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August 20, 2012

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Childhood Dream Comes True for International Student

Childhood Dream Comes True for International Student

Tsolmon Batbold, an international student from Mongolia, earned her associate’s degree in information systems engineering from the Louisville Campus and has found employment as a re-agent with the Geek Squad in Brooks, Kentucky. In her job, she performs quality control for the facility where 3,000-10,000 laptops from Best Buy stores across the country are serviced each day.

Tsolmon came to America four years ago on a student visa when the Global Leadership Foundation helped her obtain a scholarship. “I am very appreciative of their help. It was my childhood dream when I was in high school,” she said adding that American National University made that dream a reality. “Right now, I’m a hero to my family,” said Tsolmon whose mother and aunt traveled all the way from Mongolia to attend her graduation ceremony in May.

Tsolmon found American National University through an ad on the internet when she re-located to Louisville. She had previously attended a community college out of state but she found that National offered a more flexible class schedule which allowed her to work while attending school. She also preferred the small class size, hands-on training, and personal attention that she received from her instructors at National, which helped her to quickly grasp the information technology skills that she would utilize in her new career.

During her job search, Tsolmon worked closely with Career Center Director Donna Reed-Carson who informed her of the job opening at the Geek Squad. “She really helped me,” said Tsolmon of Donna’s assistance during their weekly meetings regarding her job search.

Tsolmon was thrilled when she was hired by the Geek Squad. “I feel good because I’m a full-time employee and the paycheck is really good. Before, I didn’t have any health insurance and now I have good benefits. I’m really happy with that!” said Tsolmon.

Tsolmon feels that opportunity abounds for her to move up the ladder in her IT career with the Geek Squad. She is so pleased with her new career and the experience that she’s had at American National University that she encouraged her friend, Ashidmaa Bayaraa, to come to America from Mongolia to earn her college degree. Ashidmaa is now enrolled in the medical assisting program at the American National University Louisville Campus and preparing for a career in health care.

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Students Learn Anatomy Close-up in Visit to Coroner

Students Learn Anatomy Close-up in Visit to Coroner

On July 5th, three medical assisting students at the Columbus Campus had a unique opportunity to exercise their classroom instruction and to gain new knowledge that will benefit them in their upcoming careers. Skylar Webster, Eric Stevens, and Diane Harris went with Director of Healthcare Education Beth Laurenz to the Franklin County Coroner’s Office to observe an autopsy being performed.

This trip allowed the students to learn about the human body firsthand, supplementing what they have read in textbooks and have heard during class lecture. “It really helped with anatomy and physiology,” Diane commented. While this may be an unorthodox manner for medical assisting students to exercise their understanding of anatomy and physiology, seeing the body in such a manner was a benefit for the students.

The students represented American National University and the medical assisting program well during this trip. Eric commented on how the examiner was taken by surprise by the amount of prior knowledge they displayed about anatomy. Once he saw that they were serious about learning, he opened up with them further, giving them a detailed demonstration of the procedure and taking the time to explain some of the processes, such as embalming, that go on before and after the autopsy. The students learned much on this trip, and it was interesting for all of them. Likewise, the staff at the coroner’s office had a very fulfilling time working with the medical assisting students and look forward to working with them more in the future.

Medical assisting students Skylar Webster, Diane Harris, and Eric Stevens are pictured at the Franklin County Coroner’s office.

Seminar Teaches Students to Dress for Success

Seminar Teaches Students to Dress for Success

The Dayton Area Campus recently hosted Paula Cosby (pictured) from Clothes That Work, a non-profit organization that provides interview-appropriate clothing and personalized confidence-building image services for their clients. Ms. Cosby presented a Dress for Success seminar for more than 35 students in conjunction with interview training provided by Art Wagner, career center director. During the presentation, Ms. Cosby stated to the group, “You probably already know that appearance counts, but this is especially true at the job interview. Your interviewer will be judging you not only on your answers to his questions, but also how you've put yourself together. We’re here to help you create a positive image.” The campus’s Student Activities Council provides support to Clothes That Work, which allows American National University students access to complimentary interview and work attire. Throughout the previous term, the SAC gathered and distributed over 100 donated business-related clothing items from students, faculty, and staff to Clothes That Work. Cookout proceeds of more than $150.00 received during the Dayton Area Campus’s Annual Business Week were donated as well. “Clothes That Work is proud to have American National University as a client and supporter,” said Ms. Cosby. “Together, we are making a difference.”

Students Learn Importance of Recycling

Students Learn Importance of Recycling

On July 10th, the Cincinnati Campus hosted Anne Gray (pictured) of Rumpke Recycling, Inc. Ms. Gray was invited by instructor Claude Dallas to speak to his environmental science students about the importance of recycling. Rumpke, Inc. owns nine landfills, ten recycling centers, and twenty waste transfer stations. Ms. Gray explained that “recycling means taking something old and making something new,” and students learned that 60% of the items that go into landfills could have been recycled instead.

Following Ms. Gray’s presentation, students were given a class assignment to create a recycling survey to be administered to other students on campus, and discussions have been initiated to implement a campus recycling program. Many students in the class have taken what they learned to heart, even contacting their city officials to request recycling containers for their homes and apartment buildings.

Waitress Finds Medical Assisting Her Path to Success

Waitress Finds Medical Assisting Her Path to Success

After attending a large four-year university for a semester, Bristol Campus graduate Samantha Cravens knew it wasn’t for her. The large class sizes were just too impersonal, so she decided to withdraw. She then got two waitressing jobs, but after two years Samantha was tired and burnt out. “I knew I didn’t want to be a waitress for the rest of my life,” says Samantha, so she started looking into other schools. She visited a few community colleges but thought the admissions representatives were hurried and pushy. Then she came to National. “I loved my admissions representative [Kaye Shipley]. She was so nice and helpful, and I really loved the flexible term starts.” Samantha enrolled in the medical assisting program and continued to work as a waitress while in school. She loved the smaller class sizes and that each class met only once a week, giving her plenty of time for homework and studying. “I also found the instructors very helpful,” says Samantha. “They really wanted their students to succeed and learn the material.”

After graduation, Samantha landed a job as a medical assistant at Tri-Cities Gastroenterology, where she preps patients for colonoscopies and endoscopies. Samantha loves her new job. “I am very happy,” she says. “It feels good to hear my family say how proud they are of me.”

Medical assisting graduate Samantha Cravens is pictured at work checking a patient’s blood pressure.

Desire to Help Others Leads Student to Medical Career

Desire to Help Others Leads Student to Medical Career

Kimberly Russell enjoys helping others, which is exactly why she chose to pursue a degree in medical assisting. While a student at the Madison Campus, Kimberly stayed very involved in the Student Activities Council. She also participated in the federal work study program and served as a peer tutor for her fellow students. Kimberly credits the medical assisting program for helping her learn the skills necessary that landed her a great job. She enjoyed the small classes and the career-focused format and was able to graduate with high honors and a cumulative GPA of 3.79. In her new job as a Registered Medical Assistant, Kimberly likes the flexibility of doing administrative and clinical support. “I use all that I learned now at my job every day. I love my job and love my supervisors,” Kimberly says. She demonstrates her competence and skills with exceptional patient interaction daily, and she has already been promoted once in the 2 months that she has been on the job. She hopes to stay in the medical field and continue moving up. The Madison Campus congratulates Kimberly on her success.

Externship Combines Computers and Management

Externship Combines Computers and Management

Yolanda Nick is using her education towards a successful career in business. She is currently a student at the Bartlett Campus majoring in business administration--management and will be completing her degree at the end of August. Yolanda has landed a successful externship with Memphis Housing Authority, where she is working in the information technology department. “I’m really enjoying having Ms. Nick as a part of the team,” said James Collins, director of information technology for Memphis Housing Authority. “She’s a very committed, proactive, and detailed-oriented person. I think that she will be an asset to any business entity.”

In her IT role, Yolanda has experienced firsthand how various computer applications, such as Microsoft Project and Excel, can be effectively utilized in the workplace. In addition to learning about various computer programs, she is also playing an important role in the department by assisting with the development of new IT procedures that will be followed throughout the agency. “I love it,” said Yolanda. “In addition to the actual IT tasks, I’m learning about the administrative duties associated with IT.”

Prior to attending National, Yolanda was working for Shelby County Head Start as a pre-school teacher. She learned about National through a conversation with a National student who told her how much they enjoyed the campus and classes and encouraged her to apply.

“It has been a great learning experience,” said Yolanda. “The teachers and classes were great.”
Yolanda plans to further her education by pursuing a bachelor’s degree in business administration.

Students Compare Standards in Nursing Home to Hotel

Students Compare Standards in Nursing Home to Hotel

Hospitality management met health care management as students at the Roanoke Valley Campus took a field trip to Carrington Place, a large and well-managed assisted living and nursing home in Botetourt County. Instructor and Academic Dean Gail van Duursen organized the field trip, which included a tour of the facility, for students in the tourism and hospitality program.

Student Daniel Hines is one of the managers who helps keep Carrington House running efficiently for its hundreds of residents. He assisted his fellow students during the tour and explained the aspects of housekeeping and security in a large health care setting, along with the required Occupational Safety Health Administration (OSHA) and privacy standards that must be maintained. Students were then given a class assignment to correlate these health care facility standards to that of a similar department in a hotel. Students were able to see that hotels and health care have similar standards of operation, and many students now feel comforted in knowing they will have a wide range of well-paying career options to explore upon graduation that they may not have previously considered.

Pictured during the field trip to Carrington Place are (l to r) Daniel Hines, C.J. Cromer ,Lee Small, Angela Ward-Davis, Amber Perrin, Crystal Conner, Kathy E. Garrison, Nicolette Rader, Morgan Hoosier, and Sonya Wisniewski.

Campus Builds Relationship with New Company Who Plans to Add 260 Jobs to Local Economy

Campus Builds Relationship with New Company Who Plans to Add 260 Jobs to Local Economy

The Danville, Virginia Campus has a good relationship with Web Parts LLC which moved to the area from Guatemala to develop software add-ons and operate a data center. The company will start with 10 employees and plans to employ 260 people within three years, according to owner and founder Brad Mainland. One-third of those positions would be programmers and two-thirds would be various support staff.

Graduate Jeremy Dickerson is one of the first new employees to be added to their staff. As a recent information systems engineering (ISE) graduate, Jeremy is trained in systems administration and has been placed in a support role at Web Parts. He is able to bring skills from his experience as a writer for a local newspaper prior to attending National College to his new job, where he will help with the company’s documentation as part of his position.

The firm’s primary clients are website developers, yet Mainland would like to develop add-ons for software used by academic institutions in the long term. Web Parts, which formed three years ago in Guatemala, had considered moving to Michigan, Florida, West Virginia, or Hawaii. They ultimately chose to invest $10 million in Danville because of the city’s high-speed broadband fiber network, which is connected to Washington D.C and Atlanta through Mid-Atlantic Broadband Cooperative infrastructure.

Campus Hosts Health Care Job Fair

Campus Hosts Health Care Job Fair

On August 8th, a Medical Exploration Expo organized by Career Center Director Stephanie Bell was held at the Harrisonburg Campus to benefit medical students and graduates searching for employment in the health care field. Companies represented at the Expo, included Amedisys Home Health, UVA Medical, SouthernCare, Inc., Team Nurse, and A-C Chiropractic, Inc. More than 20 current students and graduates circulated among the employer booths to discuss job opportunities. Representatives from the participating businesses appreciated the one-on-one nature of the event and indicated that they would be pleased to participate in similar events in the future and will work closely with our career center to provide position announcements for our job board.

Sherry Carr from A-C Chiropractic is pictured with current students and job seekers April Henderson and Samantha Dinges.

Perfect Score on RMA Exam is Great Start to Career

Perfect Score on RMA Exam is Great Start to Career

If Michelle Bradley were in the Olympics, she would have taken home the gold with her perfect score on the Registered Medical Assistant exam – 100%. She aced the exam, but she will tell you that it hasn’t always been easy.

With only her husband’s paycheck coming in, Michelle realized that she would have to find a job. She had accounting and administrative office skills, but her employers had gone out of business and her work history could not be verified. For the past fourteen years, she had been a stay-at-home mom raising her family, but when her son decided to look into colleges, she found herself with him in the admissions department at the Lynchburg Campus. Everything she heard during the meeting seemed to be the answer to her dilemma, and she decided to enroll in the medical assisting program.

“Attending National has been one of the best experiences of my life,” says Michelle. “I have made many new friends here. The staff and faculty were always willing to help me when I needed it.”

After a few terms, Michelle was offered the opportunity to participate in the work study program, and she was able to become re-accustomed to being back in the workforce after so many years. With her hard work, her motivation to help people, and her perfect score on the RMA exam, Michelle is ready to start her career.

“Attending National has been a great experience,” shares Michelle, “and one that I will never forget.”

Class Researches Local Effects of Unemployment

Class Researches Local Effects of Unemployment

Martinsville Campus Accounting Department Chair Alice Martin wants to involve her students in the community, and she was recently able to do so by assigning a research project to her Spring Term Economics class that focused on unemployment. The class of 11 students each interviewed two people in their neighborhoods to examine how unemployment affects local residents and the community. The students discovered that unemployment increases stress in the family, and that unemployed individuals are forced to cut back on the basics of life, including food, education, medical care, and discretionary spending because of a drop in or total loss of income. Alice said she assigned the project to make the students aware of the community and the problems people may face associated with a downturn in the economy. “People do not want to be on government assistance,” she said, “but some are forced onto it by economic struggles brought on by the loss of a job.” In the results of the survey, 95% of those who responded indicated that unemployment brought on an increase in family stress and depression, 33% indicated they or a family member had to postpone a medical procedure or medical care for financial reasons, 22% said they had to rely on food stamps and the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), 33% reported that other family members had to obtain jobs to provide support for the family, and 22% answered that their education had to be interrupted or delayed due to a lack of funding. The anonymous survey results were discussed in the class and will not be released to others, but the project was meaningful to the students because of the economic impact to the community and the human interest associated with people who have lost their jobs. The Martinsville Bulletin newspaper published an article on the work completed by the students in Alice’s class.

Department Chair Alice Martin is pictured (center) with students (l to r) Regina Edwards, Treva Hundley, Tabitha Mahajan, Tarsheka Warren, Lori Carter, and Arthur Finney discussing survey results.

IT Students Gain Realistic Practice and Help Others

IT Students Gain Realistic Practice and Help Others

On August 1, information technology students took part in the first PC Clinic offered at the Parkersburg Campus. Students applied the practical skills learned in class to assist attendees in various areas of technical support. Services offered included spyware and virus removal, wireless networking security advice, software and hardware consultations, and even a PC tune up to improve computer speed.

“This was the first opportunity for our new IT students to participate in a realistic troubleshooting and repair environment,” said Director of IT Programs Mark Swann, “For our second year students, it gave them a chance to step back and manage multiple support activities, thus taking the next step from technician to manager.”

The clinic was designed to not only provide students the opportunity to gain real life work experience in the area of technical support, but to also reach out to the local community. The event, which was free and open to the public, was well-attended by community members and National students alike—both eager to have their computers tuned up before the start of the new school year.

Prior to the clinic, HIT student Patrick Richards was experiencing problems with his home computer. “I saw the flyer in the lobby and knew our IT students would be able to help,” he said. “Once they removed a virus and fixed a few other problems, it’s running great!”

Plans are underway to hold another clinic in the spring, with hopes of making it a semi-annual event. “We had such a nice turn out from the community, and it was very helpful for the students,” said Swann. “I’m hoping the next clinic is even bigger.”

Student Caleb Pellegrin (front) and ISE student Ian McDonald (back) are pictured working on computers at the PC Clinic.

Degree Helps Grad Take Her Career to the Next Level

Degree Helps Grad Take Her Career to the Next Level

Alyca Chenault, a graduate from the Richmond Campus, has earned her associate’s degree in business administration-management. She utilized the employee tuition assistance program at Big Lots, where she works as an assistant manager, to help fund her degree. She also received funds from the Kentucky College Access Program (CAP) to help pay for her education.

Alyca had been working in retail for many years when she decided that she needed to earn her college degree to take her career to the next level. The single mother of two sons said that the unique class schedule available at American National University allowed her to work full-time while attending school full-time. “I feel like if I’d gone somewhere else, I wouldn’t have gotten that,” she said.

Although it was difficult at times, Alyca said that she’s glad that she stuck it out and completed her program with the support of her fiancé, her family, and her instructors. “A lot of people come up and tell me ‘if you can do it, anybody else can do it’,” she says. “It was hard. It was a struggle. But I got through it, and my kids were able to see Mom walk across that stage and receive her degree in business management,” she explained.

Now Alyca is the only employee in her store who has a college degree, and she uses the knowledge that she’s gained in her business classes to share information regarding proper business procedures and employee rights with her associates. Her favorite part of her job is assisting customers. “If there’s something I can do to help them to walk out of the store smiling, that’s what I’m going to do,” she says. “Like I tell my employees—they’re the ones providing our paychecks because if it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t have a job,” she explained.

With her sights now set on becoming a store manager, Alyca feels that she may be running her own Big Lots in the very near future. Her ultimate goal is to own her own retail clothing store and she feels that her instructors at National prepared her for that challenge as well.

“National has helped me so much,” Alyca says. “I advise anybody, if they have a chance to come to school, to check it out and see—great teachers and a great learning experience.”

Phlebotomy Certification Is Beneficial Addition to Medical Assisting Degree

Phlebotomy Certification Is Beneficial Addition to Medical Assisting Degree

On August 4, Danville, Kentucky Campus medical assisting graduate Tiffany Goode and medical assisting student Katie Bell passed the National Certified Phlebotomy Technician (NCPT) exam administered at the campus. It is beneficial for students and graduates to obtain phlebotomy certification because it may provide more job opportunities and higher pay for those seeking a job in the field.

Tiffany said that taking the certification test allowed her to overcome her fear of needles and has given her more confidence in her ability to perform the clinical duties required of medical assistants. “That’s a new comfort zone for me,” said Tiffany, who previously was more interested in working on the administrative side of a medical office.

Katie will use her certification as a stepping stone as she continues on to nursing school after completing her medical assisting degree. “I thought that it would help me in furthering my education and help me find a job within the health care field before I graduate and go on to nursing school,” she said.

Those who sit for the NCPT exam are required to have performed 25 blood draws prior to taking the test. Both Tiffany and Katie feel that the hands-on nature of their classes at American National University prepared them well for the exam. “Anything that you’d have a question about, you weren’t just told something, you were shown. That’s made a big impact on how I understand things,” explained Katie, who added that Director of Health Care Education Virginia Patterson helped them prepare for the exam.

“I studied like crazy. I finished what I wanted,” Tiffany said triumphantly.

Pictured are newly certified phlebotomy technicians Katie Bell and Tiffany Goode.

Veteran Uses Education Benefits To Return For His Bachelor’s Degree Online

Veteran Uses Education Benefits To Return For His Bachelor’s Degree Online Explore National's Online Program

Stephen Sally, who graduated from the Florence Campus with his associate’s degree in business administration-management, has returned to enroll in the American National University online program, where he is working toward his bachelor’s degree. Steve is a disabled veteran and is utilizing his Chapter 31 benefits to fund his education.

Steve’s wife Connie, also a graduate of American National University, was attending classes at the Florence Campus when Steve decided to check the school out for himself. He was unaware that educational benefits were available to disabled veterans until he talked with Director of Admissions Regina Becker. “Regina pointed me in the right direction. I took the ball and ran with it,” he recalled. “The benefits are out there to use. I feel that along with my military benefits, I deserve them.”

Steve became a military ambassador for the Florence Campus to inspire and assist other veterans. “If I can help out one person—I’ve done my job,” he said, adding that he strives to be professional in everything that he does, and that he’s tried to set a good example for the younger students on campus.
Steve did a lot of research before enrolling in the online classes. “I have a game plan for everything I do. I think it out and I make it happen,” he says. “Same thing with school—I’ve been successful and continuing online I’m still successful—straight A’s as of this semester,” he shared proudly.

He said that while he enjoyed his classes at the Florence Campus, the online program offers flexibility and independence. “It’s a different kind of learning—no face to face. But I love it,” Steve says of the online courses, where he gets constant feedback from his instructors and participates in discussions with fellow online students.

In both the on-campus and the online programs, Steve found instructors who cared and who pushed him to excel. Online instructor Althea Lancaster and Florence Campus instructor Cheryl Heer were two of those. “I feel like I’m a lot smarter person because they pushed me,” he said.

Steve encourages other veterans to take advantage of the benefits that they have available to them and to consider American National University. “I would suggest just checking things out,” he said. “It made a big difference in my life and in my family’s life.”

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.