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. 

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!

 

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!

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!

Christy Richards – Student Highlight

Medical Coding student Christy Richards has been attending WVJC since January 2021. Before attending WVJC, she attended Piedmont Virginia Community College in Charlottesville, Virginia. She says she feels much more at home at WVJC due to the welcoming environment and the support she has from all of the faculty! She loves getting the help she needs and is not looked at as just a number. Christy is also working full-time while going to school! She is a sales representative who works very odd hours. She said, “I work full time, and WVJC fits my schedule so well.”

When Christy was looking for a school to further her education, she did a lot of research for a few months to find a school that would fit her needs and wants. She explained that she felt so welcomed from the beginning, and that feeling has continued throughout her studies. She said, “My only problem now is knowing I’ll have to leave one day and graduate!” Christy chose medical coding because she has always had an interest in the medical field and will still utilize the skills she already has. She was also able to research the certifications and felt that it would allow her to continue learning constantly.

Although she has taken something away from every instructor she has had, she did say that if she had to choose a favorite, it would be her professor Jamie McGuire! Christy has loved all of the assignments from the multiple classes with Jamie, so she knows she will not be bored.

While thinking about future career paths, Christy said she would really like to work as a medical coder at the University of Virginia Hospital or Martha Jefferson Hospital. Christy feels that her education will give her the ability to grow in her career! To continue with her future plans, she is really hoping to be a homeowner and is already working toward this goal! She would also like to work toward a management role and have the ability to sit for more certifications.*

Overall, Christy said that she has been very pleased with her experience at WVJC. She has gained more confidence in herself and her abilities. She is very excited to see where the future will take her and which opportunities will open up. She has shared her experience with her peers and recommends that if they are looking to further education, they should look into WVJC! “You get help the whole way through. Tons of guidance and even assistance with finding that right career/ job placement. It’s a wonderful experience!”

To learn more about WVJC, request information here!

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

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!

Cortney Warner – Student Highlight

West Virginia Junior College Medical Coding student Cortney Warner began her classes in February of 2021. In the fourth module of her program, Cortney has come a long way toward achieving her dreams! Cortney has worked in the medical field since 2010, previously a Pharmacy Technician and a Scrub Technician. When asked what inspired her to decide to switch her career focus to medical coding, Cortney shared, “I chose medical coding and billing because I love being in the healthcare setting. I feel I can contribute to a hospital or insurance company in the future. It is such an important job that most overlook. It will not be easy, but it will be worth it!”

Cortney has been thinking about her future and how she would like to see life play out as she completes her Medical Coding program. “My ideal job after graduation is to be employed by a company I can work from home for. I have a step-daughter and a baby girl; after losing my son to an accident, I don’t want to be away from them.” Cortney noted that, though she has encountered some tough times in the recent past, she only wants to move onward and upward toward her dreams. “It would be a dream come true to be able to be close to my girls, but do something I love.”

In the almost five months since she has been a WVJC Online student, Cortney has enjoyed her experience! She has felt very welcomed and encouraged from the beginning, starting with her first admissions phone call. She would be happy for those close to her to have the same positive experience if they ever decide to further their education, stating, “I would most definitely recommend WVJC Online to my friends and family! Not only have my teachers been very accommodating, but each and every person I have spoken with actually cares about you and your future. They are there to help at any given time. It’s like having a friend available to lend you a hand. You are not just a student at WVJC…you are family!”

Here at WVJC Online, our core values are WE CARE, and we do care! We are so happy to have Cortney as part of the WVJC family! If the fast-track Medical Coding program sounds interesting to you, and you’d like to get more information, request information here!

Chantel Garrett – Student Highlight

Medical Assisting student, Chantel Garrett, decided to contact WVJC to learn more about our fast-track healthcare programs. Chantel attended a local community college before attending WVJC, but it was not the right fit. When she entered the doors at WVJC, she knew she selected the right college to further her education! She said, “I decided to attend WVJC because of the atmosphere and support from every person I interacted with.”

Chantel has always been interested in the medical field. She said, “I love to take care of people and help others.” Before attending WVJC, Chantel was working as a caregiver. She enjoyed her job, but she felt stuck. Chantel understands the importance of education and is excited about her career opportunities once she earns her diploma.

The classes at WVJC are designed for students to get hands-on training, so graduates are ready for careers upon graduation. Chantel‘s Medical Assisting Diploma program is flying by. She has already completed her clinical lab classes, so she now has the skills to complete vital signs, phlebotomy, EKG, assist with minor office surgeries, and so much more!

We asked Chantel about her favorite part about attending WVJC, and she said, “The open-door policy is my favorite. I know someone is always available to listen to me.”

If you are ready for a change and looking for a career, request information here!

Cody Joe – Student Highlight

Cody Joe has been in the medical field since the age of 19, working as a paramedic. While working as an EMS, he was able to help patients in some very significant ways and make a positive impact on their lives. During that time, Cody realized he wanted to make even more of an impact with patients, and he believes that by becoming a nurse, he will be able to spend more time with each patient catering to their specific needs.

Cody attends WVJC full time and works full time as a paramedic, but he doesn’t stop there. He caught the entrepreneurial bug, running his own business as a personal-body transformation coach, training clients using his nutrition certification, and working with manufacturers to produce his supplemental line creating his unique brand. He has been hard at work with his business since November 2020 and is pouring every bit of profit right back into it, striving for excellence, as he believes this will be his nest egg for retirement. Cody has offered his training and nutritional services to his current classmates at WVJC, and several students have already taken him up on this offer. Cody put together a plan with a healthier diet and achievable goals to get each of them into better physical shape and to help them create healthier lifestyles overall.

He plans to enroll in Chamberlain University to further his education and obtain his BSN degree after graduating from the Nursing program at WVJC. When he graduates from WVJC in December 2022, he plans to work alongside his wife in the ER. Cody would also like to continue his education by getting his Master’s Degree and then become a Nurse Practitioner while also working full time.

Cody has tremendous support from his wife, family, and friends as he embarks on this new adventure to learn new skills to make a real difference in patients’ lives. Cody chose WVJC because he heard good things from recent graduates about WVJC’s Nursing program. However, he says the most significant selling point is an accelerated program that offers a degree in just 18 months. WVJC is excited to have students like Cody, who are patient-oriented nurses making sure their needs are met.

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

Robert Dick – Student Highlight

Before attending WVJC, Bobby Dick received two associate degrees, one in visual communication and another in professional piloting. Bobby chose to further his education and pursue WVJC’s Nursing program because he felt that it would help him enhance his previously learned life skills and place him in the position to help people in their time of need. Bobby chose WVJC because it was the only school that offered an evening program, which allows him to continue working. He also mentioned that “the fact that the school is one of the top-rated nursing schools in the state, made it an easy decision.”

Bobby’s favorite part of WVJC so far has been “All of it! The staff has been very helpful and awesome from the start. The diversity of my classmates and their ability to share their knowledge while working together as a team has been a great asset,” he said. Bobby mentioned that there had not been a teacher or class that he has not liked. “Everybody has been very knowledgeable and personable, which helps with the intensity of the coursework.” If he had to pick a teacher that has been his favorite, it would have to be Kim Pratt, his online TEAS prep course instructor. “She has been very inspiring, supportive, and helpful,” Bobby says.

After graduation, Bobby hopes to find a career that combines his strengths as well as his goals. He also wants a career that puts him in a position where he can help as many people as he can while at the same time fulfilling his own emotional and financial needs. In five years, Bobby would like to have stability with his career and the satisfaction of knowing that he made a difference. He has plans to continue his education to teach and pass on the knowledge that he has learned to enable others to make a difference effectively.

To learn more bout WVJC’s Nursing program, request information here!