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October 15, 2012

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Medical Assisting is a Family Tradition at Bristol Campus

Medical Assisting is a Family Tradition at Bristol Campus

Pictured are mothers and daughters (l to r) Angie Simpson, Brittany Baker, Stephani Carbary, and Sonia Carbary.

A career in health care runs in the family for two mothers and their daughters at the Bristol Campus. Graduate Angie Simpson and her daughter, student Brittany Baker; along with mother-daughter duo Sonia and Stephani Carbary, all have medical assisting in common. But that’s not the only thing.

Both mothers influenced their daughters’ choice of school. When Brittany found herself with a daughter of her own to support, Angie, who graduated in 2005, urged her to further her education in order to be able to better provide for herself and her family. “She came to me one day and said ‘Ma, I’m thinking about going to college – where do I go, what do I do?’ explained Angie, who replied, ‘Well…you can go where I went!”

While the situation was slightly different for Sonya and Stephani, the maternal influence was nonetheless crucial. “I came back for my degree because I’d already had three career changes,” explained Sonia. Stephani had already been to another college, but wasn’t happy with the result. “I actually went to [another] college, and finished, but the career I had was kind of low on the totem pole,” she admitted. Disillusioned by that experience, she was resistant to the idea of returning to school at first, but Sonia prevailed.

“Once she got me down here, and I got to looking at the programs they had, I decided that they had careers I’d love to go into,” Stephani explained.

All four women are in complete agreement on one thing: their appreciation for their program director, Director of Healthcare Education Sheri Jessee. “She is an awesome teacher…she is so helpful,” said Angie. “Once I got her…everything became clear.”

Angie worked as a medical assistant for several years after graduation. She even worked with National College externs. “I helped train a lot of them when I was working…it was fun,” she said. Currently, she is a stay-at-home mom raising two younger children and helping out from time-to-time at her husband’s business. As her younger children enter school, though, she knows she has access to National’s career center (a lifetime benefit) and admits she is looking forward to getting back into the workforce.

For her part, daughter Brittany is nearing the halfway point of her program and enjoying herself. “I just felt like this was the perfect school – I love it,” Brittany said. Sonia agrees. “Everybody…makes you feel that you’re singled out as a person, not as a number, and I just really love it here,” she related.

Is there competition in the family? “Definitely! What are you talking about, this is my mom!” exclaimed Stephani. Sonia echoed that sentiment, but mother and daughter both agree that they support each other as well.

One thing is clear: the advantages of a National education is one thing all four ladies agreed on – as have many other students and graduates who have family members who are National alumni. Read their stories inside this special issue.

In the middle photo, Sonia Carbary practices drawing blood from her daughter Stephani under the watchful eye of their instructor, Director of Health Care Education Sheri Jessee.

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Mother and Daughter Pursue HIT Degrees Together

Mother and Daughter Pursue HIT Degrees Together

The health information technology (HIT) degree program at the Bartlett Campus not only caught the attention of Cortisa Jenkins, it interested her mother, Helen Johnson-Jenkins, as well. Cortisa came to National after a bad experience at a local college. Cortisa and Helen were both so impressed during their initial visit, they decided to enroll. While the campus environment was appealing to them, the 20 percent expected growth in the HIT field also helped them in their decision.

Now that they are students, Cortisa and Helen are enjoying the campus and how students, faculty, and staff work together to build new careers. They especially appreciate the hands-on instruction they receive in the classroom. Although anxious and not knowing what to expect in the beginning, they feel confident in their training now.

Cortisa said she likes seeing her mom on campus, “I like having her around.” Helen stressed the importance of focusing on long term opportunities and wanting a better life. She regrets not going back to school long ago. “I wasn’t thinking about my goals. I wanted money and I even worked two jobs,” says Helen. Now she’s more focused on gaining the knowledge and degree needed to move up at her current job and says her motivation comes from her daughter, her coworkers, and her collegiate life.

Cortisa Jenkins and her mother Helen Johnson-Jenkins (pictured, l to r) have a desire to help others and a passion for the health care industry – two important traits that will help them become successful in their new careers.

Sisters Encourage Each Other in their Education Journey

Sisters Encourage Each Other in their Education Journey

Sisters Carolyn Moore and Teresa Forbes are both pursuing new careers at the Knoxville Campus. After being a stay-at-home mom, Carolyn wanted to set a good example for her children and finish a college education. She enrolled in the medical assisting degree program at the Knoxville Campus because she had previously worked as a certified nursing assistant and once attended another school to pursue a nursing degree. The medical field was a natural choice for her.

Teresa always wanted a career in the business field. She worked at Panasonic for three years but was laid off when the business closed. She then ventured into tax preparation for two years with H&R Block. She and her sister Carolyn would often talk about going back to school together.

Carolyn took the lead and started her program at National in June, 2011. They both recalled the time when Carolyn asked Teresa if she was ever going to go back to school. Teresa was encouraged by Carolyn’s experience at National. It wasn’t too long after that conversation that Teresa set up an appointment to meet with an admissions representative: “I decided it was now or never.” She enrolled in the business administration-accounting program.

Carolyn is grateful to have such great caring instructors. She noted how everyone at the College has been helpful and willing to share their knowledge in the courses being taught. Teresa agreed and said, “I have had a wonderful experience here at National College. To the faculty and staff, a special thank you for making our goals and dreams realistic. We couldn’t ask for better mentors.”

Sisters Teresa Forbes and Carolyn Moore (pictured, l to r) agree that they would recommend National College to anyone that is ready to start a new career.

International Sisters Pursue Medical Careers in the United States

International Sisters Pursue Medical Careers in the United States

Sisters Rawan and Banan Alabbadi chose to enroll at the Youngstown Campus in February, 2010 after being referred to American National University by a friend. They decided that National was the right college for them because of the small class sizes. Rawan and Banan both chose the medical assisting degree program because they love to help people.

Born and raised in Jordan, Rawan and Banan are of Arabic origin and moved to the Youngstown area seven years ago with their father. They spoke little English. Overcoming the obstacle of being new to the United States, both are more than halfway through their program. They are planning to graduate in April, 2013. Rawan and Banan credit their success to caring instructors that have helped them in their studies, especially Debra Romeo and Rita Johnson.

Rawan and Banan recently took a thirteen hour flight to Jordan to meet their future husbands. After graduating next year, they plan to be married in their native country, travel the Midwest for a year, and relocate to Florida, where they will carry out their future goals.

Sisters Banan and Rawan Alabbadi (l to r) are excited to start their new lives with their medical assisting training.

Mother and Daughter Pursue New Medical Careers Together

Mother and Daughter Pursue New Medical Careers Together

Mattie Joiner and her daughter, Erriel Joiner, are both preparing for new careers in the health care field. Mattie is enrolled in the health information technology (HIT) program at the Cleveland Campus; Erriel is studying medical assisting and hopes to graduate alongside her mother next year.

Mattie chose American National University because of the small classes that allow her to closely interact with her instructors. She previously worked as a billing and coding specialist for a local hospice and hopes to use her new HIT skills in a position at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Cleveland. With her experience in billing and coding combined with her HIT degree, she will have a competitive advantage.

Erriel chose National to build a better life for her and her sons. Like her mom, she wanted a career in health care. She said she is impressed with the small classes and the experience of her instructors who have worked in the medical field. After she gets her medical assisting degree, she plans to continue her education and become a registered nurse.

Mattie Joiner and her daughter Erriel Joiner (pictured, l to r) like to be able to support each other at school; they also have support from their family and friends.

Aunt Encourages Niece to Enroll in College

Aunt Encourages Niece to Enroll in College

When Diana Butcher persuaded her niece, Veronica Marcum, to come with her to an admissions appointment at the Pikeville Campus, Diana told her that they were just going to “check it out.” But much to Veronica’s surprise, their visit went so well and the admissions staff made everything so simple, they both enrolled that day in the medical assisting degree program. They both agreed that the flexibility of schedules was a deciding factor that led them to come to National.

Veronica remembers saying, “Diana, we are college students!” Diana admitted that she was ready to get started in her program, and she wanted Veronica to come to school too, so a little trickery was well worth it.

Diana was previously employed as a certified nursing assistant in a nursing home and came to National to further her education in the medical field. She graduated last May and started working as a medical assistant right after finishing her externship at Commonwealth Quality Care. As is the case for many National graduates, her extern supervisors liked her work so much that they offered her a job. She loves her new job: “National gave me the opportunity to see my dreams become reality.”

Both Veronica and Diana enjoyed the small class sizes and personal attention from their instructors. Veronica will graduate in 2013 and has been able to work full-time and come to school to get her degree. “[National] has improved my outlook and makes me feel like I can do better in life,” she said.

Graduate Diana Butcher secretly hoped her niece Veronica Marcum (left) would enroll at the Pikeville Campus with her.

Education Inspiration Flows from One to Another

Education Inspiration Flows from One to Another

Megan Lowery Moore was attending another university when her friend, Angela Webb, suggested that she check out American National University. Angela, a medical assisting graduate from the Richmond Campus, knew that Megan was not happy at the big university and thought that National would be a great fit for her. Megan agreed and enrolled in the business administration-management program . “I was just not another face in the crowd. The instructors and staff knew who I was,” she said as she explained the campus’s small class sizes.

Megan was a hard worker. She worked for the campus as a work-study student and she owns two businesses selling products for Thirty-One and Mary Kay. She hopes to one day earn a position with a company where she can work her way up to management.

Megan’s sister-in-law, Misty Hisle, witnessed her positive experience at National and became inspired to get a college education. Misty specifically liked hearing about Megan’s small class sizes and experienced instructors. She enrolled in the campus’s medical assisting degree program.

Through Misty’s experience, her husband, Brian, became encouraged and also enrolled in the medical assisting degree program just three months after his wife. Brian said that the small class size and the personal feel at American National University are great.

Both Misty and Brian love being in class with the same students they started school with and making new friendships as well. The education inspiration continues as Misty and Brian have also motivated their daughter, Hannah, to do better in school.

Misty and Brian Hisle are pictured (left to right) with Megan Moore who inspired them to pursue a medical career.

A Family In Pursuit of a More Rewarding Career

A Family In Pursuit of a More Rewarding Career

Francine Guthrie and Sheena Raisor are a dynamic mother-daughter duo who are committed to getting an education and to supporting one another. They were both working as certified nursing assistants when they decided that they wanted more rewarding careers in the medical field. They enrolled together at the Louisville Campus in 2005 and each earned an associate’s degree—Francine in medical assisting and Sheena in health information technology.

After graduating, Sheena was a stay-at-home mom, caring for her newborn twins. She then decided to return to National to work toward her bachelor’s degree in health care management. Sheena’s children are her motivation for continuing her education. “I want to see them growing up realizing mommy has a college education,” she said. She is also taking a refresher course in health information technology. “I was happy to know that [National] offers refresher courses because I had been out for so long,” she explained.

Francine decided to join her daughter and continue her education as well. She returned to earn her diploma in medical billing and coding: “It doesn’t hurt to have more skills.”

Francine Guthrie (left) and her daughter Sheena Raisor (right) have supported one another throughout their educational journey at American National University.

Daughter Gets Confirmation of Education Pursuits

Daughter Gets Confirmation of Education Pursuits

Amber Newcomb knew that it could be a sign from above when she discovered that American National University offered a diploma program in medical billing and coding – a career field she wanted to pursue. Amber’s mother, Anita Newcomb, graduated from the Danville, Kentucky Campus with an associate’s degree in business administration-management shortly before she passed away in 2008. Amber’s aunt, Nancy Smith, graduated from the campus, as well.

Amber decided to change gears and train for a career in medical billing and coding after she became disillusioned with her social work program at a large university. Her friends who had graduated with a degree in social work weren’t able to find jobs and she wanted career training in an area that was in demand.

Her mother always spoke highly of the American National University staff and faculty. “She loved all of her instructors. They would always go the extra mile to help her,” Amber explained adding that she felt welcome at the campus as well. “I wish that I’d have come here to begin with,” she said with a smile.

Amber Newcomb is pictured during her first term at National and she knows that her mother would be proud. “She always loved this college...She really did enjoy it,” Amber said.

Husband Takes Steps to Earn a Promotion

Husband Takes Steps to Earn a Promotion

Jerry Marshall, a student in the business administration-management program at the Florence Campus, saw how a degree from American National University changed the life of his wife, Chikako. He knew, based upon her professional success, that it would be the key for him to acquire the necessary skills to be promoted from his position in a factory to achieving his goal of becoming a supervisor in the shipping department.

Chikako and Jerry met while he was serving in the Navy and stationed in Japan. A few years after they married and moved to Florence, Kentucky, Chikako enrolled in American National University. Among the many benefits of a degree from National for Chikako was helping her achieve the American dream of a college education and a career. Besides the computer skills that she developed, Chikako also benefited from the history and American government classes that she took. According to Chikako, these classes provided the knowledge that helped her pass her citizenship test with a score of 100%. (To read Chikako’s success story, see the September 3rd issue of the National News.)

Besides enriching each other’s lives, their classes at American National University have also demonstrated to their two sons how important good study skills and the pursuit of an education are. Jerry says that he strives to get the best grades he can to demonstrate to his sons the many benefits of an education. “Each day I learn something new from my classes, and I tell my family how good that makes me feel.”

Jerry Marshall is pictured in the top photo giving a presentation in his Oral Communications class. Chikako Marshall (pictured in bottom photo) has a new career and a US citizenship thanks to her education from American National University.

Mother Decides to Enroll during Son’s Admissions Meeting

Mother Decides to Enroll during Son’s Admissions Meeting

Kevin Bradley graduated from the information systems engineering program at the Lynchburg Campus in May, 2012, with his mother, Michelle, in the audience. A year later, he will be at the Lynchburg graduation ceremony again but this time in the audience watching his mother receive her associate’s degree in medical assisting.

When Kevin started thinking seriously about college and about getting a degree in computer technology, he enlisted the support of his mom. He enjoyed working on computers and he liked the smaller classes and the hands-on approach to learning that he found at National College. As Michelle sat in the admissions meeting and listened to the opportunities that National offered, she realized that this could be her chance to start a new career. She enrolled and started classes at the same time as her son.

Kevin and Michelle have finished their programs and have found jobs where they are using their new skills. Kevin is working with computers at a local distribution center and Michelle landed a fulltime job with a multi-office medical practice.

“National College was a great experience for me,” Kevin said. “With the small classes, it was easier to learn and work together as a team.”

“I was extremely happy to see Kevin walk across the stage and get his degree,” Michelle said with pride for her son. “With my degree, I was able to find a job quickly. It's a job I love and I get to travel to different offices within the company.”

Kevin Bradley is pictured in top photo accepting his degree from Campus Director Bill Baker at the spring graduation ceremony held earlier this year. Michelle Bradley is pictured with a letter from the American Medical Technologists confirming her new certification as a registered medical assistant.

Student Encourages Husband to Pursue Dream

Student Encourages Husband to Pursue Dream

When medical assisting student April Brookover began her career training at the Parkersburg Campus, she knew that the small environment and personalized support provided by the staff and faculty would help her excel in her field. She also knew that National would be a great fit for her husband Chad. “I really loved how helpful and supportive everyone was, even though I hadn’t been to school for many years,” said April of her experience. “I knew that Chad would enjoy being a student here, as well.”

Encouraged by his wife’s positive experience at National, Chad enrolled in the campus’s systems and user support diploma program. “I had always been interested in computers and I know that the technology field isn’t going anywhere,” Chad, a veteran of the Navy, said of his career choice. “We have three kids who are active in school and sports, so it’s nice that we are able to work around our busy family schedule and also pursue our career goals.”

Although graduation is still a few months away, April and Chad are already looking to the future. April is pursuing an additional certification in phlebotomy and Chad is exploring various information technology certifications. By pursuing training in fast-growing fields, April and Chad are confident that they are receiving the skills necessary to be successful in their individual careers and support their family.

Chad and April Brookover are pictured in the computer lab at the Parkersburg Campus.

Experiences at other Colleges Prompt this Mother/Son Duo to Find Success with National College

Experiences at other Colleges Prompt this Mother/Son Duo to Find Success with National College

Teresa Craig is a student in the pharmacy technician program at the Martinsville Campus and her son, Steven Hylton, is enrolled in the business administration-management program. Both have experience attending other colleges but they like the small classes and one-on-one attention they have found at National.

“National’s course offerings match my schedule of work and family responsibilities,” Teresa said. Her goals are to complete her program, become a certified pharmacy technician, and get a job at a local pharmacy or hospital.

Steven credits his mother for encouraging him to enroll at National and pursue a college degree. “Everything is competitive, and it is hard to find a good job. I want to get my degree and move to another area where jobs are more plentiful,” he explained.

Pictured are Teresa Craig and her son, Steven Hylton, who are pursuing new careers together at the Martinsville Campus.

Mother Inspires Daughter to Start a New Career

Mother Inspires Daughter to Start a New Career

When Verdale Miller first told her daughter, Eirneshia Carter, that she was going to college to study health information technology at the Madison Campus, she had no idea what effect this would have on her. All parents hope to inspire their children to do their best and strive for self-improvement, and that is what Verdale did when she decided to start a new career.

Eirneshia enrolled in the pharmacy technician program and she started attending classes at the same time as her mom. They both enjoy the small class sizes at National, as well as the family atmosphere, on-campus events, and computer labs that are easily accessible at the campus.

“I like my classes [and] my teachers,” said Eirneshia. They make learning fun and easy by studying together and helping each other with class projects. Verdale has helped put her family on the course to a successful career that both she and her daughter are very proud of.

Verdale Miller is pictured studying with her daughter Eirneshia in the campus’s library.

Husband and Wife Find Value in National’s Support to Veterans

Husband and Wife Find Value in National’s Support to Veterans

Laura Holley had recently finished her military career with the U.S. Army when she sat down with an admissions representative at the Danville, Virginia Campus and learned about the benefits National College offers to veterans. “I could get my degree with no out-of-pocket expenses thanks to the Blue Ribbon Grant, free textbooks, and other support offered by National College.” With the support of her husband, Will, Laura enrolled in the administrative office professional program.

“I enjoy the small classes and the fact that the instructors know who I am and I can have a relationship with them. It is very easy to talk with instructors when you need help and they will sit down and spend time with you,” she said.

Shortly after Laura started classes, her husband Will, who is also a veteran, started thinking about going back to school. They reviewed their military benefits and learned they could both go to school at the same time with no out-of-pocket expenses. Will decided to enroll in the business administration-management program. “National College works with us so that we can get classes together which helps us study together and challenge each other when the classes get tough,” Will said, adding that he and his wife currently have a 4.0 grade point average.

“The small classes and the support of the instructors make it easier to get everything done, such as family requirements, work requirements, and obviously school requirements,” Will said as he continued to explain the benefits of an education with National College. “We have been able to do things at National that we would not have thought we would have ever been able to do.”

Both Laura and Will plan to pursue bachelor’s degree after they graduate from their associate’s degree programs.

Laura and Will Holley are pictured with Campus Director Mark Evans (left) during a trip to Washington DC where they met with legislators about their success with National College.

Sisters Band Together While Pursuing Medical Careers

Sisters Band Together While Pursuing Medical Careers

Sommer Graham, Rebecca “Becky” Herold, and Kristi Thornsbury are three of four siblings pursuing medical careers at the Princeton Campus. Sommer is the oldest and often helped care for her younger siblings as her parents worked hard to provide for the family. She knew as early as the 5th grade, when she helped care for her sick grandmother, that she wanted to work in the medical field.

Becky is the second-born in the family. As a child, she was a self-proclaimed tomboy who loved playing basketball and softball. She wanted to own a daycare center and was positive that the medical field was not an option, but things changed and she ended up working as a certified nursing assistant (CNA) for 8 years.

The third sister, Kristi, grew up intrigued by the medical profession, always saying that she was going to be a doctor - perhaps a pediatrician. In high school, she took classes geared towards the medical field and hoped to one day make a career of it.

Sommer began the college search first, looking into several local schools including online programs but she had a hard time finding one that would be a good fit with her lifestyle until she found National College in Princeton. The course scheduling at National would be a perfect match. After she discovered National, she couldn't keep it to herself and encouraged her sister Becky to apply. Sommer and Becky then worked on sister Kristi to join them. Kristi was reluctant at first, but she decided to ride along with them for a tour of the campus. It was during the tour that Kristi decided she did not want to spend the rest of her life working as a CNA; she wanted something more.

All three are more than pleased with their experience as National College students so far. Sommer appreciates that National allows flexibility with courses, is close to home, and offers instructors and staff who she considers "hometown" people who care about the circumstances of others. She says that having the support of family and each other has made the learning experiences more enjoyable. Becky echoes this sentiment, saying, “The best part of going to National is that I did it with my two best friends, my sisters!”

Kristi also agrees with her sisters. She feels that being at National has been one of the best experiences in her life. “No matter what problem I may have there is always a staff member willing to help and if they cannot help you they will find someone that can,” Kristi says. “The instructors are always willing to help you one-on-one both inside and outside of the classroom. That is what I love about National College.”

Sisters Kristi Thornsbury, Becky Herold, and Sommer Graham are pictured left to right at the Princeton Campus.

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.