Jenna Ramirez – Student Highlight

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!

 

Blake Cooper – Student Highlight

Blake Cooper attended a larger university before enrolling with WVJC. The size of the classes was overwhelming for him, and he felt the classes were too big for him to be as successful as he wanted to be.

Before attending WVJC, Blake worked two jobs but knew that wasn’t what he wanted to do forever. Although his first college experience was not the right fit for him, he didn’t let that get in the way of his goals of furthering his education. He began looking for a smaller institution that was local to him, which is when he found WVJC’s Information Technology program.

As someone who has always been good with technology, WVJC’s IT program seemed like the perfect fit for Blake to pursue. He wants to start a family in the next five years and find a stable career path that would allow him to support himself and his future family.

Blake’s favorite part of attending WVJC is the helpfulness and support from the faculty. Throughout his time with WVJC, his instructor, Robbin Addis, has played a special role in his success. “Robin helps us so much in her classes and makes sure that we know our stuff in order to pass,” he says.

After graduation, Blake hopes to find a stable career working in the IT field and be in a position where he can start a family.

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

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!

 

Randy Holcomb – Student Highlight

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.

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

Emery Dean – Student Highlight

Emery Dean graduated from Braxton County High school in May 2020. He enrolled in the Network Administrator/Security program at West Virginia Junior College, immediately following his high school graduation.  He chose this program due to his love and passion for computers. He has been intrigued since he was little about “how a computer really works.”

Emery is excited that this program will prepare him for computer troubleshooting and network structuring, as well as system security maintenance. Emery says that he is very happy that he chose WVJC Bridgeport over the other larger colleges around, because of the small class sizes. Emery is enjoying class so far. Emery said he is looking forward to building a computer of his own to take home with him!

Emery’s instructors enjoy having him in class and are confident in his success. He is dedicated to his work and studying. If there is a concept he doesn’t fully grasp, he will surely ask questions, but he leads with the eagerness to learn. Emery is a great student and is always attempting to explore explanations before solutions are given. He says that “WVJC helps make this possible with the small classes and one on one attention from each instructor.”  He mentioned that he feels more comfortable asking questions in smaller classes when there is something he struggles with understanding.  Emery says, “communication is seamless between emails with the instructors all the way to communicating any issue with the Campus President.”

Emery grew up playing around with computers and has always been computer savvy. He is hopeful that his future career will include building computers and troubleshooting them with a reputable company within the area. He looks forward to completing his degree and joining the workforce.

To learn more about WVJC’s exciting technology programs, 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!

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!

Jeffrey Byrd – Graduate Highlight


Jeffrey Byrd is a recent graduate from the Network Administration/Security Associate Degree program at West Virginia Junior College Charleston. Jeffrey decided to explore his options at WVJC due to the short length of the program, friendliness of the staff and faculty, hands-on training, and convenience of the location. Jeffrey conducted a lot of research on the job market before selecting a program.  He chose Network Administration/Security due to the growing demand for information technology professionals.

Jeffrey had nearly perfect attendance and maintained a 4.0 GPA during his time at WVJC. His dedication to his education allowed him the opportunity to be a Federal Work Study. He was a huge asset to students, staff, and faculty and was always available to assist with technology needs. This position allowed him the opportunity to apply IT skills outside of the classroom.

Before attending WVJC, Jeffrey attended traditional colleges. Jeffrey remembers taking classes that did not pertain to his major. He described his experience at the prior colleges as less personable and he felt more like a number than a person. Jeff said, “At WVJC the faculty and staff really care about my success.” Toward the end of the Network Administration/Security program, Jeffrey completed his externship at a large communications provider, Citynet. He said, “My externship provided me valuable real-world experience with people who wanted to help me learn”. When asked if Jeffrey would refer a friend to WVJC, he said, “Absolutely, I loved my experience at WVJC and the opportunity to be a Federal Work Study.”

We are excited to see all that Jeffrey accomplishes in the IT field! If you would like to know more about the Network Administration/Security program or another program at WVJC, please visit www.wvjc.edu for more information and apply today!

United Hospital Center – Externship Highlight

Externships allow students to experience real-life skills in their field of study, in order to gain valuable experience and knowledge from the experts in the field. At WVJC, all students have the opportunity to participate in an externship where they get to interact in their field of study.

One of WVJC Bridgeport’s incredible externship partners, who we have worked with for years, is United Hospital Center. One of the programs UHC offers an externship program for is Information Technology. With this externship program, IT students work with the men and women in the IT field, experiencing everything from server management to network management.

Brian Williams works closely with the IT externs through the UHC Department of IT. He, along with other members of his team, work with information technology students on projects ranging from routine IT maintenance to new project installation. WVJC students get to work with industry professionals either one on one or in large groups to perform these various tasks and gain valuable experience.

Brian stated that the benefits of externships include the ability to see large infrastructure in action, ongoing project management, and viewing customer support in person. Brian recently moved into his role and is excited to see what the future will hold as WVJC and UHC’s partnership continues to grow.

WVJC Bridgeport encourages students and graduates to learn from many different sources to better facilitate their education and experience in their field of study. If you are interested in gaining hands-on experience in your chosen career field while still in school, don’t hesitate to reach out at wvjc.edu!