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March 04, 2013

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National College Students Showcase Skills to Legislators

National College Students Showcase Skills to Legislators

On Wednesday, February 20th, students from American National University had an opportunity to showcase their skills to state legislators during Career College Day at the Capitol in Frankfort, Kentucky. The third annual event, sponsored by the Kentucky Association of Career Colleges and Schools (KACCS), featured students from career colleges from across the commonwealth who showed the diversity of career college training through demonstrations in the areas of healthcare, culinary arts, technology, massage therapy, and horseshoeing.

American National University was well represented at the event by students from the Louisville Campus in the medical assisting and information systems engineering (ISE) programs. Under the supervision of director of health care education Bonnie Kiefer, medical assisting students Brittany Stice, Stacie Riley, and Shanetta Jones conducted glucose and cholesterol screenings during the event. Veteran students Donna McMillian and Anthony Brooks, from the ISE program, were joined by ISE program director Terry Newby, as they displayed their proficiency in computer technology. Campus Director Vincent Tinebra, who serves as treasurer of the board for KACCS, also participated in the event.

State Representative Kim King, who represents Kentucky’s 55th District, visited the American National University booth and had her glucose checked. She said that she frequently reads the National News and particularly follows the articles from the Danville, Kentucky Campus which serves constituents in her area.

“I wanted to come in and encourage them,” Representative King said of her participation in the event and her support of the career college students. “I think this is a wonderful path—especially the medical care industry. I serve on the Economic Development Committee and invariably we see that that’s the direction that we’re going to need a lot of additional workforce in,” she added.

State Representative Diane St. Onge, District 63, who also attended the event, said that she was proud of the students who were there representing their schools because many of them have families to care for and work full-time while earning their degrees. “I’m very much for the education and the opportunities that the schools do afford the students,” she explained of her support of career education. “I am a very big supporter of that. All of the skills that you’re demonstrating here today are admirable and are being taught very well.”

Medical assisting student Stacie Riley said that she was honored to represent American National University at the event and that she’d found all of the legislators to be very friendly. “They were very willing and ready to learn and to assist us with learning,” she said as she continues to build skills to become a valuable member of her community’s workforce.

In the top photo, medical assisting students Stacie Riley, Brittany Stice, and Shanetta Jones (left to right) are pictured at Career College Day at the Captiol with campus director Vincent Tinebra and director of health care education Bonnie Kiefer (far right).

ISE students Anthony Brooks and Donna McMillian and ISE program director Terry Newby (left to right) are pictured as they demonstrated their skills in computer technology during Career College Day at the Capitol.

Medical assisting student Shanetta Jones is pictured in the bottom photo testing the glucose level of State Representative Kim King from District 55 during Career College Day at the Captiol.

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Campus Recognizes University of Kentucky STEPS

Campus Recognizes University of Kentucky STEPS

The Lexington Campus named University of Kentucky STEPS (Student and Temporary Employee Placement Services) as a Distinguished Community Employer for their outstanding contributions to career education.

The mission of STEPS is to assist the University of Kentucky departments in running as smoothly as possible during employment shortages. They have offered employment to American National University graduates in health care management, accounting, management, medical assisting, medical billing & coding, and supervisory management.

On Monday, February 18th, American National University campus director Kim Thomasson and career center director Cheryl Howell presented a plaque of appreciation to Kellye Doyle and Kasey Montgomery of STEPS for the opportunities they have made available to American National University graduates. An ongoing partnership between Cheryl and Kellye ensures a mutually-beneficial team environment.

(l to r) Kasey Montgomery and Kellye Doyle of STEPS are pictured accepting the Distinguished Community Employer award from American National University campus director Kim Thomasson and career center director Cheryl Howell.

Student Veteran Meets Senator

Student Veteran Meets Senator

Kirsten Rayer, a student in the health information technology program at the Dayton Area Campus, recently participated in a legislative meeting organized by the Ohio Association of Career Colleges and Schools (OACCS) where she had an opportunity to talk to Ohio State Senator Chris Widener. Kirsten attended the meeting with other representatives from area career colleges.

Senator Widener, who represents Ohio’s 10th district and is the Senate’s president pro tempore, heard from several college representatives during the meeting about how students are funding their education. He sparked a discussion with Kirsten, a veteran of United States Air Force, to learn more about her educational experience. She explained to the Senator that she chose American National University because of the personal attention she gets from instructors and staff. “In the military you get treated kind of like a number so it was nice to be treated like a real person.”

Kirsten also explained that National’s veterans benefits have helped her to pay for her education. “I was only eligible for 70% [tuition assistance] from the military, so the Blue Ribbon and Pell [Grants] were able to take care of the rest.” When the Senator asked about her debt, Kirsten proudly stated, “I will not have any out-of-pocket debt.”

Senator Widener also learned about National’s policy of meeting with students at the start of their program, and any time a student requests a stipend, to explain the effects of borrowing money beyond their tuition.

Air Force veteran and health information technology student Kirsten Rayer is pictured at the Dayton Area Campus.

Local Medical Practice Recognized for Supporting Career Education

Local Medical Practice Recognized for Supporting Career Education

Dr. Adil Jaffer and Dr. Nazim Jaffer of the Jaffer Medical Clinic have allowed several students in the medical programs at the Youngstown Campus to complete their externships in their medical practice. It has benefited these students immeasurably as they are typically near the end of their program and are able to apply the skills and education they learned in the classroom in an actual medical facility.

“Our students who extern at the Jaffer Medical Clinic rave that they learn so much and really enjoy their externship experience,” said Veronica Zurcher, the campus’s director of health care education.

In addition to providing a hands-on learning environment through externships, the Jaffer Medical Clinic has also offered employment to several graduates of the American National University medical assisting degree program. “We appreciate the partnership that we have developed with American National University; the students are knowledgeable, respectful, and eager to assist,” said Dr. Nazim Jaffer. “The Jaffer Group will continue to strengthen its partnership with American National University in the years to come.”

Partnerships such as the one between American National University and Jaffer Medical Clinic are invaluable for graduates as they begin their new careers. To show appreciation for this partnership, the Youngstown Campus recently recognized Dr. Adil Jaffer and Dr. Nazim Jaffer and their staff as a Distinguished Community Employer.

Campus director Mike Boyle (left), and director of health care education Veronica Zurcher (right) are pictured presenting a plaque of appreciation to the staff at Jaffer Medical Group.

Medical Students Learn About and Practice Giving Vaccinations

Medical Students Learn About and Practice Giving Vaccinations

On February 26th, a guest speaker from the Columbus Public Health Department visited the Columbus Campus to speak with students in the healthcare programs. Lakisha Johnson, a registered nurse, represented the health department at the request of director of health care education Beth Laurenz, and she spoke to students about vaccines. She discussed with them the importance of getting vaccines, and she dispelled some of the misconceptions that some people have about them like vaccines can cause autism or the flu shot makes you get the flu.

Ms. Johnson also took the time to do a “hands-on” exercise with the students where they were able to practice giving vaccinations to an orange. This exercise gave the students a sense of what it will be like when they give real vaccinations. The students were very appreciative of Ms. Johnson taking the time to talk with them and help them practice giving vaccinations. “I understand the benefits of immunizations and the advantage of protecting from diseases,” said student Solomon Sagot.

Students in the medical programs at the Columbus Campus are pictured with guest speaker Lakisha Johnson (4th from left) from the Columbus Public Health Department.

Stark County Inaugurates Student Activity Council

Stark County Inaugurates Student Activity Council

On Friday, February 15th, the Stark County Campus held its first meeting of the newly-formed Student Activity Council (SAC). Career center director Lisa Cook served as facilitator and advisor to the group of students that initiated this effort to organize student activities at the campus. Jack Rhine, Ernest Isles, Tonisha Clark, and Sharina Monroe are the founding members. In their short existence, the group has already planned and hosted a student appreciation luncheon and will host an Easter Egg Hunt on Thursday, March 28th.

Ernest, a student in the business administration-management program, is excited to be working on the Council. “We would like to start a recruitment drive to bring in more students, and focus on more activities for students to get involved in,” he said of SAC’s future plans. He also shared that he is excited to be going to college. “I felt that with the job market the way it is, having an additional associate’s degree would give me a [leg] up in getting better employment. I like the small classroom size and that we receive more attention.”

Career center director Lisa Cook (center) is pictured with new SAC members Tonisha Clark (left) and Sharina Dolon Monroe.

First Assist Urgent Care Honored as Distinguished Community Employer

First Assist Urgent Care Honored as Distinguished Community Employer

The Bristol Campus recently recognized First Assist Urgent Care of Johnson City with a Distinguished Community Employer award. First Assist Urgent Care is part of Mountain States Health Alliance - the region's largest healthcare system with 13 hospitals and dozens of physician offices, serving 29 counties in Tennessee, Virginia, Kentucky, and North Carolina.

Several National College students have completed their medical assisting externships with the First Assist Urgent Care clinic where they were able to put their classroom knowledge to use in a real medical setting. Director of health care education Sheri Jessee said the campus is fortunate to have a partnership with First Assist Urgent Care. “Working in an urgent care setting allows our students to gain hands-on experience with a variety of cases,” Sheri explained.

First Assist Urgent Care has also hired graduates of the National College medical assisting program. Miranda Doyle and Cynthia Nieto are among those. “We really enjoy having National College students intern here. They are great workers that are always eager to learn,” said Loretta Leslie, clinical coordinator for First Assist Urgent Care.

Director of health care education Sheri Jessee (2nd from right) and career center director Meredith Jones (right) from National College are pictured presenting a plaque of appreciation to First Assist Urgent Care practice administrator Linda Snodgrass (left) and clinical coordinator Loretta Leslie.

South Bend Campus Presents Distinguished Community Employer Award

South Bend Campus Presents Distinguished Community Employer Award

The optometry practice of Drs. Kintner, Shearer, and Rhinehart was selected as a Distinguished Community Employer by the South Bend Campus. The practice is celebrating 75 years in business with Dr. Lindsey Kintner’s grandfather, Kenneth, and father, Jonathan, both preceding him in the practice. The practice utilizes technology to treat patients for eye screenings, low vision, glaucoma, disease management, and vision training.

It was fitting that Dr. Kintner received the plaque for his involvement with American National University’s medical billing and coding program. He first hired graduate Rina Young in June 2011 and subsequently hired Michelle Bidwell in February 2012. Rina strongly recommended the position to Michelle. Michelle commented on how much she enjoys working for Dr. Kintner and how much she has learned about the optometry business. “The staff and the patients are both fantastic,” she explained. To read Michelle’s success story, click here.

Dr. Kintner noted the level of preparation students received in their training from American National University was very good. He said the only thing left for them to learn was the program specific to the office. “Both Rina and Michelle have been excellent employees as they stand out as hard workers with positive attitudes,” Dr. Kintner said. “I would recommend American National University. [They] really appear to care about the success of [their] graduates.”

South Bend’s campus director John Herman (left) is pictured presenting a plaque of appreciation to Dr. Lindsey Kintner (right) and graduate and employee Michelle Bidwell (center).

Graduate Returns to Campus to Refresh Clinical Skills

Graduate Returns to Campus to Refresh Clinical Skills

Tahisha Williams, a medical assisting graduate from the Lynchburg Campus, had been working as a personal care aid since completing her program in May 2012. Although she enjoyed her work and the opportunity to help others, she realized that she was not using all of her career training skills, so she decided to search for a new job as a medical assistant. It wasn’t long after she started looking that she was hired in a busy medical office.

Tahisha called her instructor, director of health care education Sue Coleman, to give her the good news about her new job. During this time, Tahisha confided that she may need to refresh some of her clinical skills, so she would be more confident when she started training in her new job. Sue invited Tahisha to come on campus and work with current students in the lab to refresh some of her clinical skills that she had not been using since graduation. Students Brittany Goff, Kierra Ferguson, Melissa Slayton, and Shannon Bosiger were glad to practice their clinical skills with Tahisha.

“Tahisha really stepped up her game during the final term, working hard at her externship site and successfully passing [the registered medical assistant] exam,” Sue said. “She has a caring attitude that makes an impression on patients.”

Graduate Tahisha Williams is pictured in the medical lab at the Lynchburg Campus refreshing her clinical skills and preparing for her new job as a medical assistant.

High School Students Get a Taste of the National College Experience

High School Students Get a Taste of the National College Experience

On Saturday, February 16th, the Princeton Campus hosted 25 high school students from Tazewell County. The Clinch Valley Community Action group has an educational proponent called Project Discovery to allow the students in Tazewell County schools to explore available higher education options.

The Project Discovery leaders and students were welcomed by campus director Denver Riffe just before they toured the campus and learned about the available career training programs at National College from staff members Patricia Mitchem, James Froemel, Christina Nunley, and Tonya Elmore. Participants and their leaders then broke off into groups based on different career interests.

Instructor Lucy Sisk led a computer activity with those who had computer, office, and business interests. Medical instructors Patricia Sell, Sharon Harding, and Deborah Jackson took students with interest in a medical field on a tour of the medical lab where they reassembled dismantled torsos. Upon completion they went to a computer lab and completed two demonstrations on the medical assistant ActivSim website – counting pulse and respiration, and caring for a patient with hypertension.

The National College staff was glad to host the high school students and they hope to have inspired many of them to consider career training as a goal upon graduation.

High school students from the Clinch Valley Community Action Project Discovery group are pictured in the medical lab at the Princeton Campus.

ISE Students Network with Professionals at Monthly Meeting

ISE Students Network with Professionals at Monthly Meeting

On Friday, February 22nd, students and faculty from the Louisville Campus information systems engineering (ISE) degree program attended the monthly meeting of the Louisville Microsoft Users Group (LouMUG) which was held at Peak 10 Data Center.

LouMUG is a forum for computer professionals in the Louisville area who are interested in gaining and sharing knowledge in Microsoft technologies through networking and education. The meeting features a guest speaker or panel of speakers each month. February’s featured speaker was Dan Weisseg with Veeam Software, who discussed the application of Veeam Backup Version 6.5 for virtual environments. Past topics have included Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012, Microsoft Licensing and SharePoint 2010.

Terry Newby, ISE program director, stated that the LouMUG meeting gives students their first opportunity to be in an IT environment surrounded by IT professionals. “Students can make job contacts, do networking, learn about volunteer and internship opportunities, as well as win prizes, eat a free lunch, and of course, see and touch technology in action,” Terry said as he explained the benefits of students attending a LouMUG meeting.

ISE instructor Juan Sandoval agrees and explained that LouMUG encourages interaction among the meeting attendees and that the meetings give students a realistic view of the IT fields that may interest them and the skills that they need to enter those areas. “During these meetings, usually, there is at least one participant, or even the featured speaker, who expresses that his organization has job openings for computer professionals,” said Juan.

Anthony Brooks, a student in the ISE program, said that this was the second LouMUG meeting that he has attended and that he felt that it was a great opportunity to network and to meet professionals in the field. “And, there’s a lot of good information that gets distributed at these meetings,” he added.

Students and faculty from the Louisville Campus are pictured with speaker Dan Weisseg with Veeam Software (far right) following the LouMUG meeting that they attended.

Class Achieves 100% Pass Rate on the RMA Exam

Class Achieves 100% Pass Rate on the RMA Exam

On Tuesday, February 5th, students in the Medical Assisting Exam Success class at the Richmond Campus completed one of the final steps of their medical assisting program when they sat for the national Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) certification exam administered by American Medical Technologists (AMT). All four students in the class – Brian Lowery, Shawna Madden, Stephanie Smith, and Jeremy Thomas – achieved a passing score on the exam.

Brian earned the highest score in the class. “I came to American National University with doubts about my future. I chose the medical assisting program because it sounded like something I would enjoy and it would be rewarding to be able to help people,” shared Brian. He went on to explain how he feels prepared to start his new career because of his American National University education. “All of my instructors were patient and always made it a point to make sure that I knew what I was supposed to know before I moved on to the next class. I am so excited to move on to a good career with the education I have received here at National.”

Pictured are newly registered medical assistants and American National University graduates (l to r) Brian Lowery, Shawna Madden, Stephanie Smith, and Jeremy Thomas.

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.