security-related field. Tristan has enjoyed his education experience at WVJC and would recommend the school to anyone looking to get an education in the field of Information Technology, but stresses that “you must put in your best effort to get anything out of the education.”

If your story sounds similar to Tristan’s, request information here!

*Certification is contingent upon passing the corresponding industry certification exam. 

Back to School Bash

The Practical Nursing students from WVJC-Bridgeport held a “Back to School Bash” on campus on August 2, 2021. This free event was part of their community nursing curriculum and allowed students to complete the project from planning stages to implementation with the help of their instructor. An estimated five hundred people were in attendance to enjoy the event.

Traditionally, the nursing students have helped in various summer camps throughout the area, such as the Boy Scouts Camp, but due to Covid-19, camps were not open this year. Therefore, the students got creative and developed a plan to give back to our community, specifically the local youth. The students partnered with various local businesses and organizations to hand out two hundred and nine-teen backpacks filled with school supplies.  Additionally, the children could get free sports physicals from a local quick care office that came to the campus and coupons for free haircuts.

Many fun activities were available for the local kids to participate in, such as the military rock wall climbing, face painting, a dunking booth, karate demonstrations, and a duck pond with great prizes. Local area first responders were also in attendance for the youth to interact with and tour the fire trucks and police cars. The highlight of the afternoon was when the HealthNet helicopter landed. All that were in attendance were in awe and enjoyed learning about and exploring the aircraft. Having the opportunity to get hands-on experience was great!

The Practical Nursing students organized a fun-filled community outreach event that was enjoyed by all in attendance and made everyone at WVJC-Bridgeport proud.

Learn more about our WVJC Practical Nursing program or other allied health programs by requesting information here!

Dayna Ferrari – Student Highlight

Clinical Medical Assistant student Dayna Ferrari started attending WVJC in August 2020 after graduating from Capital High School.  Dayna said, “My decision to attend WVJC was an easy one.” Dayna has always had an interest in the medical field. She said, “WVJC Clinical Medical Assistant program is fast-track, has smaller classes, and offers a flexible schedule which gave me the confidence to start my college education.”

The Clinical Medical Assistant program at WVJC offers various courses that provide students hands-on training in clinical skills for entry-level positions working in any setting in healthcare. Dayna said, “My favorite class so far is Anatomy and Physiology with Dr. Settle. I have always been enthralled by the inner workings of the body and how it functions.” Another favorite class of Dayna’s is her medical assisting lab class taught by Program Director Chelsea Abbott. She said, “I find the lab work very interesting and hands-on, which helps me focus and retain the information I have learned.”

Dayna has worked as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) for two years. She enjoys helping people but is looking forward to expanding her scope of practice as a Certified Medical Assistant. After graduation, Dayna wants to work as a medical assistant in a pediatric setting. Her long-term goal is to become a Registered Nurse in the pediatric wing of a hospital, married, and have her own home and start a family. In her free time, Dayna enjoys binge-watching her favorite shows on Netflix and researching medical issues taking place around the globe.

We asked Dayna if she has any advice for a new student, she said, “My advice to new students would be to make sure you start on a strong foot, don’t be afraid to talk to your instructors, they understand everything that is going on, big or small.  Get involved in the school; it will help you to succeed more.”

Dayna said, “I would absolutely recommend WVJC to friends and family! Growing up, I always needed one-on-one communication with my teacher; not only did I get that at WVJC, but it also offered an environment where I could focus and buckle down.  The staff is also very understanding in regards to your life outside of school, and the flexible schedule makes it easier to keep my job and focus on my studies without becoming overwhelmed.”

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

Marissa Keplinger – Student Highlight

Marissa Keplinger is a student in the Dental Assisting Degree program. Before coming to West Virginia Junior College, Marissa attended Salem University for nursing. Marissa stated that Salem University was not the right fit for her needs and felt, after much research, that WVJC would be able to meet her needs. Marissa said, “That the environment is what makes her love WVJC.” Marissa feels WVJC truly cares about their students and wants everyone to succeed, unlike feeling like a number in the crowd at larger colleges or universities where they don’t know who you are.

Marissa really enjoys the experiences at WVJC.  She appreciates that many of the classes are hands-on, which helps assist her in her future goals and career path. Marissa also looks forward to the externship, where she will spend time at a dental office to gain a better understanding of how a dental office runs.  She also stated that the training during classes helped her experience how it would be in an actual dental setting and how to conduct proper patient care, like practicing dental procedures on fellow students instead of the mannequin heads,

Marissa said,  “She had spent a great deal of time trying to find the right career path she wanted to take. She job shadowed in the hospital setting and even assisted a teacher but was not passionate about those career paths.” Marissa knew that dental assisting was something she was passionate about because teeth are the first thing she notices about a person, and she wants to help people achieve a pretty and healthy smile.

She chose the Dental Assisting program at WVJC because she wants to help boost the confidence of others by helping people feel better about their smile. That is something very rewarding to her. Marissa looks forward to the rest of her classes and is excited about the job opportunities that will be available once she completes her program.

If WVJC’s fast-track Dental Assisting program sounds like the perfect fit for you, and you’d like to find out how you can get started today, request information here!

Panucci & Jackfert Orthodontics –
Externship Highlight

WVJC collaborates with Panucci & Jackfert Orthodontics to provide dental assisting students hands-on learning opportunities during their externship. Panucci & Jackfert Orthodontics has provided the communities of South Charleston, WV, and Gallipolis, OH, with excellent orthodontic care since 1993.  Orthodontic care is delivered with the expert assistance of a talented and friendly team utilizing the most advanced techniques available.

Panucci & Jackfert Orthodontics offers a comprehensive range of orthodontic treatments for children and adults that allows students to receive a great overview of the specialty dental field. WVJC’s dental assisting students observe and perform hands-on skills in a professional orthodontic office setting with up-to-date dental equipment and advanced technology. Students have the opportunity to take digital x-rays, prepare and sterilize instruments, perform lab procedures, and interact with patients.

The staff and faculty at WVJC are grateful for the collaboration with Panucci & Jackfert Orthodontics.  Students love the friendliness of the staff and the opportunity to learn the latest and greatest advancements in the orthodontic field. The externship experience is extremely beneficial for students as they apply their skills in a dental office setting.

If you are looking for a fast-track training program that provides you an externship experience, request information here!

Rachel Pauley – Student Highlight

Rachel Pauley is currently finishing her last six weeks as a West Virginia Junior College student in the Dental Assisting Associate Degree program. She reiterates that she cannot believe how quickly 18 months have flown by. She reflects on the moment when she first walked through the doors at WVJC Charleston and realized that this was the school for her. “I adored the super kind staff and the upbeat attitude everyone had when I visited. I loved it from the very beginning. I was super encouraged to look into the school because I had always heard amazing things about the institution.”

Rachel chose WVJC’s Dental Assisting program because working with teeth has always been a dream of hers. She always loved visiting the dentist when she was young, and she knew it was a career field she wanted to pursue. Once finished with school, Rachel will be working at South Hills Dental as a Dental Assistant.

When asked about her favorite part of attending WVJC, she said, “Meeting new people and making new friends in classes. I have made some amazing friendships that I know will last a lifetime. I also loved the hands-on labs and practicing different procedures. Ms. Renee, our Dental Assisting Director, brings so much joy and happiness to the classroom as well. She has served as a role model for me to look up to. I was so nervous my first day, and she made me feel so welcome and excited to start. We have a special bond now, and I will miss her dearly when I graduate soon.”

To learn more about WVJC’s Dental Assisting program, request information here!

André Brumfield – Student Highlight

WVJC Information Technology Student André Brumfield began taking classes at WVJC in August 2020. Before starting classes at WVJC, Andre worked in a factory making ignition coils for Chrysler vehicles. He had never attended college before and was working 50 hours a week with only one day off in the factory. André decided to come to WVJC after seeing the success of his friends. André said, “I have a couple of friends who had graduated through the program, and I noticed that they were hired for jobs in their field almost immediately.”

André chose to go into the Information Technology field for multiple reasons. André said, “I have an interest in learning about computer hardware and software as well as learning how the devices connect to each other.” He added, “I also believe that Information Technology is a field that will only become more valuable as time passes.” Although André says he has enjoyed the entire program, his favorite classes so far have been Introduction to Computer Hardware and Introduction to Networking. His favorite experience in the program to date has been building his own computer. “Being able to apply the knowledge I learned in class in a physical environment with actual hardware helped tie everything in together,” André said.

Thinking forward to his time following graduation, André knows that there are numerous career opportunities open to him as an IT professional. He is excited about getting to apply the knowledge he is learning in a practical way. André said, “The ideal job after graduating for me would be working with PC’s hands-on in an environment when I can help people.” He also added, “In five years, I would like to be settled into a job that I’m comfortable and proficient at.”

If you are interested in learning more about the fast-track, career-focused programs at WVJC, such as Information Technology, please contact us by phone at (304) 769-0011 or visit WVJC.edu.

Chandice Litton – Student Highlight

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.

To learn more about WVJC’s Dental Assisting program, request information here!

*For those who qualify. See catalog for detailed eligibility requirements.

Wheeling Health Right – Externship Highlight

West Virginia Junior College is honored to have collaborated with Wheeling Health Right to provide hands-on learning opportunities for our Medical Office Administration and Clinical Medical Assistant students.

Wheeling Health Right’s journey and commitment to their patients is undeniably admirable. Beginning as a soup kitchen in the 1980s to today, where they have been able to provide free medical services to those that are uninsured and underinsured in the Brooke, Ohio, Marshall, Wetzel, and Tyler Counties in West Virginia and Belmont County, Ohio.

Our medical office students get hands-on experience in providing client care, upholding office organization, maintaining medical records, and performing basic billing and coding through our collaboration with Wheeling Health Right. Our medical assisting students get to experience direct patient interactions, where they are able to assist physicians with patient examinations, perform patient care techniques such as obtaining vitals, and gain a deeper knowledge of skills in basic clinical laboratory methods.

As Wheeling Health Right continues to grow its comprehensive medical care, preventative care, and pharmaceutical services, West Virginia Junior College is thrilled to see more opportunities open up for its students. West Virginia Junior College finds this externship opportunity to be incredibly beneficial for their allied health students because of Wheeling Health Right’s passion, commitment, and knowledge in providing exceptional patient care to vulnerable populations.

To learn more about WVJC’s exciting externship program, request information here!

Cheslea Brown – Student Highlight

Clinical Medical Assistant student Cheslea Brown began taking classes at WVJC in September 2020.  Before starting classes at WVJC, Cheslea was a stay-at-home mom to her three children. She had never attended college before, but she knew it was time to further her education.  She decided to come to WVJC because of the small classroom environment and the welcoming staff. Cheslea’s motivation is to provide her family with a better future.

Cheslea said, “My favorite part about attending WVJC is how everyone wants to see you succeed, and they are there to help you.” Cheslea has enjoyed all of the instructors at WVJC. She said, “They are very kind and treat you respectfully.” Cheslea is looking forward to taking her medical assisting lab classes the most. During lab classes, students learn how to take vital signs, perform EKGs, phlebotomy, obtain specimens, assist with minor office procedures, and so much more!  She said, “The lab classes will help me better understand how things work, and I will gain the hands-on experience to prepare me for my career.”

In Cheslea’s free time, she enjoys spending time with her children, listening to music, and singing.  After Cheslea graduates from the Clinical Medical Assistant Program, she would like to further her education in the Associate Degree in Nursing Program at WVJC. In the next five years, she sees herself as a licensed Registered Nurse.  She said, “I want to fulfill my passion for caring for others and having job stability.”

Cheslea said, “I would recommend WVJC to anyone I know because it is a great atmosphere, the staff is friendly, and they truly want to see you succeed.” If you are interested in learning more about the fast track, career-focused programs at WVJC, request information here!