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!


Ronnie Bland – Student Highlight

Ronnie Bland is enrolled in the NAS program at the WVJC Charleston campus. He graduated from Nitro High school and decided that WVJC was the best fit for him! Ronnie did not want to go to a 4-year college as he was looking for something smaller and wanted to get a degree quickly so he could start working in his field.

“I chose to go into the IT field because it is good to know how to fix computers, and I believe it is the future.” He believes he chose the best field for him! His idea of a perfect day would be taking a nap, watching a few episodes of South Park and then going to Sheets for Mac n Cheese Bites.

After he graduates, he would like to find a good job in the IT field, somewhere he can grow in and gain experience, then land his dream career.

Charleston – 2019 Graduation

Imagine, 18 months from now you are sitting with your classmates who are now your closest friends. You are wearing a cap and gown. You see instructors smiling at you. You see your family and friends beaming with pride. You hear clapping and the music starts. You stand, looking around at smiling faces. You realize you made it and you realize you are ready!  Looking back, you remember when you first started. You remember your courses, your training and most importantly you remember your why. Why did you want this career?

How to make a career decision is difficult sometimes, but once you find something you are passionate about, the easiest decision is where to go for education and training. For Gabrielle (Gabby) Hill, a 2017 WVJC graduate in the medical assisting program. Gabby was once a prospective student, who wanted to jump into the workforce successfully and fast! Now she has earned her specialized associate degree as a Medical Assistant. Gabby currently works at CAMC Family Center and is thriving.

Gabby says “One thing that has helped me in my career is learning the critical skill of phlebotomy. I use it every day. Being able to train in a small class and have one-on-one supervision and special attention helped me develop the confidence to do my job well.” Gabby also says, “One of the best feelings in the world was being in a program that was not only career oriented but also very supportive.” She says her instructors and WVJC staff were always willing to help her with course work or advice about life.

Gabby isn’t finished! She has decided to expand upon a successful start as a medical assistant and be a nurse. She has just been accepted into the new nursing program at WVJC that will be starting in September 2019. As a returning student, Gabby is eager to get started as she feels that WVJC will give her the same support and assistance she needs to obtain another degree. Gabby understands the meaning behind such a choice and the work it will entail.

On May 17th, 2019 West Virginia Junior College held their annual graduation ceremony! Over 80 graduates celebrated with their friends and family at Christ United Methodists Church in Charleston, WV. From Business Administration, Information Technology, Network Administration/Security, Dental Assisting, Medical Office Administration, and Medical Assisting, students cheered as they switch their tassels from the right to left and moved into another exciting chapter of their journey. After the ceremony, many students expressed their excitement at the number of career opportunities they get to choose from.

Planning your future can be overwhelming with the how and why but with the care and support you receive as part of your courses, there is no question of where you need to go. At WVJC, student services include career training and job placement, personal advising and financial aid (to those who qualify). The best part of graduation is knowing you are well equipped with the tools you need for the job you dreamed of! Don’t let another year pass where you are not celebrating the next steps in your journey. Check out WVJC to find your way and enroll today!


Network Admin/Security Student Highlight-Bret Mains

Bret MainsLife is about timing and finding your niche. For WVJC Information Technology student Bret Mains, it took some time to find the right college situation. In fact, Bret attended 3 different colleges before settling in at WVJC, where he is now pursuing his passion, and working on launching a career in Network Administration or Cyber Security.

At his previous colleges Bret struggled with impersonal online classes and was frustrated with taking expensive courses with little or no relevance to the career field he hoped to pursue. He decided to transition to a vocational school to study electrical technology so he would have a marketable skill. However, it just wasn’t the right field for him.

In the back of his mind he knew that he was always quite proficient when it came to working with computers. They excited him and his enthusiasm for computers translated to success. After speaking with a friend he decided to take a hard look at WVJC’s Network Admin/Security program.

After doing his due diligence Bret realized WVJC-Morgantown had everything he was searching for! The small class sizes and individual attention appealed to him. The hands on training and logical problem solving approach that is necessary in the Information Technology field is where he excelled. He found an environment where instructors were, “willing to sit down with you and take the time to ensure that you understand the curriculum inside and out.” He has developed a strong bond with his Program Director Robin Addis who he calls, “a phenomenal teacher.”

Bret is now well on his way to a career in networking or cyber security. By staying persistent and deciding to attend WVJC, he has developed a “skill set that will have value in the workplace.” He will leave WVJC with a Specialized Associate Degree and at least 4 certifications (A+, CCNA, CCENT, and Cisco Security). Armed with his degree and certifications, Bret hopes to apply his craft in North Carolina after graduation. He has undoubtedly found his niche.

For important information about the educational debt, earnings, and completion rates of students who attended this program CLICK HERE.