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October 29, 2012

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National Graduate Furthers Education to Pursue a Degree in Human Resources

National Graduate Furthers Education to Pursue a Degree in Human Resources

While a student at the Charlottesville Campus, Crystal Smith decided a career in human resources was her goal for her future. Inspired by one of her business instructors, she liked learning about how the impact of a strong HR department can help an organization become successful. She graduated in 2011 from the business administration-management degree program as one of the first steps to accomplishing that goal.

Before coming to National, Crystal previously attended another college but she was unsure yet what career she wanted to pursue. She also had a hard time fitting their classes in her schedule because they were only offered during the day. National’s night classes worked for her. She also liked that her class sizes at National were not as big. “I felt there was more one-on-one interaction,” she explained. “I did have one experience at the [other college] where I was struggling with a math course…and the teacher wasn’t really available to help me…National was different.”

When she was finally able to decide what she wanted for her future, Crystal shared her career goal with Career Center Director Anne Brown who invited her to attend a meeting of the local chapter of the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) to expose her to the continuing education availed to current HR practitioners. The meeting proved beneficial as Crystal was introduced to the chapter’s president who took this budding HR professional under her wing.

Crystal knew that continuing her education would be imperative and began seeking out HR degree programs that would complement her associate’s degree from National. She is now pursuing her bachelor’s degree in human resource management at Capella University where she was able to transfer* her National College credits.

Crystal has been working as a faculty assistant for the UVA School of Law while attending college and her employer has supported her efforts in getting a higher education. “It was tough because I worked full time, but you know at the end of the tunnel, there’s a light,” she said as she explained the challenges she faced juggling a busy life and school work.

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National Graduate is Accepted in Master’s Degree Program at Liberty University

National Graduate is Accepted in Master’s Degree Program at Liberty University

When Donna Rhodenizer enrolled at the Lynchburg Campus in 2008, she had already completed an associate’s degree in criminal justice from a nearby community college and then learned that there was a hiring freeze in the law enforcement field. She found herself having to work two jobs to make a living. After 6 ½ years of shift work and companies going out of business, she decided to focus her education in a new direction. This time, she chose National College.

Donna enrolled in the business administration-management bachelor’s degree program and graduated in 2011. Not only did she maintain a high grade point average during her time at National, she also tutored her fellow students in accounting. Encouraged by her accomplishments, she decided to continue her education. She applied for a master’s degree program in management and leadership at Liberty University. Their program accepted her credits* from her bachelor’s degree from National College when she enrolled in the program.

“My time at National College really helped prepare me for my [master’s level] classes at Liberty,” says Donna. “When I first started my master’s program, I thought I was in over my head [but] I thought the same thing when I started National; I worked hard and stayed focused.” When she finishes this degree, she plans to continue and work towards a master’s degree in counseling: “You cannot have too much education, and I am happiest when my brain is stimulated.”

Donna Rhodenizer (pictured) has multiple degrees and plans to get more.

National College Degree Gets Graduate Closer to Goal of Becoming a Nurse

National College Degree Gets Graduate Closer to Goal of Becoming a Nurse

Brandi Adkins was working part-time for a restaurant when she decided set new career goals for herself. She came to National College based on recommendations from some of her customers. They told her about National’s small class sizes and its instructors that give personal one-on-one attention. Having already been interested in the medical field, she enrolled in the Bristol Campus’s medical assisting associate’s degree program.

“I am a single mom with three small children and really felt that an education in the medical field would help my family,” said Brandi. After she graduated from National, she decided she wasn’t done accomplishing her career goals in nursing.

Brandi enrolled in the bachelor of nursing program at King College. Because of the credits* she earned at National College, Brandi will be graduating with her bachelor’s degree in just two short years. “National College really prepared me for being a [nursing] student at King College,” says Brandi. “Although I miss the small class sizes, I am very excited about taking the next step to achieve my career goals.”

After Brandi Adkins (pictured) receives her bachelor’s degree, she plans to continue her education for a master’s degree in nursing to become a Nurse Practitioner.

Graduate’s Accounting Degree from National Opens Door for Bachelor’s Degree

Graduate’s Accounting Degree from National Opens Door for Bachelor’s Degree

For Candace Lilly, a degree from American National University provided career opportunities and the educational preparation to pursue a bachelor’s degree. She graduated from the business administration-accounting associate’s degree at the Florence Campus in 2006 and started using her new skills in a position for an accounting firm, Bottom Line Services.

In her job at Bottom Line, Candace manages daily office activities, prepares financial statements and payroll and tax returns. "While some of the courses were of general accounting concepts, others focused on single areas such as payroll and income tax,” she said as she explained how her courses at National helped her in her job. “This helped me gain a better understanding of the field and made my skills easy to apply in the workplace.”

With the confidence she gained from her National degree and job with Bottom Line, Candace decided to pursue an additional degree to reach her new career goal of becoming a registered tax preparer. She learned that her credits from National would transfer* to Northern Kentucky University so she enrolled in their bachelor of organizational leadership program. She received her degree in 2011 and credits the accounting and business classes she took at National for preparing her for the bachelor’s level courses at Northern Kentucky University.

Candace Lilly (pictured) looks forward to moving up the corporate ladder with her degrees from National and Northern Kentucky University.

Student Has an Educational Plan that Includes Multiple Degrees

Student Has an Educational Plan that Includes Multiple Degrees

Kristy Watson is pursuing a degree in health information technology (HIT) at the Bartlett Campus and plans to graduate in the spring of 2013. She is already planning ahead, and intends to continue her education at Strayer University for a Bachelor of Science degree to help her become a certified coding specialist and registered health information administrator for a large hospital.

Kristy has researched different colleges to continue her education and discovered that all of her credits from National will transfer* towards her program at Strayer. “My cousin, Christina Thomas, had a strong influence on my decision to attend National,” Kristy said. Christina, a 2009 National graduate and a student services representative for the Bartlett Campus, also pursued a higher education from Strayer after graduating from National. She graduated from Stayer with a bachelor’s degree in business.

Strayer has helped many National graduates pursue higher degrees. “National College of Business and Technology has prepared and equipped all of their students well for the rigorous studies at Strayer University and their efforts have been shown each quarter,” said Cedric Coleman, an admissions officer at Strayer.

Kristy has been pleased with her experience at National and noted how much she values the support she has gotten from the campus staff’s to help her achieve her goals. “The student-teacher ratio is also important to me,” she explained. “The instructors are very knowledgeable; [the] smaller class size makes it possible for students to get more from their studies.”

In the next three to six years, Kristy Watson (pictured) plans to have a few titles behind her name with help from her degrees from National College and Strayer University.

Nursing Graduate Continues Education and Hope for the Future

Nursing Graduate Continues Education and Hope for the Future

Kayla Bryant Tuers, a graduate from the Pikeville Campus, loves that she can support her family while helping others in her work as a registered nurse at Pikeville Medical Center. She came to American National University right out of high school and completed the nursing program in November of 2011.

In addition to her job, Kayla is also pursuing a bachelor’s in nursing through an online program with Chamberlain College of Nursing and she is on track to finish in February of 2013. “Almost all of my credits transferred* and many of my classes at National in the nursing field prepared me immensely for Chamberlain,” Kayla said. After earning her bachelor’s degree she plans to apply to the midwifery program at Frontier School of Nursing in Hyden, Kentucky. “I hope to get into that program and become a certified nurse midwife as well as a women’s health practitioner,” she explained.

Kayla said that her degree from National and her new career in nursing have had a huge impact on her family. “I work at a great facility and my family is in a much better place now. This year we have bought our first home!” she said with high hopes for her future.

Kayla Tuers (pictured) said, “I was very blessed to attend [National] -- it has changed my life for the better.”

Graduate Overcame Challenges of Busy Schedule to Accomplish Multiple Degrees

Graduate Overcame Challenges of Busy Schedule to Accomplish Multiple Degrees

Graduate Tamara Crumpley completed her associate’s degree in business administration-management from National’s Cincinnati Campus almost four years ago and is now working on a master’s degree from University of Phoenix.

Tamara first enrolled in National’s business administration diploma program in 2005 and finished a year later. Wanting more than just a diploma, she enrolled again in 2008 to earn an associate’s degree. Tamara said she found the instructors, college resources, and the smaller class sizes helpful in overcoming the challenges of a busy schedule outside of school.

Not only did she overcome her challenges, but she also used her new business skills to start and operate a commercial cleaning business. Through her hard work and dedication as a student Tamara, the campus has acknowledged her with the Leadership Award and the Alumni Hall of Achievement.

Since graduating from American National University, Tamara Crumpley has pursued higher education from the University of Phoenix and has completed her bachelor’s in business management. She is now working towards a Master of Business Administration degree.

Director of Health Care Education Challenges Both Her Students and Herself

Director of Health Care Education Challenges Both Her Students and Herself

Virginia Patterson, a graduate from the Danville, Kentucky Campus, has a passion for health care and over 10 years of experience working in the medical field. As director of health care education for the campus, she brings that knowledge to the classroom every day to share with the next generation of medical professionals who are training there.

Virginia is a certified medical assistant and has also received certifications as a pharmacy technician, and as a professional coder. After graduating from National, she earned a bachelor’s degree in health care administration online from the University of Phoenix. Her applicable credits from American National University transferred* which was important to her so that she could complete her bachelor’s degree as quickly as possible. Although online classes were very different from the one-on-one instruction that she received at National, Virginia felt well prepared for the bachelor’s level courses and she plans to start work on her master’s degree in health care management in the near future.

“The students ask me about all the letters behind my name and I tell them ‘I worked hard for those—you can get those, too,’” she said.

Virginia looks forward to challenging herself as she continues her education and to challenging her students during their education at American National University. “That feeling of pride that I have when they pass their certifications…when they come back and say ‘I have this awesome job’—I know that I had a little to do with that. When they succeed then I have succeeded and my campus has succeeded. It’s a win-win for all of us when they do well.”

Director of Health Care Education Virginia Patterson (pictured) graduated from American National University from three programs and then went on to graduate from the University of Phoenix.

Future Pharmacist Starts Her Education at National

Future Pharmacist Starts Her Education at National

Thai Ha Diem Hang, also known by her classmates and instructors as Hang Thai, successfully completed the pharmacy technician associate’s degree program at the Madison Campus in May of 2012. She was born in Vietnam and came to the United States to go to college in September 2008, after she studied English as a Foreign Language at Quang Nam University in Vietnam.

At the age of 23, in August of 2010, Hang Thai began her studies at National after applying for and receiving National’s exclusive Partnership for International Education Grant. She chose the pharmacy technician program because she says, “I wanted to be a pharmacy technician before I catch my dream to be a pharmacist one day.”

She has worked as an extern for Phar Merica and at Kroger Pharmacy where she got hands-on experience working in a pharmacy including entering prescription information into the computer system (POS), producing labels, and overseeing worker compensation and Medicaid reimbursements. She also assisted in inventory tracking, assisting customers, and placing and accepting drug orders.

After graduating in May of 2012, she made the decision to further her education and is now attending Nashville State Community College while preparing for the Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT). She wants a future career as a pharmacist.

Hang Thai (pictured) said that several of her classes at National College such as Chemistry, Introduction to Biology, Anatomy & Physiology, and Pharmacology prepared her well for her courses at Nashville State Community College.

National Graduate Comes Full Circle

National Graduate Comes Full Circle

In 1999, Annette Lawson graduated from National’s Martinsville Campus with an administrative secretarial diploma (which has been replaced by today’s administrative office specialist program) with highest honors. Before she graduated, she was already using the skills she learned from class in her job at Reynolds Memorial Hospital in the materials management department but her position was eliminated when the hospital downsized. With her National education and experience from the hospital, she was able to find a new job for Patrick County Public Schools where she worked closely with teachers.

In her role for the public schools system, Annette was frequently encouraging teachers to get a higher education. This made her realize that she should do the same. She decided to pursue a bachelor’s degree in business administration with Averett University ten years after earning a diploma with National where it all started for her. She ended up transferring* to a third school, Liberty University, to finish her business degree and graduated in September.

Annette is now working for the Martinsville Campus as the career center director. She has come full circle finding a job where she got her first diploma. “I am working with college students and giving back to National what National College gave to me,” she said. “I have a chance to make a difference and be a positive influence.”

Graduate and Career Center Director Annette Lawson is pictured on the right discussing possible career opportunities with student Justin Mills.

Graduate Continues Education to Accomplish Career Goals

Graduate Continues Education to Accomplish Career Goals

Theresa Byrd came to the Memphis Campus determined to earn her degree but she ended up with two degrees. “I wanted to be an inspiration for my grandchildren and show them that you are never too old to go back to school,” she said. She completed the associate’s degree program in business administration – management and then completed the health information technology degree program.

With an interest in the medical field, Theresa decided she would need a bachelor’s degree to accomplish her career goals and is now enrolled in a health care administration program at Strayer University.

She wants to work with patients and provide them with the best possible customer care. “With my personality and how I work with people, I believe I can make a difference,” she explained.

With two associate’s degrees and a bachelor’s degree, Theresa Byrd (pictured) will be plenty qualified for a career in health care.

Passion for Medical Career Inspires Veteran to Continue Learning

Passion for Medical Career Inspires Veteran to Continue Learning

Catherine Sparling received her surgical technology degree from the Dayton Area Campus in August of 2012 and has chosen to continue learning at the Wright State University College of Nursing and Health. “My experience at American National University reinforced my love of the health care field,” she said as she explained her passion for her career. “I knew early on that I’d want to expand my education and chose Wright State as my next university.”

Catherine joined American National University following her career in the United States Air Force where she served as a human resource assistant and medical records technician for a medical support squadron. Prior to enlisting, Catherine was employed at Massilon Community Hospital as a Lab Technologist.

Monica Wiley, the campus’s director of surgical technology programs, isn’t surprised that Catherine decided to continue her education. “Catherine asked for permission to work extra clinical hours past the programmatic requirement,” she said as she described Catherine’s intense focus on her career. “Her drive and dedication in both her work and personal life really set a standard of excellence for our program.”

Surgical technology graduate Catherine Sparling is planning to start courses at Wright State University in January.

* American National University is proud to be able to bring you these success stories of American National University graduates furthering their education at other institutions. It is important to remember that acceptance of academic credit is always a decision made by the receiving institution and is based on the individual circumstances of each student. The fact that one student’s credits transferred to an institution does not mean that credits will always transfer, even to the same institution. If you intend to transfer academic credits earned at American National University to another institution you should check with that institution in advance of enrollment at National to determine what their policy will be concerning your ability to transfer credits. In some cases, American National University may have an articulation agreement in place which will specify what credits another institution may accept. Check with your campus director for more information concerning articulation agreements.

Hope Harrell – Difference Maker at the Parkersburg Campus

Hope Harrell – Difference Maker at the Parkersburg Campus

Hope Harrell at the Parkersburg Campus

Director of Admissions
I have the responsibility of showing our students how to get from where they’re at to where they want to be and the honor of being with them each step of the way.


  • National College employee since January, 2011
  • Parkersburg Campus’s Outstanding College Member of the Year, 2011

My degree in communications and my previous background in leadership and teambuilding have definitely proved valuable in my experience at National.

I appreciate that our students are real. They don’t hesitate to admit that they’re intimidated at the idea of going back to school. Nor are they ashamed to admit that what they’ve been trying hasn’t worked. They’re mature enough to say, “I need a change,” and I’m blessed enough to be able to be a part of this experience with them.

Our first graduation was one of my favorite moments! We had 5 graduates, 4 of which were my students and what a bittersweet ceremony it was! I had built relationships with these 4 students, and being able to be a part of their career training, involved in their employment assistance, and end the evening with the comfort of knowing that they would each be successful in their careers was a huge reward for me. I can’t imagine how emotional our larger graduations will be!


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.