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!

Sara Westbrook – Staff Highlight

Sara Westbrook has been an employee of WVJC since April 2019.  She started as an Online Admissions Advisor where she contacted individuals requesting information on our online programs and guided potential students through the admissions, enrollment, and onboarding processes. Sara enjoyed hearing the stories of the people she supported and found it very rewarding to help people find the path to change their lives.

In October 2020, Sara transitioned into her current role of Admissions Coordinator. In this role, she works tirelessly behind the scenes supporting the Online and Morgantown admissions teams through reporting, tracking, inquiry management, and distribution, clerical support, special projects, creative designs, social media, and much more. She thoroughly enjoys working behind the scenes and supporting the admissions team. She likes the opportunity to get to know all potential and enrolled students and ensure they have everything they need for a successful start.

When asked, “What advice do you have for someone considering attending WVJC?” Sara replied, “The teams you will work with (admissions, financial aid, academic, and career services) are outstanding.  They truly care about their students and want to see them succeed.  You will definitely not feel like a number, and it’s nice to know that the faculty and staff are 100% invested in your success!”

When asked, “What advice do you have for someone considering employment with WVJC?” Sara replied, “You will feel like family from the moment you walk through the door on your first day of work.  I couldn’t ask for a better work family, as some of them have definitely become lifelong friends.”

Sara has grown personally and professionally during the past two years. She emulates our WE CARE core values every day and has proven to be a valuable resource to our staff and students.  We are thrilled to have Sara as a member of the WVJC family.

To learn more about the WVJC admissions team, request information here!

Christina Hayslett – Staff Highlight

Christina Hayslett is a Financial Aid Officer at WVJC Charleston. She finds it fulfilling to work at WVJC because of the many lives she can be a part of, as she watches students grow into confident and successful individuals. “These are real people, mothers, fathers, first time-students, all making an effort to do and be better. This gives us the responsibility to do and to be better as well.”

Christina understands the demographic of many of our students. A graduate of Marshall University, Christina began her higher education right out of high school, but as she began to have a family of her own, the inconvenience of traditional school interrupted her education. It was several years after her daughter was born that she returned to finishing her bachelor’s degree. “If I had known about a school like WVJC, I would’ve seen that I could both be a mother and student at the same time, and not make a sacrifice to either.”

Christina has previously worked in admissions in low-income based education services and understands the connection between education and finances. Christina says, “It is the goal of WVJC Financial Aid, to make school affordable today, but not leave you with an enormous debt tomorrow.” The financial aid team in Charleston works to establish a plan that allows you to focus on your education and not the burden of cost. As a native of West Virginia, Christina concludes, “West Virginia residents need careers here in our own state, and at WVJC, we can help make that dream a reality.”

“Traditional college isn’t for everyone, but education is. Finding the right school, a program that you are interested in, and a staff that supports your real life is key. We have that here at WVJC because WE CARE about your success.”

If you would like to know more about the short-term programs at WVJC, request information here!

Thankful For Our WVJC Charleston Students

WVJC offers short-term, career-focused programs in Nursing, Clinical Medical Assistant, Dental Assisting, Medical Billing and Coding, Business Administration, and Network Administration/Security. At WVJC, our purpose is to empower change by creating opportunity. We believe in a WE CARE approach to helping students succeed in their education.

This Thanksgiving, our staff and faculty would like to share what we are most thankful for at WVJC, our students!

    • Michelle Miles, WVJC Campus President said, “I am so grateful for our students. I have the pleasure of interacting with students daily and I love witnessing their growth and seeing their accomplishments. Students, thank you for allowing me to be a part of your lives!”
    • Katie Harvey, WVJC Academic Dean said, “As an educator, I am thankful that our students allow us to become part of their extended families. We can experience their joys and offer support when they experience sorrows. I am thankful I can watch the growth of the student from the time they first step foot in the building to seeing them walk across the graduation stage. There is nothing like witnessing a former WVJC student find success in their career field as well as life itself!”
    • Selena Ramey, WVJC Career Management Director said, “I am thankful for students who apply themselves and overcome obstacles to be successful in their careers.”
    • Stephanie Duncan, WVJC High School Admissions Advisor said, “I am thankful for our students because they allow us to see real growth every day. Every student is different, but watching them during their journey from WVJC student to graduate is something I will always hold near and dear to my heart.”
    • Kellie Moore, WVJC Admissions Manager said, “I’m thankful for our students because they bring me so much joy and happiness! I love seeing them accomplish their goals and transition into careers!”
    • Sheena Pack, WVJC High School Admissions Advisor said, “I am thankful for the relationships I have with our students. I love witnessing their success and look forward to seeing them when I come to work.”
    • Christina Hayslett, WVJC Financial Aid Representative said, “I am thankful for our students because they remind us every day is a new opportunity to start, to grow, and to succeed.”
    • Chelsea Abbott, WVJC Medical Director said, “I am so thankful for my students. I am passionate about teaching them the skills they need for the medical field and watching them apply those skills in their careers.”
    • Renee Rollins, WVJC Dental Assisting Program Director said, “I am thankful for my students who make me laugh in class and bring joy to not just me, but their fellow students.”
    • Aaron Settle, WVJC Adjunct Instructor said, “Interactions with my students allow me to learn from them daily, just as I hope they are learning from me!”
    • Kisha James, WVJC Nursing Instructor said, “I am thankful for our students because they remind me that we still have a striving generation in our future. All programs offered at WVJC are to better not only those coming out of high school but also adults in higher education. All of our students have a drive and determination and every day they make me feel like a proud momma.”
    • Jonathan Lucas-Neel, WVJC Nursing Instructor said, “Teaching nursing at WVJC over the past year has brought me so many joys. I am thankful for the excitement that comes when students get to practice a new skill for the first time, to be present when they make a difference in the life of a patient, or even to see the satisfaction when they do well on an exam that I know they struggled to master. Working with nursing students has taught me to be a better nurse. It has made me evaluate the ‘why’ of the care we provide. I am enthusiastic to start our second cohort here at WVJC and thankful to have the opportunity to help train the next generation of nurses to care for our community.”
  • Jennifer Bird, WVJC Administrative Assistant said, “This year has been so hard on everyone and I wanted to share some of the reasons why I am thankful for our students. I am thankful every day I get to see our students walk in the door, even with their masks on, I can see that they are smiling and happy to be coming in for class. I am thankful to be able to watch our students achieve their goals to graduate and provide a better life for themselves and their families. It is simply amazing to see them overcome obstacles to graduate; one of my favorite quotes is “So often you find that the students you’re trying to inspire are the ones that end up inspiring you.”
  • Holly Mitchell, WVJC Adjunct Instructor said, “I am thankful for our students for overcoming a myriad of challenges and remaining relentless on their pursuit to succeed! They are truly inspiring and I’m blessed to be a part of their journey at WVJC!”
  • Kelly Pauley, WVJC Nursing Director said, “I am thankful for my nursing students because they are so eager to learn, so driven to accomplish their dreams, and so compassionate.  They teach me every day why I love what I do.”
  • Mark Light, WVJC Adjunct Instructor said, “I’m thankful for my students because they challenge me.  When I started at WVJC, I was worried that I would not be able to relate to my students’. One of the things we had in common was that we all spoke Appalachian American.  (If you need to know what that is just ask one of my students).  I was able to present the information to them in a way that was easy for them to understand and there is nothing more rewarding as an instructor than to see the lights go on in their students eyes that let you know they understand and comprehend what you are teaching them.”
  • Hydiah White, WVJC Adjunct Instructor said, “I am thankful for our students because they are always helping me to become a better teacher. Everyone has a different learning style and I enjoy finding creative ways to explain the material. It can be challenging, but it is worth it!”

If you are ready to earn your education in a fast track, hands-on, career-focused program at a college with staff and faculty that cares about your success, request information here!

Yolanda Bass – Student Highlight

WVJC graduate, Yolanda Bass, enrolled in college at WVJC in 2013 because of the fast-track programs, location of the school, and friendliness of the staff and faculty. She graduated with an Associate Degree in Business Administration in 2014. After receiving her business training, she worked as an administrative assistant.

Yolanda always had an interest in the medical field, and in 2019, she decided she wanted to further her education at WVJC. Yolanda applied, and was accepted, into the fall 2019 Associate Degree in Nursing program at WVJC Charleston. She said, “I attended WVJC previously and I loved the smaller classes where people know you by name, instead of just a number.”

The staff and faculty at WVJC follow “WE CARE” values and strive to help empower change by creating opportunity for students. Yolanda said her favorite part of attending WVJC is the friendliness of the staff and the sense of community. She said, “I have built friendships that have become great for networking.” We asked Yolanda who her favorite teacher is and she said, “I love Kishia, she is always happy and her personality is contagious.” She further stated, “Kishia inspires us to do our best and is always available to offer help or answer questions.”

After graduation, Yolanda would like to work at Charleston Area Medical Center as a registered nurse. Yolanda is looking forward to financial stability and a flexible schedule as a registered nurse so she can spend more time with her daughter. If you would like to know more about the fast track medical programs or other programs at WVJC, request information here!

Lindsay Maxwell – Student Highlight

“I think that WVJC is a great program because the schedule accommodates students like myself, a mom, or others who have to work and raise a family. The classes are small, the instructors are great, and the terms are only 6 weeks. It is very fast-paced, but it’s doable if you try your best!”

One thing about many of the students at WVJC is that they are often not just students. Most work and have families in addition to attending school. When you add in the fact that Lindsay Maxwell is in WVJC’s Nursing program, that adds an extra layer of difficulty to the equation.

Lindsay’s path to WVJC started in 2019. She was looking to continue her education in the healthcare field while working as a scribe at a local hospital.  Working in this environment allowed her to see, first-hand, the work and care that a nurse provides in an emergency department. “I heard about WVJC and decided to apply after a coworker of mine started the Nursing program! It was appealing to me that this program was only 18 months, and it was based in the evenings! This worked the best with my schedule.”

Knowing that she wanted to further her education, and finding a program that fit her needs, she started the application process for the WVJC Nursing program.  Lindsay had post-secondary education experience, holding a bachelor’s degree in biology and an EMT certification through a local college. She is also the mom of a 3-year-old and engaged to be married. Therefore, finding a program that was short-term was important to her. “I chose the Nursing program because it was the fastest route to graduate compared to other nursing programs in the area.”

After successful completion of the application process and receiving acceptance into the program, Lindsay started school at WVJC. Her first impression was a positive one. Maxwell said, “Our classes are small, and full of non-traditional students like myself. I have made some great friendships during this. It’s nice to have other moms in the class that I can relate to while going through this program as well!”

WVJC prides itself on a family atmosphere and a WE CARE approach to education. One instructor has had a big impact on Lindsay’s success at WVJC.  “I would have to say my favorite teacher is Joanne Kozich! My favorite classes so far have been OB and Pediatrics, both of which Joanne taught! She is very knowledgeable and well-rounded as a nurse and instructor! Joanne is genuine, and I feel that she truly cares about all of us and our success!”

It is no surprise that Lindsay enjoyed the Obstetrics and Pediatric courses in the Nursing program. She was very moved by the Nurses that were involved during the birth of her daughter, and she ultimately hopes to work in that environment after graduation at a local hospital. She also hopes that her new career allows her and her husband to raise their family on or near a lake.

Lindsay Maxwell is a healthcare worker, a mom, a wife, and a nursing student in an accelerated nursing program. Lindsay works tirelessly to be successful in all phases of her life and the faculty and staff at WVJC cannot wait to see her success pay off and become a member of the WVJC family of graduates.

If you would like more information on the WVJC Nursing program, click here!

Cheyenne Bolden – Student Highlight

Cheyenne is a 2017 graduate of Liberty High School. While in high school, Cheyenne participated in numerous sports, worked two jobs to fund her summer travels, was a member of the National Honor Society, and enjoyed attending the Friday night football games. She took college classes during her senior year in high school as well.

WVJC was Cheyenne’s choice to jump start her career because she loves the small class sizes and being able to know the teachers one on one. She also loves that the teachers offer free tutoring after class and even in the mornings before class. Currently enrolled in the LPN program, Cheyenne is 21 years old and loves to spend her summers traveling across the globe.

There are many things that Cheyenne loves about her student experience at WVJC. “The library is always open and available when I need to use it. I enjoy being able to ask questions and get answers in a quick time frame. I feel like a person here and not just a number,” said Cheyenne.

When asked who her favorite teacher is so far, Cheyenne said it has been Mrs. Wilson because she has the ability to reach out to students and relay the information in a manner everyone can understand. She is really good at re-explaining something if someone doesn’t understand and uses relatable examples.

“From the time I started my journey here, the teachers and staff have always gone out of their way to make things as easy and smooth as possible. Nursing school is hard enough, it’s nice to have teachers and staff in your corner when things get tough,” said Cheyenne.

Currently, Cheyenne is in the mental health clinical rotation and part of her class has been going to Highland and observing. “I really enjoy mental health nursing, but I imagine it’s very hard at the same time,” said Cheyenne.

Cheyenne is working on finishing up her externship hours at Fairmont Health and Rehab. “I truly love it there. I am hoping to work there with a graduate license until I take and pass my boards. Once that happens, I really hope to secure a PRN job there while planning some much-needed travel plans,” said Cheyenne.

In the future, Cheyenne plans to go back to school and obtain her RN degree. She hopes to become a travel nurse for a few years after getting her RN and once she settles down, she is considering becoming a flight nurse.

Cheyenne’s advice for others is to “not give up, even when you think it’s the only option. In the end, you’re only setting yourself back and keeping yourself from reaching the goals you set out to achieve.”

Are you ready to start down the path to a rewarding career? With short-term programs, small class sizes, personalized attention, and our WE CARE approach to education, WVJC can help you get there. Request information today to get started!

Matthew Osborne-Lane – Student Highlight

Do you have hobbies that you’re passionate about? Did you know you can turn your interests into a successful career that you love? Combining hobbies with a career is something Matthew Osborne-Lane knows all about!

Matthew has an infectious energy that other students copy, and instructors crave. At WVJC, he is majoring in Network Administration/Security and plans to be a Sound Design Tech or Independent Tech Consultant. Building on his hobbies of producing electronic music, video games, kayaking, fishing, reading, watching horror-genre, and of course, his two beautiful dogs, Matthew feels very passionate about using his creativity and applying these hobbies to his career.

He chose the IT field because he was tired of accepting mediocrity and wanted to aim for something he could excel in and enjoy, which is very important to him. Matthew believes that understanding hardware, software, and networking is vital in the heavily tech-integrated world we live in today. From his various experience, to his intricate work in sound technology, Matthew is planning to incorporate these hobbies into his life’s work.

Matthew said that life experiences helped him make the decision to go back to school to fast-track his career. Although he was previously enrolled at a traditional school, he felt lost and like he had no direction. He was ready to find a career path that incorporated his interests and would provide him with a worthwhile job.

“Quitting my last job, having to rearrange my living situation, and realizing that I want to be able to be happy on my own terms was it. I want to be able to have full control over my options in life and without an education, I couldn’t quite navigate that,” said Matthew. With a career plan in tow and the supportive staff at WVJC, he feels he can pursue his interests and have a career to match.

When you hear Matthew talk about his family and what makes him happy, you can’t help but smile. “It’s my husband, my life, and my dreams for a family. My passion is fueled by the love and happiness I feel from being able to create and translate my feelings of such, into intricate sounds,” he said.

Matthew chose WVJC for a few reasons and is loving his experience so far. “I wish I had known about WVJC when I graduated high school in 2013. This program was a fantastic option financially, but also because the environment was so personal and meaningful. The staff cares about their students, and that is something you do not see in other schools.”

Matthew said that WVJC instructors and staff have been phenomenal. “They are giving me tools, both realistic and abstract, to be able to function in an IT career. They offer help and resources, and even give us the opportunity to foster peer relationships that unify us as people. I don’t want to sound like a cookie-cutter ad, but they really do seek to bring out the best in me, and us, as students and professionals.”

When asked what the best part of his experience at WVJC was so far, Matthew warmly said, “My interactions. I’ve already made friends that I can confide in, have the ability to be vulnerable around, and can consult for anything, and that includes staff members. All of my instructors so far have been so active in our learning experience that I feel like we grow with them, and growth is a key part of interactions and relationships.”

Matthew is a newer student and has a great perspective for anyone who is starting out. With four courses under his belt so far, he says his favorites are psychology and hardware classes. Matthew explained, “My psychology class was fantastic, and my peers and I were so involved in the material as a whole. My hardware course is where my Network Administration/Security major peers are, and we’re tackling relevant, hands-on experiments. I would have never gotten to experience this early in any program elsewhere.” As you can see from Matthew’s experience, even early on, students are integrated as a family, close bonds are made, and a supportive, productive environment is encouraged.

Matthew has quickly become a bright star among students and instructors at WVJC and his story is relatable and inspirational. He feels connected here, loves to share his story, and strives for success in everything he does.

When asked what he’d like to share with anyone who is thinking about attending WVJC, he stresses to enroll! “Enroll, enroll, enroll! If you feel nervous or alone about attending, come sit with us in a classroom. It’s a welcoming environment and we are always open to new experiences and input. If you’re looking to become a professional, sit with us in a class and you can see just how great this school is.”

Thinking about your hobbies, passions, and what inspires you? Would you like to make a living out of something that brings you joy? Request information now to fast-track your career today!

Holly J. Mitchell, MPH, CHES