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July 30, 2012

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Medical Assistant Comes to National for a More Complete Education

Medical Assistant Comes to National for a More Complete Education

Rebecca Abernathy recently walked across the stage at the Madison Campus graduation ceremony and accepted her associate’s degree in medical assisting. She is already working in her new career field as a registered medical assistant for an internal and adult medicine office in Hendersonville. Rebecca is grateful to National’s Business Partnership Grant program and her previous employer, a swimming pool sales company, that helped pay for her to continue her education while minimizing her personal expenses. .

Rebecca had previously completed another college’s diploma program in medical assisting, but she wanted a degree. She decided to go to National because it offered more than other schools. She also liked that National’s courses and instructors explained the purpose behind the procedures rather than just teaching the basics. She said she liked that National doesn’t just teach the skills, unlike her previous college where she didn’t really know what she was doing. “Once I went to National, that’s where I got the whole picture and got more in depth,” she shares, “why you do these certain things.”

Rebecca is happy in her new position in the medical field. She is able to combine hands-on care and front desk work at the practice, and she loves interacting with the patients. “I’ve learned a lot being in internal medicine,” she said. “You do pretty much everything from the head to the toe. So there’s something new every day that I learn.”

Rebecca said she really enjoys working with the patients as a medical assistant. “For a lot of the people we see here, it’s the highlight of their day going to the doctor’s office,” she says, proud of being a part of the welcoming attitude of the practice, “To make somebody’s day just by giving them a smile or listening to them, I really love the interaction.” She’s a long way from the swimming pool business where she began, but Rebecca has continued to learn and grow every step of the way, using what she’s learned from each place she has worked to further her education and career goals.

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Student is Confident He is on the Right Career-Track

Student is Confident He is on the Right Career-Track

Chad Lee, student at the Akron Area Campus, was working as a landscaper and a painter when he decided that he wanted more for himself. He knew that in order to make a career change, he would need an education to improve his skills.

When he enrolled, he decided to work towards a new career in business administration-management. It wasn’t long after he started taking classes that he was sure he had made the right career choice. He has enjoyed his classes so much that he has decided to continue his education and will pursue his bachelor’s degree after he graduates with his associate’s degree in August.

Chad shares that American National University and his instructors have given him confidence to continue with his education. Ultimately he would like to start a non-profit organization to help youth because people reached out to him when he was young and he wants to pay back that generosity. In addition to his new found confidence, Chad has also made many friends at National, many of whom have graduated in business and have moved on to successful careers and are an inspiration to him.

Siblings Find National College Fits Them All

Siblings Find National College Fits Them All

Mary McClay, a student in the business administration-management and accounting programs at the Dayton Area Campus, is making an impact with her family and in the workplace.

Mary, who has been with the Ohio Women’s Bowling Association since 1997, oversees all operations of the association and the annual championship tournament. She is also the ‘go to person’ for many association projects. As a result, she was recently awarded the prestigious Ohio Women’s Bowling Association Manager of the Year.

Regarding her work for the association and the award, Mary mentioned that American National University has been a key part in her success. She says, “My teachers at National have motivated me. They have pushed me through, kept me going, and pushed me beyond my limits. They kept me interested…I even found the textbooks to be helpful later in my job.” Mary’s training and strong work ethic also impressed her extern supervisor at Christopher’s Restaurant where she got practical business experience in the administration office. They liked her so much that they offered her a job.

Beyond her career, more important to Mary is the impact of her education on her family. Her brother, Steve Himes, is now a student in the pharmacy technology program at the Dayton Area Campus because of her recommendation. “One of my dreams is to graduate with my sister, and I will graduate next summer,” Steve states with pride.

Mary also inspired her sister Julie Himes to go to National. “Seeing my sister go back to school gave me incentive to also go to school, knowing that I can do it, even as an older student,” said Julie who enrolled in the campus’s surgical technology degree program. “The things I have learned at National have helped me in my current job. The teachers and staff are very personable. The teachers are very helpful and make themselves available to help me, and they make learning fun.”

Mary McClay is pictured on the left with her brother Steve Himes and her sister Julie Himes

Graduate Thanks College, Family for Help to Succeed

Graduate Thanks College, Family for Help to Succeed

Casey King, a recent graduate of the business administration-accounting program, is another example of a student from the Columbus Campus who has experienced success shortly after graduation. She was hired at Homeport, which is a part of Columbus Housing Partnership, and is responsible for doing tax basis calculations for Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) partnerships as well as analyzing the different lines of business that Homeport has.

Casey’s relationship with Homeport began as part of an externship program arranged by Accounting Chair Julie Kovac and Career Center Director Detra Wilson. Her supervisors at Homeport were so impressed with Casey’s performance as an extern that they created a position for her.

Casey is really enjoying the challenges that her new job presents for her and she feels very confident in her ability to meet those challenges thanks to the education she received at American National University. “National prepared me as far as giving me the tools to conduct myself in a professional atmosphere,” she states. In addition to learning all about accounting, she says she also found a lot of value in the computer classes she took since she had little prior experience with computers. She credits instructors like Catherine McKinley and Kelvin Webb for standing by her as she gained the computer skills necessary for her success. She also noted that Julie Kovac gave her a lot of one-on-one attention and really helped ignite her passion for accounting and guide her toward majoring in it. “Julie rounded out my sharp edges and gave me a great accounting foundation to build on,” Casey remarked.

“American National University went the extra mile for me through my two years,” Casey shares warmly, “It was a hard, challenging road, but someone always had my back and wouldn’t let me quit. My husband and family really helped and encouraged me as well, and they wouldn’t let me quit, either.”

Julie Kovac praises Casey’s enthusiasm as a student saying, “For Casey, learning was not just going through the motions . . . [she had] a desire to understand how, when, and why.” Likewise, Joe Powell, Director of Finance and Grants at Homeport, described her as a fast learner who was very eager to learn.

After finishing her associate’s degree at American National University, Casey is only going to continue on with her professional and educational development. Right now she is focused on building experience and a good foundation at Homeport, but plans on pursuing her bachelor’s degree in accounting soon.

Casey King is pictured in the center with LIHTC Director of Finance Joe Powell and Chief Financial Officer Valorie Schwarzmann.

The Right Education Gets ISE Grad the Right Job

The Right Education Gets ISE Grad the Right Job

Serdonnafer Collier graduated from the information systems engineering (ISE) degree program at the Nashville Campus in May 2012, but the fall before he graduated he had already landed a job as a database and server administrator with Ricoh USA where he monitors the servers, troubleshoots computers, and makes sure that all software applications are running and up-to-date.

Prior to enrolling at National, Serdonnafer was working for a brokerage company as a broker and stand-by IT administrator. In 2009, the company had to stream down their workforce and Serdonnafer was one of many to be let go. After months of trying to land a job in the IT field, he was unsuccessful due to a lack of formal training. “I did not have enough education to continue to work in the IT field,” says Serdonnafer. “I knew I needed to find a school that would offer not only books and studying, but a school that offered hands-on training.” After seeing the success of his sister and brother-in-law, both National graduates, he decided National was the place he needed to be.

Serdonnafer says the enrollment process was simple, and the admissions representative and student services department were very open about what would be expected of him and what he could expect in return. “Before I enrolled into the school, I was able to meet the director of IT, Dr. John Kelly, and he sat down with me and made me feel at home,” Serdonnafer shares, “Prior to National, I visited several schools, but none was more open and transparent.”

With his new training, Serdonnafer knew getting a job would not be difficult. “I was 100% prepared with the help of National,” he says. “I knew I would be very confident sitting down and talking with a hiring manager.” And Serdonnafer’s confidence served him well. He got a job with Ricoh USA and says his experience at National helped him get there. “Everything I learned from class and working in the externship program, from deploying software to active directory configuration, I am able to apply to my everyday job. And I have a solid, paying career that I love.”

Former Student Named ‘Employer of the Quarter’

Former Student Named ‘Employer of the Quarter’

As a student in the business administration–management program at the Memphis Campus, Larrian Currie started a business called Diamond Home Healthcare to provide quality home care to patients in the Memphis area. Even though she had not graduated, she felt she had a solid foundation of business principles that she could use to build her company. “The human resources and accounting classes have really helped me,” she said.

As her business started to grow, Larrian needed to add to her staff. She worked with the campus’s career center director, Tieriney Hendricks, to build a pool of possible employees, specifically medical assisting graduates. As a result, Diamond Home Healthcare has hired four National graduates. Larrian praises the graduates in their job and particularly applauds recent graduate Pattisha Boles for her great personality and good communication skills. “[She] is terrific with the patients,” Larrian says.

Campus Director Noel Denney recently joined Tieriney to award Larrian and Diamond Home Healthcare with the Employer of the Quarter Award. Honored to accept the award for supporting the College and its graduates, Larrian said, “Never give up and always follow your dreams.” She has plans to expand Diamond Home Healthcare into Arkansas and Mississippi and is looking forward to a continued relationship with National and hiring more graduates.

Larrian Currie is pictured with Career Center Director Tieriney Hendricks.

Graduate Fits Right Into Her Position

Graduate Fits Right Into Her Position

Barbara Proctor, recent medical billing and coding graduate, excels in whatever she puts her mind to. In her final term at the South Bend Campus, Barb completed her externship at Integrated Billing Solutions in South Bend where she was an outstanding representative of American National University. Her work as an extern earned her a position in the billing department at Elkhart General Hospital – a hospital that outsources its patient billing to Integrated Solutions.

Barb is extremely pleased with her new position and said she is working with an “outstanding” trainer who is teaching her something new every day. Her supervisor, Kim Kauffman, was equally complimentary saying, “Barb is certainly a quick learner and fitting right into her position.”

Jackie Redding from Integrated Solutions’ commented that Barb is representing their organization well, “[Barb] is one who goes beyond what is required of her in a very quiet manner…[she] is such a pleasant person to have around and we are pleased to have her on our team.”

Barb is the first graduate of South Bend to be hired directly from her externship and has set a standard for other students to follow. Her outstanding representation of American National University is an excellent example to local employers of what they can expect from National students for both their externship and staffing needs.

Graduate Giving Back to the Medical Community

Graduate Giving Back to the Medical Community

Since graduating in 2004 from the Lynchburg Campus with her medical billing and coding diploma, Michelle Phillips has established herself well in her career. In fact, she is doing so well that she recently returned to the campus to help other medical billing and coding students start their careers. On July 19th, the campus hosted a Medical Career Fair and Health & Wellness Expo to provide career information and to promote a healthy workforce. Michelle attended on behalf of her employer Gastroenterology Associates.

Michelle started working with Gastroenterology Associates in November of 2000. She wanted to expand her options at the medical office so she enrolled in the medical billing and coding program and graduated in May of 2004. She continued to build on her career by passing the certification exam to become a Certified Professional Coder (CPC).

At the Medical Career Fair, Michelle spoke to job seekers about the opportunities available in the medical field. With the possibility of future job openings, she also collected several resumes. During the career fair, she told students: “Always chase your dreams, no matter what circumstances may arise. You are the only one who can make those dreams come true.”

Michelle Phillips is pictured (3rd from the left) at the career fair with students Brigette Flood, Wendy West, Brenda Carroll

Project Management Class Completes Landscaping Project

Project Management Class Completes Landscaping Project

On Saturday, July 21 students in the Project Management class at the Danville, Virginia Campus completed a class assignment that also supported the Danville Area Human Society. The students were given a landscaping project where they needed to use techniques learned in class from developing a plan to executing it in full. This included mapping out the planting of shrubbery, flowers, and butterfly bushes and installing landscaping timber and signs. Department Chair Linda Law is proud of her students and their project management skills put to use in real-life setting. “This was one of the best student projects I have seen since I have been in Danville,” she said, “The teamwork and camaraderie were amazing.”

Pictured are Juliette Miller, LeeAnn Martin, Shelia Jeffress, Mary Thomas, and Scott Steph from the Danville Campus as they carried out a class assignment.

Campus Announces ‘Employer of the Quarter”

Campus Announces ‘Employer of the Quarter”

On July 25th, the Martinsville Campus recently presented a plaque to The Results Companies in Stuart, Virginia, to recognize them as the campus’s designated “Employer of the Quarter.” The Results Companies is an award winning Customer Experience Management (CEM) provider of innovative contact center services for Fortune 500 companies. They specialize in the development and deployment of customer-centric solutions through multi-channel (voice, email, chat) and multi-lingual customer support.

Campus Director John Scott said that The Results Companies are a valuable partner of National College as they have hired at least six graduates from the Martinsville Campus within the last six months. “They are hiring graduates from various programs including the office technology professional, business administration-management, and information systems engineering degree programs,” John explained. “We are glad to have formed this partnership as it is a win-win for the students and the Results Companies.”

Career Center Director Wayne Mitchell (left) and ISE Department Chair Patricia Schofill (4th from left) are pictured presenting the Employer of the Quarter award to Director of Domestic Operations for Results Frank Weber, Results Recruiter Sharon Pulliam, and Results Site Director Jonathan Bell.

Local Company’s Employees Come to National to Sharpen Software Skills

Local Company’s Employees Come to National to Sharpen Software Skills

National College’s School of Professional Development recently wrapped up an Excel Intermediate class at the Roanoke Valley Campus. A group of 12 professionals from Graham White, a manufacturing company in Salem, participated in this short-term, accelerated course that covered the essential functions of Excel. National College’s President Frank Longaker visited the class and presented the completion certificates to the 12 participants.

The School of Professional Development offers accelerated courses in 41 programs from soft skills to IT certifications. The classes are from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm and include the most relevant, high-demand topics that reflect today’s industry needs.

National College President Frank Longaker is pictured presenting a certificate of completion to a participant of the most recent class of the School of Professional Development.

Student Found National and Medical Field Her Keys to Success

Student Found National and Medical Field Her Keys to Success

Shonda Prickett, a certified medical assistant who graduated from the Richmond Campus, has dreamed of working with children all of her life. She was placed as an extern at Rockcastle Pediatrics in Mount Vernon, Kentucky and just a week after finishing the externship, she was hired by the practice.

“I was more than thrilled that I got a job so quickly and it’s a job that I love,” she said with excitement. “I love children so it’s a dream come true to be able to work around children—it’s what I’ve wanted to do since I was a child.”

Before coming to National, Shonda attended a local university for four years. When she became ill it spurred her interest in health care. “I was going to be a music teacher and had a change of heart and decided to go into the medical field. I felt that I wanted to go to National to do that because my husband had been there before and loved the school,” she explained.

While some of her classes at the university had 100-200 students in attendance, she said, “It was nice to have one-on-one time at National—a lot more so than what I experienced at [the other college].” Her classes at National averaged 10-20 students.

Shonda said that her externship was a humbling experience. “I felt prepared from what I learned from National and I’m hoping that I impressed them enough that they appreciated my help during my externship. There are so many people here who know far so much more than what I do and I hope to learn as much as them,” she said of the staff.

Dr. Callie Shaffer with Rockcastle Pediatrics said that Shonda had the skills that they were looking for when she worked as an extern for the practice and that they were pleased to offer her a permanent position. “She was always prompt and had an excellent work ethic. She’s also very good with patients and has a very kind manner,” explained Dr. Shaffer. “So, when we could keep her on it was just a benefit.”

Rockcastle Pediatrics currently employs 3 other American National University graduates and several of those also began as externs. “It’s working out really well,” said Dr. Shaffer of the progression of students from extern to employee.

Shonda credits National with her success in her new career. “Without graduating from National I would not have the kind of job experiences that I have now. I think that I would be in a job that I didn’t necessarily like and a pay range that wasn’t going to accommodate me and my family. I think that it has completely altered my way of living for the rest of my life,” she shared.

Shonda is so enthused about her new career that she has inspired her mother, Priscilla King, to enroll in the Richmond Campus medical assisting program, as well.

“She was so interested in what she was doing and she talked about how small the classes were. That really inspired me,” explained Priscilla. “I’m tired of not being able to do the things that I would like to do because of lack of education.”

“For her to have an interest in going to college—I just felt like I owed it to her to (help her) do something that she wanted to do after a lifetime of struggling,” explained Shonda who paid her mother’s enrollment fee and bought school supplies to get her mother started in her classes.

Shonda encourages others to follow their dreams. “Go for whatever you dream to have because a lot of times God will give us dreams that are too big for us so that we can grow into them.”

Shonda Prickett is pictured in the above photo with Dr. Callie Shaffer. Shonda’s enthusiasm for National’s medical assisting program inspired her mother Priscilla King (below) to enroll in the program at the Richmond Campus

Students Lend Hands and Skills to Health Fair

Students Lend Hands and Skills to Health Fair

On Friday, July 20, Director of Health Care Education Bonnie Kiefer, Instructor Theresa Collins, and medical assisting students from the Louisville Campus partnered with Shawnee Christian Healthcare Center to provide blood pressure checks and glucose testing at the WHAS 11 Health & Fitness Expo.

Medical assisting student Brittany Stice put attendees at ease as she chatted with them while performing the screenings. Brittany said she enjoyed volunteering at the fair and she felt that the experience will be great to include on her resume.

“Today American National University is another set of hands,” said Monica Leprad, director of neighborhood transformation for Shawnee. “They help better equip us to come out in the community to share our story and to do screenings. I know it’s an opportunity for their students to get some hands-on training so it’s a win-win,” she explained. Ms. Leprad said Shawnee was participating in the health fair to share information about the services that they provide and to encourage healthy lifestyles. This was the third health fair in which Shawnee has partnered with the Louisville Campus

“The students are wonderful. They truly have been a face for us as far as how they connect with individuals who come up to our table,” said Ms. Leprad.

Louisville medical assisting student Brittany Stice is pictured doing a blood pressure screening at the WHAS 11 Health & Fitness Expo.

Degree with a Double-Major Gets Graduate Back into the Workforce

Degree with a Double-Major Gets Graduate Back into the Workforce

Pamela Broomfield, who graduated from the Pikeville Campus in May, has been accepted into the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP). She came to American National University for job training after losing her job in data entry for a commercial collections company.

SCSEP is a program operated by Big Sandy Community Action Program. It places seniors, ages 55 and up, in jobs in non-profit community agencies where they receive hands-on experience in a variety of areas. They receive payment while working in the program and the program lasts for 48 months.

Pamela, who earned an associate’s degree with a double major in computer applications technology and business administration—accounting, was referred to the program by the Office of Employment and Training where she participated in the Job Club. She worked extensively with the job club and with Career Center Director Kelly Raupach during her job search, especially to overcome the extreme anxiety that she experienced during interviews.

She said that on her first day on the job for SCSEP, “I was just so happy—I grinned all day long. My face hurt!” she recalled adding that it felt good to be back working again.

She is currently working at the front desk of the office where she greets clients and helps process paperwork for those applying to the program. She tries to take on tasks that are out of her comfort zone. “I’m not comfortable dealing with the public and that’s exactly what I’m doing now—and I’m actually enjoying it. What I learned [at National] and the people [at National] gave me the confidence so I can do this,” she explained.

Shirley Stacy, program coordinator for SCSEP, said that Pamela has progressed quickly in her work. “We’re really impressed with her work. She’s very intelligent and very eager to learn and willing to learn what they’re showing her,” said Ms. Stacy. “She’d be an asset to anybody.”

“There’s so much I can learn. You’re actually going to a job site and doing actual work— [gaining]on the job experience,” said Pamela who feels lucky to be back in the workforce and using the new found set of skills that she gained in her classes at American National University.

Graduate’s Career Shifts into High-gear

Graduate’s Career Shifts into High-gear

Vonn Wales, a graduate from the business administration-management associate’s degree program at the Lexington Campus, was hired by Cash Express as a floating assistant-manager and received a promotion to manager of a brand new store in less than 30 days.

Cash Express contacted Career Center Director Cheryl Howell, who encouraged Vonn to apply for the job. Vonn said he appreciated that the career center was another set of eyes and ears to help in his job search—which can sometimes be a full-time job.

Before coming to American National University, Vonn worked in several supervisory and management positions but he said that he needed a college degree to take his career to the next level. He had attended community college after graduating from high school but he decided that American National University made more sense for a working adult because of the flexible schedule and the length of the program.

“The reason for coming [to National] is so that I can get what I needed to know to do my job without any hesitation and get back out into the field…Mainstream college is hard because certain classes are only offered certain times a day or certain hours—I can’t work like that,” said Vonn who emphasized that the flexibility at National was great.

Vonn feels there is plenty of opportunity for growth with Cash Express. He has returned to National to earn his bachelor’s degree which he feels will offer him even more job security.

Extern Making the Most of Her time at Community Clinic

Extern Making the Most of Her time at Community Clinic

Julia Smalley, a medical assisting and medical billing and coding student from the Danville, Kentucky Campus, is externing at Nelson County Community Clinic, a charitable healthcare organization that provides basic medical, laboratory, and pharmaceutical services to uninsured residents of the community.

Julia enjoys getting hands-on experience as she assists patients to their exam rooms and takes their vitals, performs glucose testing, and makes appointments.

“Every patient is different; two people can come in with hypertension but the underlying cause is different for each individual,” she explained with new knowledge that she’s gaining every day.

Julie is making the most of her time as an extern. “I am going to get out of my education what I put into it. My success relies on me,” she said.

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.