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July 09, 2012

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Information Systems Engineering Students Earn Certifications to set them Apart

Information Systems Engineering Students Earn Certifications to set them Apart

Two students from the Lexington Campus information systems engineering program (ISE), Michael Stephens and David Boulden, have obtained their CompTIA A+ Essentials certification. The certification is a credential that validates information technology skills and it is required by a number of employers. “It’s your first basic stepping stone certification,” explained George Camp, director of IT programs for the campus, “It’s what companies look for to make sure that you’re capable and able to perform as a computer technician.”

The 100-question certification test covers computer technology, networking, and security. David and Michael both said that they took numerous practice tests in preparation for the exam. “I was pretty confident, I practiced a lot for the test,” said Michael who’s been building and repairing computers since he was 15. He hopes to someday find employment as a network administrator.

George said that the certification will set David and Michael apart from other job applicants. “If two people are applying with their associate’s degree in ISE but one has certifications and one does not—they’re more than likely going to go with the one with certifications,” explained George, who also said that certifications may mean a higher level of pay for employees.

“It’s going to show that I’ve taken the time to actually learn and get certified by the companies that are setting the standards,” said David. “That way they’ll see on my resume that I’m serious about it. I want to get as many certifications as possible.”

Both David and Michael plan to earn several more certifications in the coming months including the CompTIA A+ Practical Applications certification and the Windows 70 680 certification.

ISE Program Director George Camp is pictured at the Lexington Campus with Michael Stephenson (center) and David Boulden (right).

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Return to School Rewards Grandmother with Career in which She Can Advance

Return to School Rewards Grandmother with Career in which She Can Advance

Susan Rodgers (pictured) worked as a certified nursing assistant in home health for over 15 years while she raised her grandson. Seeking to advance in her career and have the ability to earn more money to support herself and her grandson, Susan came to the Knoxville Campus and enrolled in the medical assisting program in the fall of 2009. She maintained a 3.4 grade average and was on the Dean’s List for five terms, all while working a part-time job. She said she wants to encourage older students that it is never too late to go to school. At 50 years old she is proud to have walked across the stage this past May at Knoxville’s graduation ceremony.

After passing the Registered Medical Assistant exam, Susan started a new job working for Take Care Clinics and loves working with patients. She is glad that she is able to handle the various duties and responsibilities she is given. Working at a great job that she enjoys, with opportunity to grow, after successfully completing her degree at National, Susan continues to serve as a great role model to her grandson and others.

Course Helps Students Develop the Traits of Success

Course Helps Students Develop the Traits of Success

The College Success Course has proven to be beneficial to both new and returning students since its recent implementation at the Madison Campus. The 6 hour course offers an in-depth introduction into the journey of higher education. During the class, students are given the opportunity to explore their educational goals and examine how education may relate to succeeding in college, career advancement, and overall lifelong accomplishment.

Students critically think about their reasons for attending college and how motivation, techniques in time management, and learning styles impact student success. They also gain a better understanding of themselves, their strengths and weaknesses, and personal values and vocational interests that could help them determine what careers would best fit them. Assessments such as these allow the students to approach their new endeavors with an open mind.

National’s mission emphasizes the importance of lifelong success. In encouraging each student to build communication skills, effective networking relationships, critical thinking, creative problem solving, and self-awareness, National aims not only to equip students with the knowledge they need to succeed in a specific field, but urges students to develop these traits that will enrich them for the rest of their lives. In keeping with National College’s mission, the College Success Course has been a reflection of the College’s dedication to the training and educating of men and women for a full life and a successful career.

Madison students are pictured as they participated in the campus’s most recent College Success Course.

Campus Hosts Governor’s Bowl Challenge Food Drive

Campus Hosts Governor’s Bowl Challenge Food Drive

On Thursday, June 14, the Roanoke Valley Campus hosted the Governor’s Bowl Challenge food drive. Governor Bob McDonnell issued a competition challenging the Chambers of Commerce in Virginia to collect food for the Feeding America food banks from Memorial Day through July 4th. The Salem-Roanoke County Chamber accepted the challenge and set up twenty food collection sites around the valley. National College was chosen to be the designated collection site on June 14. Students, faculty, and staff donated food for the cause. Local news station, WSLS News Channel 10, was on hand to do a live broadcast, and the Salem Ice Cream Parlor showed support by scooping free ice cream for anyone who donated.

“People tend to give to pantries more in winter, but forget them in summer,” said Salem-Roanoke County Chamber Executive Director Debbie Kavitz, “But students home from school don’t have breakfast or lunch provided in the summer, and the need is equal, if not greater.” Chamber president and Roanoke Valley Campus Director Lew Bishop said, “When the governor issued the challenge, we at the College wanted to participate. Without the school lunches [in the summer], there is a huge need in this whole area to fill the food banks, and we’re happy to be a part of that process.” The winning Chamber will be personally presented by the governor with a locally hand-crafted bowl in appreciation of their efforts.

Lindsey Ward from WSLS News Channel 10 is pictured broadcasting live at the Roanoke Valley Campus about the Governor’s Bowl Challenge Food Drive.

Campus’s Partnership with Chiropractic Center Benefits Both Students and Center

Campus’s Partnership with Chiropractic Center Benefits Both Students and Center

The Lynchburg Campus has an invaluable partnership with Central Virginia Chiropractic Center that has benefited students in the medical programs in many ways. Dr. Darlene Holland of the chiropractic center has been a long-standing partner with National College, offering employment and externship opportunities to students in the medical programs since 1989. She has also participated in mock interviews with students helping them to gain insight into what a job interview with a physician can be like.

Dr. Holland recently met with Director of Health Care Education Sue Coleman and Campus Director Bill Baker to discuss ways to raise awareness for National Scoliosis Month. She provided Sue with information that would help students in their understanding of this medical condition.

Scoliosis is an abnormal curving of the spine and affects approximately 10 million people including children. Most people with scoliosis are not diagnosed until the disease becomes pronounced, which is usually when curvature of the spine becomes obvious or a patient is plagued with back pain. Sue tied this information into the curriculum in her Anatomy class last week as students studied a chapter on bones and muscles. “It was really nice to have some information about scoliosis from Dr. Holland to incorporate into the material,” said Sue.

Currently, medical assisting student Kelly Meyer is working with Dr. Holland and the chiropractic office as an assistant. She is planning to begin her externship there next term. Dr. Holland has been a continuous advocate of National graduates. Partnerships such as this are an incredible value to the campus community, as well as the community at large.

Director of Health Care Education Sue Coleman (left) and Campus Director Bill Baker (right) met with Dr. Darlene Holland of Central Virginia Chiropractic and brought back information about the disease to the campus.

Tennessee State Legislator Inspires Students During his Surprise Visit to Campus

Tennessee State Legislator Inspires Students During his Surprise Visit to Campus

The Bartlett Campus recently received a surprise visit from Senator Reginald Tate, Democratic state senate member for Tennessee’s 33rd District. As a native Memphian, Senator Tate has maintained a strong commitment to the community and upheld strong ethics and morals. In addition to his political background, Senator Tate is also President and CEO of Accent by Design.

His visit on campus was very inspiring for the students. “I believe that inside of every person, is a desire to achieve greatness,” said Adrena Jackson, Campus Director, “For our campus, failure is simply not an option.”

During his visit to the campus, Sen. Tate visited many of the classrooms and the library. He also talked to several staff members and students while on campus. He was impressed with the campus and expressed his commitment to helping the campus succeed in its future endeavors.

Flexible Class Schedules Were Key to Success for Award-Winning Graduate

Flexible Class Schedules Were Key to Success for Award-Winning Graduate

Adam Ward (pictured) tried several different schools until he found the perfect fit at the Bristol Campus. He has a passion for numbers, and after his first accounting class at a local community college, Adam knew he had found the career he wanted to pursue. Unfortunately, he found that the upper level accounting classes he needed were only offered during the day at the community college. With a full-time job and a family to care for, he knew that getting his education was only going to be possible if he could take classes at night.

Adam found that at National he could not only take his classes at night but the terms were year round and he could finish quicker than the typical semester schedules at the local community college. He graduated with his bachelor’s degree in business administration- accounting and was also awarded the Dorothy Coulter Hancock Award for high academic achievement at the commencement ceremony early this spring.

Adam now works as the accounting clerk at Industrial Electronics Services, Inc. in Gray, TN. “I use the things I learned from National every day here,” says Adam. He still keeps his Cost Accounting textbook in his office and references it when needed. When asked what it was like balancing family, work and school, Adam smiles and says, “It was difficult but worth it.”

Graduate Shares with Medical Assisting Students What to Expect on the Job

Graduate Shares with Medical Assisting Students What to Expect on the Job

Hollie Canipe, registered medical assistant and graduate of the Charlottesville Campus, recently shared with a class of Clinical Medical Assisting students the real world experience of her job at the University of Virginia Health Systems (UVAHS). The students heard how the instruction and knowledge that they receive in the classroom is transferred into reality at a medical office setting. She shared the value of having a high level of competency as a student and how it impacts one’s ability to function at a proficient level once employed.

Hollie shared that she really enjoys her role as a medical assistant in an extremely high-paced clinic at UVAHS and feels that her education at National College prepared her well to be an integral part of the health care team. The participating students appreciated hearing from her first-hand experience and gained valuable insight into the work world they will soon be entering into. We are proud of our graduates like Hollie who have gone on to be successful and come back to share what they have learned with students who are following in their steps.

Graduate Hollie Canipe is pictured (standing) speaking to students in the Clinical Medical Assisting class about applying their book knowledge to real-world situations in the medical field.

Annual Summer Career Expo Offers Employment Opportunities

Annual Summer Career Expo Offers Employment Opportunities

On Tuesday, June 26th, the Princeton Campus held its annual Summer Career Expo with 13 companies on display as potential employers for National graduates and students. Representatives from the U.S. Army, the West Virginia Department of Rehabilitation, and Saunders Staffing were a few that participated and talked about job opportunities within their organization. Students and graduates were encouraged to attend the expo in professional attire with resumes in hand, ready to network with potential employers.

Career Expos are a valuable experience for National College students as well as local businesses. Connie Saunders, president of Saunders Staffing in Bluefield, West Virginia, said she is always searching for new talent for her local clients, “When I hire Woodrow Cecil [a National College student who attended the expo], he is not temporary to me; he becomes my permanent employee who will go to many different clients,” she explained. “Seventy percent of the people I place end up on the payroll of my clients. I am a bridge, so I always need more people on staff.” Ms. Saunders knows that she can always find willing and able workers at National College.

Students Lorietta Gail Anderson, Tasha Clemons, and Erica Atwell are pictured talking to Barbara Cole from AT&T, a potential employer at the Princeton Campus’s career fair.

Work-Study and Degrees Pay Off for Accountant

Work-Study and Degrees Pay Off for Accountant

For Janice Cain (pictured), her degrees in accounting and business management are already paying off. Janice is using the skills that she acquired at the Florence Campus as a seasonal tax examiner with the Internal Revenue Service and as an employee at Bottom Line Services where she works in the billing department. Besides using her accounting degree in these positions, Janice is also pursuing a bachelor’s degree in accounting in National’s online degree program. She says that as a non-traditional student, American National University has been the perfect fit for her and has increased her confidence to achieve her professional goals of working in the accounting field.

Besides her coursework, Janice feels that she also benefited from being a work study student. She stated that her work study position really helped her become self-motivated and a self-starter. An additional benefit that Janice gained as a work study was learning how important it is to be a team player and develop rapport in the workplace by helping fellow students, faculty, and staff.

Medical Assisting Grad Impresses Interviewer So Much She is Hired on the Spot

Medical Assisting Grad Impresses Interviewer So Much She is Hired on the Spot

Kayla Damron (pictured) was surfing the internet when she came upon American National University’s website. She had been attending another school and didn’t feel like she was getting the attention that she needed there. When she saw that National offered small class sizes and a personalized learning experience, she knew that it was the place she was meant to be.

Kayla enrolled in the medical assisting degree program at the Pikeville Campus and it wasn’t long before she knew she had made the right decision. “I really enjoyed my instructors,” Kayla says enthusiastically, naming a few in particular: Wilma Storey and Rita Crum. “Each one had professional experience which I found really helpful especially when I began my externship,” she states. Kayla did her externship at Mettu, Crider and Johnson Pediatrics where she was able to put the skills she had learned in the classroom to use.

After graduating, Kayla worked with the campus’s career center director and got an interview at the Wellness Center/Med Spa. Her interviewer was so impressed with her knowledge and skills that she was hired on the spot! Kayla enjoys her new job and says that her family is happy that she was able to get her degree and find work doing something that she loves. Kayla plans on eventually going back to school obtain a bachelor’s degree in healthcare management – possibly in National’s online degree program.

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.