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March 09, 2012

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Medical Assisting Student Finds Employment with her Externship

Medical Assisting Student Finds Employment with her Externship

Tomika Young does a little bit of everything in her job as a registered medical assistant at an ears, nose, and throat clinic (ENT clinic) in Charlottesville, Virginia. “I make sure the patient has a great visit from the time they step in the door till the time they leave,” she says, summarizing the many administrative and clinical tasks she handles into one overarching goal. It’s a role that Tomika was well-prepared for, having finished her medical assisting degree at National College’s Charlottesville Campus and completing her externship at the clinic before being hired on after her graduation.

“I got a lot from the [medical assisting] program,” Tomika says about her preparation at National for her current job. “I liked the medical terminology class,” she shares about the classes that taught her what she needed for her position. “I liked the procedures classes more than anything – being able to do hands on,” she explains – noting how learning to draw blood, take blood pressure, etc. are a part of her daily interactions with patients.

Beyond training her for her career, Tomika felt like she became a part of a community at National. The small-class sizes allowed her to get to know her instructors and her fellow classmates. “I enjoyed all the staff [at National],” Tomika says, “and each student was like family.” She completed her program quickly, within two years, and states that she had a good time through the entire experience.

The same close community environment has continued into the office at the ENT clinic, with Tomika being one of four workers who assist the doctor in running the clinic. “We all work together,” she shares, explaining how everyone keeps the schedule so that they can all have time with family and keep the clinic running smoothly.

Looking ahead to the future, Tomika states that she wants to continue on: “I really like this field – ENT is where it’s at,” she says with a smile. She looks forward to learning more, expanding her ability in the field, and adding to the skills she’s already gained as a graduate of National College.

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Community Gets to Know New Campus

Community Gets to Know New Campus

On February 29th, the new Stark County Campus hosted a “Meet & Greet” open house to introduce itself to key community officials in the area. In collaboration with the Canton Regional Chamber, Jackson Belden Chamber, and the North Canton Chamber of Commerce, over 100 business professionals and local community leaders attended the event which included breakfast.

PHOTO: Among those attending the Stark County Campus event are Jackson Township Fire Chief Tracy Hogue, Chamber of Commerce President Steven Meeks, Zoning Inspector Joni Poindexter, Administrator Marilyn Lyon, Trustee John Pizzino, and Police Chief David Zink.

College and Career Success

College and Career Success

Only a few months have passed since Janae Vick walked out of the doors of the Columbus Campus to begin her new life as a American National University graduate, but she is already busy making an indelible mark on the health information technology (HIT) profession. Upon graduating, she earned the position of clinical innovation specialist at Humana, which is a health benefits organization that provides health insurance to individuals and companies. Her duties at this job involve attaching notes to the inpatient hospital or skilled nursing dates of service, taking incoming calls from providers and members in regards to the cases concerning approval and member services, and meeting production measures.

Before coming to American National University, Janae was working in a dead-end job that didn’t give her the personal and financial satisfaction that she desired. She knew about American National University because she lived close to the campus, but she was really nervous about giving it a try because her previous attempts at college had not worked out. However, her family urged her to enroll, and Janae liked the fact that National offered her the chance to complete an externship before graduating that would give her practical work experience in her field along with the degree. Thanks to the small class sizes and hands-on training she received at American National University, she was able to meet her goals.

In the small amount of time that Janae has been with Humana, she has been successfully implementing the concepts her instructors taught her and is making a great impression on her colleagues there. “She listens, is very energetic, and you can tell she’s someone who really wants to do well,” said Kristin Ritter, a manager, regarding Janae’s performance at the organization.

Even though she has started a bright new chapter in her life, Janae intends to keep moving forward. She has plans of earning a bachelor’s degree in HIT. Additionally, she has her eyes set on a medical coder position with Humana. Janae credits dedicated instructors like Gloria Livingston with helping her to succeed with her education.

“She took her time with us to make sure we understood the material,” Janae said about Gloria, adding that Gloria “really cares about her students and will do her best to make sure you have everything you need to succeed.”

PHOTO: Janae Vick sits with Kristin Ritter

Medical Assisting Duo

Medical Assisting Duo

Sarah Williamson and Melissa Darland became close friends while attending the Danville campus’s medical billing and coding diploma program and the medical assisting associate’s degree program. They both recently graduated with a 4.0 grade point average and then, as luck would have it, they both found jobs as medical assistants at Dr. Richard M. Dartt’s family practice.

“We met the first day of school. We had our first class together,” recalls Sarah, who came to National after being laid off from her position at a factory. Rather than seeing the lay-off as a loss of opportunity, she viewed it as a new opportunity to return to school and enter the medical field. After researching many area colleges she found the admissions representative at National to be the most helpful. “She was there the whole time and she helped me through every step,” she recalled.

Melissa worked as a home health aide before coming to National for career training. She chose National because she needed to continue to work while she was in school. “Their schedule was more flexible to be a full-time student, so I could still work,” she shares.

Melissa and Sarah both credit their instructors for their success: “They had experience in the field [and] they knew what they were talking about,” Sarah says about her instructors. “They could tell you what you’re really going to face.”

Sarah completed her externship for her program with Dr. Dartt’s office and was offered a job with the practice during the externship. When the office was looking for another medical assistant, she recommended Melissa, who was hired shortly thereafter.

Kelly Shope, office manager for Dr. Dartt’s family practice, states that Sarah was a great find as an extern. “She actually exceeded my expectations,” said Kelly. She is also pleased with Melissa’s work. “They both have gone above and beyond,” she said.

PHOTO: Sarah is pictured on the left with Dr. Dartt and Melissa.

CKRA Employs Two National College Grads

CKRA Employs Two National College Grads

Central Kentucky Research Associates (CKRA), which opened in 1991 in Lexington, was the first independent drug research facility in Kentucky. The company has grown from an office of 2 to an office of 22 and it is now one of the top clinical research companies in the country. Debbie Dyer, owner of CKRA, said that the American National University graduates she employs play a big role in the success of the company.

Denisha Henry, a certified medical assistant who graduated from the Lexington Campus, was one of CKRA’s first employees. Denisha began her career with CKRA as a research assistant and receptionist and now serves as regulatory administrator for the company. “Denisha was our first experience with American National University,” recalled Debbie. “She had a really good educational base. She came in knowing what she needed to know. We wanted somebody that we could mold and teach.” Debbie said that not only did Denisha have the education that she needed but that she is a wonderful person with a great work ethic, as well. “It worked out so well with Denisha that we stuck with National,” Debbie said.

Joy Soper, another National graduate from the medical assisting program, is a data management associate with the company. Both employees play an integral role in the complex and detailed management of the drug studies performed by CKRA, which are closely monitored by both the sponsoring drug companies and the FDA.

“I do not micro-manage,” explained Debbie. “That’s what makes it so wonderful for me to have people like this. I don’t have to worry about it,” she said.

PHOTO: Joy Soper, Debbie Dyer and Denisha Henry

Seven Years after Graduation: Student Continues Working in the Career of Her Dreams

Seven Years after Graduation: Student Continues Working in the Career of Her Dreams

Nicola Green has worked for almost seven years as a medical assistant and x-ray technician at a privately owned urgent care facility. She began her career there as an extern in the medical assisting program at the Louisville Campus.

Nicola knew that she wanted to work in the medical field after attending a high school that had a medical magnet program and after she worked as a co-op student in a pharmacy her senior year. However, life kept her from pursuing the degree and she ended up working as a package handler at a large logistics company. After someone brought it to her attention that the company offered tuition assistance as a benefit to its employees, Nicola enrolled at American National University shortly thereafter and was also able to take advantage of the College’s exclusive Business Partnership Grant to help fund her education. The Business Partnership Grant matches tuition assistance from employers to help cover the cost of tuition, books and fees, keeping the cost of education to a minimum for the student.

Nicola said that the flexible class schedule at National made it possible for her to attend school while working. “I was able to go to work during the day and go to school at night and get all of the classes that I needed and be done in a fair amount of time,” she said.

Seven years into her career, Nicola still enjoys working at the urgent care center where she started, which prides itself on its warm family atmosphere. She has furthered her training in the medical field and has become certified in limited medical radiography as she continues to grow in her career in health care.

Student’s Perseverance Earned Her A New Career

Student’s Perseverance Earned Her A New Career

Sylvia Damron, a graduate from the medical billing and coding program at the Pikeville Campus, has a job she enjoys and lots of opportunity for career advancement as a physician’s office assistant at the Pikeville Medical Center. “I’ve got a career that I can grow with and that’s what everyone looks for,” said Sylvia.

Sylvia enrolled at American National University after working as an assistant supervisor in a newspaper’s mailroom for 9 years. “I was stuck,” she said, “I wanted something more. It was time.”

Although it was difficult working long hours and staying up late into the night completing homework while taking classes, Sylvia persevered and even earned an award for perfect attendance. “I was so motivated and so determined to do better that I didn’t let it bother me. I just kept going,” Sylvia said.

Sylvia worked closely with the career center at the campus during her job search. Career Center Director Kelly Raupach assisted her with her résumé and held mock interviews with her. “That was very, very helpful,” said Sylvia. “Not many colleges have that at all.”

Sylvia is proud to have earned her diploma at American National University and to work for Pikeville Medical Center “When you put your mind to it nothing can stop you,” she said.

Campus Hosts Local Boy Scout Troops Preparing for Eagle Scout Status

Campus Hosts Local Boy Scout Troops Preparing for Eagle Scout Status

The Dayton Area Campus is hosting a local Boy Scout Troop for their Citizenship in the Nation Merit Badge. Troop 167, based in Kettering, Ohio, has a group of Scouts who are taking the merit badge class on campus to earn another requirement toward the rank of Eagle Scout. The class is part of a year-long series of classes that will provide Scouts the opportunity to obtain four “Eagle Required” merit badges: Citizenship in the Nation, Communications, Citizenship in the World, and Citizenship in the Community. By the time Scouts have completed these classes, they will learn about the differences between local, state, and federal governments, historic landmarks in their area, the different branches of government, quality communication skills including presentations and letter writing, and the importance of founding documents like the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.

Campus Director Robert Gast is an Assistant Scout Master for Troop 167 and is leading the merit badge classes. Robert, an Eagle Scout, feels that it is important to be involved in the community and that American National University is able to provide a great example for these young Scouts. He said, “American National University is a strong supporter of community organizations and I am proud to bring my Scouts here to learn about being good citizens.”

Several Scouts, including some whose parents are active or retired military gave some positive feedback about the campus’s military flag display in entrance. Robert said, “I explained American National University’s commitment to our military and showed them our Wall of Honor - they thought it was pretty cool.”

The group meets every other week on Sunday evenings, and the Scouts were inquisitive about American National University students. Robert said that some of the young students are very interested in a college education, especially the medical fields, “They saw the Surgical Technology lab and immediately wanted to know if there was a merit badge we could run in there!”

PHOTO: Scouts taking the merit badge classes and adult leaders. From left to right; Back Row: Chuck Foster - Assistant Scout Master, Sam Fortener, Robert Gast - Assistant Scout Master, Joseph Warner, Caelan Smith, Alex Trimbach, Jerry Trimbach – Assistant Scout Master. Front Row: Tony Foster, Nicholas Gross, Mark Minardi, Josh Griffith, Jacob Foster, Justin Koesel.

Education, Skill, and Persistence Pays Off for Graduate

Education, Skill, and Persistence Pays Off for Graduate

Jeramey May, a 2011 graduate of the surgical technology program at the Youngstown Campus, is preparing for his dream career at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation (CCF). When he entered the program in 2009, his goal was to be a scrub for CCF. He completed his clinicals at University of Pittsburg Medical Center, and upon graduation, he took a job with Grove City Community Hospital. He worked hard proving himself in the field and gained valuable experience while responding to ads for his dream job at CCF, keeping his application active. His persistence has paid off! Jeramey got a job with Hillcrest Hospital, a Cleveland Clinic hospital, and begins his new assignment on March 12th.

On-campus Career Fairs Assists Students in their Job Search

On-campus Career Fairs Assists Students in their Job Search

On March 6th, students at the Akron Area Campus attended an on-campus career fair with 14 employers on display. The employers showcased job openings for careers in healthcare, IT, and business. Representatives from the participating companies met with interested students and even held interviews on site. As a result, several students are being considered for positions.

During the career fair, student Elysia Trimble was one of many students to give out lots of resumes. “This was a great opportunity for me to meet directly with employers in my field.” She will graduate in June with a degree in Health Information Technology.

Career fairs are one of many ways that National commits to helping students succeed. The campus career centers are focused on helping students find employment in their field of study, and it also helps local employers who are seeking qualified and motivated candidates for employment.

PHOTO: Student Elysia Trimble is pictured submitting her resume to employer, Hattie Larlham.

Class Assignment Prepares Students for Job Search

Class Assignment Prepares Students for Job Search

Why did you choose this particular field of work?
How do you handle stress or pressure on the job?
Describe an experience in which you learned from one of your mistakes.

These were just three of many questions posed to students during the ‘Mock Interview Session’ held on the Florence Campus. Oral Communications Instructor Cheryl Heer invited Career Center Director Jane Steele and business administration student Stephen Sally, and all current students to participate in a workshop to discuss the best ways for job applicants to showcase their talents, skills, and accomplishments during the interview process.

As the students heard, there is nothing like preparation to calm the pre-interview nerves. Jane and Cheryl helped prepare the students by dividing the class between them and posing both typical and challenging questions to give them an idea of how to articulate their skills and abilities. They also emphasized the importance of eye contact, confident body language, and excellent communication skills.

This class assignment not only helped students master their oral communications skills but it also prepared them for their future job search into their new careers. Student Francis Kasonde said, “The mock interview session helped me to have confidence in myself and showed me what to expect.”

In addition to learning helpful techniques to build confidence and minimize anxiety, the session included a demonstration from student Stephen Sally on “How to Dress for Success” and present a professional image. In addition, factors such as attire, attitude, and professional self-esteem were included in the workshop session.

PHOTO: Student Brianna King is practicing her intervewing skills with Career Center Director Jane Steele.

Going Green

Going Green

On February 16th, students in Instructor Amber Middleton’s Environmental Science class took a field trip to the Richmond-Madison Recycling Center. Environmental sustainability - the ability to meet current human needs for resources, while ensuring future generations will have resources available to them - is an essential concept for environmental students to understand. The best way to observe real-life examples of how humans can “go green,” conserve resources, and help the environment is to visit a recycling center. The trip allowed students to see first-hand what materials can be recycled, what products are created using recycled material, and how the whole process works.

Sarah Habel, a business administration-management student at the Richmond Campus, thought it was interesting to see what recyclables were turned into, such as t-shirts made from plastic bottles and rulers and pencils made from money.

The Recycling Center also takes donations of clothes which they give to people in need, such as those who have lost their homes to fire, or inmates who are now living in half-way houses. They also send clothes to Africa.

PHOTO: Alyca Chenault, Carolyn Jennings (Environmental Awareness educator at the Center and American National University graduate), Sarah Habel, Stephanie Northern, Paula Richardson, Dixie Robinson, and Elmer Blanton.

National College Employee Returns from Tour of Duty

National College Employee Returns from Tour of Duty

Brad Marine, Regional Director of Military Affairs for the Kentucky region, recently returned from his deployment to Afghanistan with the Kentucky Army National Guard Agribusiness Development Team 3 (ADT 3). Over 300 family members and friends welcomed the unit home during a homecoming ceremony held on February 28th.

During his deployment with Operation Enduring Freedom, Brad served as a section leader for the Security Force team assigned to the ADT 3. The team’s mission was to help Afghan farmers develop sustainable agriculture.

In his role at National College, Brad serves as a resource for veterans and active duty service members. He provides information regarding educational benefits available through the Department of Veterans Affairs, other military organizations, and through National College.

National College offers two exclusive military grants to qualified veterans, active-duty military personnel, and their spouses and dependents. The Blue Ribbon Grant can provide up to $10,000 to supplement military educational benefits and the Armed Services Recognition Grant may provide up to $4,000 to help minimize out-of-pocket expenses.

Brad will be returning to his National College duties on April 2nd. The College welcomes him and all the members of ADT 3 home and we thank them for their service.

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.