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National News

January 27, 2012

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From Construction to Healthcare, A Mid-life Career Change

From Construction to Healthcare, A Mid-life Career Change

"I was a 49-year-old injured construction worker. Now I'm a 50-year-old college graduate," says Harley Taylor with pride.

In just one year, Harley has made a mid-life career change by obtaining his diploma in medical billing and coding at American National University's Danville Campus and subsequently finding employment with Danville Medical Specialist. He is involved in almost every aspect of medical office operations including scheduling, billing and coding, and the digital conversion of medical records.

Harley visited a local community college when he began researching his options in career training but he was just directed to a brochure on the wall when he inquired about the programs that they offered.

He found the experience different at National where he received personal attention from the admissions staff. "I told her that I hadn't been to school in 30-something years and they made it really good for me," he recalled.

He also found personal attention in the classroom. "One of the things that made me pick National was the small class size," he explained. "The teachers here, the opportunities and the tools they have given me have absolutely changed everything. Schools like U of K and EKU have nothing for me. It takes colleges like National to give somebody like me an opportunity."

Harley is continuing on with his education at National and will graduate with his associate's degree in business administration-management in the Spring of 2012. While he hopes to continue his career in a medical office setting, he feels that continuing his education will give him flexibility in the future.

He also likes the fact that he can take free refresher courses for life after graduating from National. "I can come back if I want to and refresh classes and it doesn't cost me anything."

Harley encourages older adults not to be intimidated by the prospect of returning to school. "I have flourished here," he said. "If I can come out of that and do as good as I've done then anybody can do it."

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Students Volunteer For Global Needs Organization

Students Volunteer For Global Needs Organization

Students and staff from the Madison Campus recently spent two days volunteering for a charity called Project C.U.R.E. (Commission on Urgent Relief & Equipment). Their efforts were planned as a Day of Difference in honor of National College’s 125th anniversary.

Project C.U.R.E was founded in 1987 to help identify, solicit, collect, sort and deliver medical supplies and services according to the imperative needs of the world. To honor the College’s anniversary milestone, students gave back to their community by sorting medical supplies for distribution to third world countries.

“It was amazing to see [that] the work that is done with this organization locally impacts developing countries globally,” said student Lachanta Tyler. Students said that the project was a great experience, and they felt like they made a difference. They enjoyed helping out the organization and many students mentioned that they hoped to volunteer for Project C.U.R.E. again and other charities.

CAPTION: Madison Campus students are pictured on their “Day of Difference” volunteering for Project C.U.R.E.

Career Skills Transcend Language

Career Skills Transcend Language

When student Coudy Niane needed some help with her algebra, she turned to Stefano Campagna, adjunct faculty member at the Columbus Campus who offers math tutoring in addition to his teaching duties. However, as she and Stefano started working together, she discovered that strong math skills weren’t the only attribute that Stefano had - he also speaks French, which happened to be her native language.

Coudy is originally from West Africa but she also spent time in France. She said that it was helpful to be tutored in her native language. “My tutoring sessions with Stefano helped me drastically and deeply,” Coudy stated.

“Ms. Niane is one of my top [business administration-management] students,” Greg added, pleased that she was able to get this type of help with a difficult subject.

Business Department Chair Greg Kontras asserted that one of the reasons he brought Stefano to the campus was his familiarity with multiple languages. In addition to his strong math skills, Greg felt that being multilingual would be an asset to the considerable number of international students in Columbus, and as it turns out, he was right.

CAPTION: Instructor Stefano Campagna is pictured practicing math techniques with student Coudy Niane.

The National News is a biweekly publication designed to share the success and academic accomplishments of students and graduates from American National University and National College. For more information, contact the Communications Department.

In accordance with the regulations of the Tennessee Higher Education Council, all references to "American National University" refer to "National College" in the state of Tennessee.