Jenna Ramirez is currently a student in the Information Technology Degree program! Before enrolling at West Virginia Junior College, Jenna attended West Virginia University majoring in Nutrition. After a year at WVU Jenna realized her needs weren’t quite met; after searching for schools online, she found that WVJC was just what she was looking for. Jenna stated “I feel like WVJC provides a better learning environment because it’s a smaller college. The instructors and really all the faculty are invested in the student’s college, career, and care about the student’s success from day one and even years down the road.”
Jenna feels strongly that she will develop great relationships and the skills she needs to succeed in the IT field due to the smaller class size! In such a short time Jenna has already begun to create those relationships saying “If I could choose a TA as my favorite teacher, it would definitely be Misti.” Jenna is enjoying the smaller class sizes and the environment that brings, saying “small classes give you the opportunity to get to know your classmates and that the staff makes you feel at home!”
When Jenna looks to the future, she currently sees herself potentially working with the FBI and sees the IT field as a great step into that career path! No matter what Jenna decides to do, she knows that she will have the WVJC family there to support her every step of the way!
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.
Randy is a thirty‑one-year-old working toward obtaining an associate degree in information technology. His favorite class so far has been Networking 103. When asked why that class was his favorite said, “that’s the class where you finally put your knowledge and hard work to use. You’ve spent all this time creating your ‘baby,’ and now you can start working with it.”
Randy comes from a labor background, has an 18-month old son, and even though he is older than the traditional student, he is highly driven to succeed in his academic goals to give his family a better future. Randy decided to start a career in the IT field because he feels it would give him a career doing something interesting and new. Randy also stated that a career where you can sit while you work sounds pretty appealing after so many years of labor.
Randy feels that many WVJC faculty and staff have helped him along his academic journey, but most of all, he is grateful for Mr. Powell and Ms. Middleton. Randy stated that Ms. Middleton worked with him and understood the financial struggles that college brings. She was patient, helpful, and did whatever she could to make sure he was able to attend WVJC. Mr. Powell is understanding and accommodating. If it wasn’t for him, Randy feels he would not fully understand the content in the difficult IT courses. Randy states that Mr. Powell is a phenomenal instructor who goes above and beyond for his students.
Randy enjoys the challenges that college-level learning brings. One tool he said that has been an asset to him in his college career is the “inability to lose.” Randy is very competitive, and luckily some of his classes allow him to use that as motivation.
When asked what his favorite part of WVJC was, Randy stated, “The class structure and small class sizes are extremely beneficial. Knowing your instructors have your back and truly want you to succeed is incredible. The entire staff has a fantastic, helpful attitude. Honestly, WVJC as a whole is my favorite thing.”
Randy’s advice to other students would be to put in as much work and as many hours as your instructors do. Do not lose your motivation. Remember your reason for being there. You have to have accountability. Most importantly, you have to be driven to succeed. Your instructors can only do so much. You’re taught 90%, and the other 10% has to come from you.
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.
Success. How do you define it? When do you reach a point in your life where you can say you are “Successful”? Is it something that you own that makes you successful, like that new 2017 Jeep Wrangler? Or maybe it’s being able to pay all of your bills without worry; perhaps it’s going to a job that you love, or maybe it’s all of those things combined. This concept of success is defined different by everyone. It is not something that somebody else tells you, it’s something that you tell yourself. The journey to find your own version of success is often varied and winding, and let’s be honest, we usually get really good stories out of the learning process. This is the story of WVJC-Morgantown Information Technology graduate, current Technical Support Analyst, Robert Lynch.
Robert started his educational journey like many students out of high school; he attended a four year institution, where he felt more like a number than a person. He made it two years before the appeal of work outweighed going to class. Robert stated that “the curriculum never challenged me, which made me feel like I wasn’t learning anything”. That is a fair and valid point that all college students should ask themselves! What am I getting out of this?! When Robert asked himself that question, the answer was not positive. Like Many students, he chose to work a few years and see what that was like… well, he didn’t like the dead-end jobs. So back to school he went…
He finished up an Associate degree in applied sciences and started looking for those “big-boy” jobs; you know, the ones that people call you successful in. Even though Robert looked, he didn’t find one that made him personally feel successful “Most of the places I worked were unrewarding and I just felt like I could do better”.
Robert wanted to do better for himself. He wanted a position where he could enjoy going to work and feel personally rewarded for what he accomplished. He had always had a passion for Information Technology and wanted to pursue it. This started the process to explore different colleges. By this point in Roberts’s journey, he knew what he wanted to stay away from in a college and knew that he should be picky in order to find a school that fit him and his goals. He looked at WVJC-Morgantown’s Information Technology program. WVJC-Morgantown gave him the option to be a hands on student in the field of Information Technology without feeling like a number. The IT program gave him what he was looking for in a school and future job, an intense amount of hands on training. After having the experience of going to three different colleges, Robert had this to say about WVJC-Morgantown’s Information Technology program. “Everything about the program was geared towards real world skills and all of the instructors really cared about the success of their students.”
There’s that word again, success. Robert made choices on his journey towards success. He chose to not settle for a school that he didn’t enjoy or jobs that were not fulfilling to him. Because of that, he found his path here at WVJC-Morgantown in our Information Technology program. This path has lead Robert to be successful. When he finished his degree at WVJC-Morgantown he started looking for those “big-boy” jobs… and boy did he find them. He had multiple job offers that he had to wade through to pick one that suited him. Robert currently works at WVJC-online as a Technical Support Analyst. To Robert, he has achieved success in graduating from WVJC-Morgantown’s Information Technology program. Robert knows that it is up to him to continue to make decisions that will lead him towards personal success on a daily basis. We here at WVJC-Morgantown, are proud to be part of his current success, and eagerly look forward to his future successes.
After working in the coal mines for 13 years, Mr. Leonard “Leo” Browning decided it was time to further his education. Having been interested in IT work since High School, he had pursued and received several different IT Certifications on his own. Working with computers came naturally to him, so when considering careers, the Information Technology field was an easy choice.
Mr. Browning had a friend who was attending the West Virginia Junior College Charleston campus. After speaking to him, he made an appointment to meet with an Admissions Representative. That single meeting was all it took. Leo quickly signed up for classes and began pursuing his Degree in Information Technology. By March of 2015, he graduated from West Virginia Junior College and began a job as a System Administrator for several local Medical Clinics.
After working in the field for a little over one year, Leo heard about a job opening at his former College. The position was for an Information Technology Instructor. He knew his current job had a flexible schedule which would permit him working both places. So, Mr. Browning wasted no time applying, and was quickly hired on as a Lead Instructor for the IT programs. When asked why he chose to come back and work at WVJC Leo replied, “I chose to work here because I know what the students are going through. There was nothing better than having an Instructor/Professor who wanted to see me succeed with a new career. So I told myself that I would do the same for EVERY ONE of my students.”
Mr. Browning’s favorite part of working for West Virginia Junior College is the interaction he has with the students. “Being a former graduate enables me to bond with every student who walks through my door.” He knows the struggles of being a college student while trying to provide for a family. He knows about the hours spent studying for exams, and the late night homework sessions. But, he also knows the reward of earning a degree and securing a career which you enjoy. He quotes a phrase that his grandmother often says, “It is never too late, and it is never too long.” These words certainly rang true in his mind as he was a student working towards his degree.
Although he does certainly love working with computers, Mr. Browning also enjoys fishing, reading, and spending time with his daughter. He says with a chuckle, “People take a look at me and probably wouldn’t imagine that I’ve read a TON of books!” In actuality, Leo is a huge horror fanatic and one of his favorite authors is Dean Koontz. He says the best mystery/thriller he has ever read is a Koontz novel called “Your Heart Belongs to Me”.
As for his long term goals, Mr. Leo Browning definitely wants to further his education. He is currently pursuing a degree in Internet Working Forensics, all the while balancing two jobs and a teenager! If you want to talk about time management, you should definitely get some pointers from Leo! He says another personal goal would be to open a restaurant/pub, but has no plans for that until he retires from teaching.
We are so glad that Leo Browning decided to join our team here at the West Virginia Junior College Charleston Campus. He is an excellent Instructor who is loved by staff and students alike. He has a great sense of humor and is always quick with a smile.
If you are interested in the Information Technology program, you should come meet Mr. Browning yourself! He would love to speak with you about his program, and could give you some real-world insight about the field. If you have any questions please contact us at 304-345-2820. We would love to help you reach your personal goals and get you into a career field that you love!
The day started out like any other typical work day. Little did Brandon know, the appointment he had scheduled for later that afternoon would change his life forever. That appointment was for a personalized Campus Tour of West Virginia Junior College!
Information Technology student, Brandon Cage, was working at TGI Fridays when he decided he wanted more for his life. He has always had a passion for computers and electronics, and the Information Technology program seemed like a perfect fit. From the moment he set foot inside the doors of the Charleston Campus, Brandon felt right at home. He loved the warm, caring environment and says, “The feeling I had on that first day let me know I had made the right choice. The Teachers, including the Dean, treat you as if you are one of their own.”
Brandon’s favorite class so far has been Introduction to Networking. When asked why that is his favorite he replied, “Because I learned so much in that class and I can apply it to my everyday scenarios.” He also loves having Tom Pinkerton as his teacher. Mr. Pinkerton is the Information Technology Program Coordinator at the Charleston Campus; he holds two degrees in Information Technology as well as several related certificates and licenses.
Brandon Cage is an active member of the IT Club and is quick to participate in other student activities here at West Virginia Junior College. Playing such a vital role in the student body has given him renewed self-esteem and a feeling of importance. He absolutely loves when people come to ask him for advice!
If you, like Brandon, are looking for a way to better your life, please contact us at 304-345-2820. We would love to schedule you for your very own personal tour, and get you one step closer to your dream future!