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April 08, 2013

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Cybersecurity: New Degree Program Will Unlock Exciting Career Field

Cybersecurity: New Degree Program Will Unlock Exciting Career Field

Beginning April 29, American National University’s Roanoke Valley Campus and National College campuses in Virginia and West Virginia will begin offering classes leading to an associate’s degree in cybersecurity. This program – the first of its type in any of these locations – is the first part of a planned continuum of courses available to students allowing for progression in their education from associate’s degree through the doctoral level.

“This curriculum was developed to meet the emerging needs of businesses and government in a field that is poised for dramatic growth,” said Tom Jackson, institutional director of information technology programs for American National University and National College.

The program was developed in consultation with the University of Fairfax, the world’s foremost institution dedicated solely to graduate education in the cybersecurity field. The new associate’s degree program, and a bachelor’s degree program in cybersecurity which is planned for American National University, will provide a seamless progression to master’s and doctoral level degrees at the University of Fairfax.

“Like American National University and National College, the University of Fairfax offers the most relevant career education because all of our courses have been developed by and are taught by practitioners,” explained Dr. Chris Feudo, president of the University of Fairfax.

“One need only look at today’s headlines to realize the relevance of cybersecurity in this day and age,” explained Tom. Added Dr. Feudo: “We all know that budget cuts are forcing governments to cut back on personnel, in every area but one: cybersecurity. In fact, the federal government alone will need to hire thousands of additional cybersecurity specialists in the near future.”

In addition to a foundation in information technology and networking fundamentals, the program will prepare graduations for certification in no less than five separate areas of cybersecurity:

  • CompTIA A+ Certified Professional
  • CompTIA Network+ Certified Professional
  • CompTIA Security+ Certified Professional
  • Microsoft Certified Professional (Server 2012)
  • EC Council| Network Security Administrator Certification

After an April launch in Roanoke Valley; Charlottesville; Danville, VA; Harrisonburg; Lynchburg; Parkersburg; and Princeton, the program will be introduced to the Tyson’s Corner campus of American National University and National College campuses in other states, as early as the fall of 2013.

PHOTO:  Dr. Chris Feudo (left), president of the University of Fairfax, and R. Thomas Jackson (right), institutional director of IT programs for American National University and National College, have nearly 50 years' combined experience in cybersecurity.

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ISE Students Implement Free Technology Clinic

ISE Students Implement Free Technology Clinic

Information systems engineering (ISE) students at the Stark County Campus have implemented a new technology clinic, a free and exclusive service provided for the students, staff, and faculty. Clients can drop off their technology device on Thursdays from 10 to 11 am and ISE majors will provide a complimentary diagnosis of their problem. Based on the resources required to fix the problem, the ISE major will either fix the problem or provide details of the resources necessary to move forward with fixing the problem.

Free services that ISE students perform to benefit the American National University community include virus removal, hardware diagnosis, operating system diagnosis, and internet connectivity. Students work on devices such as personal computers, laptops, netbooks, tablets, smartphones, printers, routers and modems.

“I introduced the concept,” explained William Wittman, director of IT programs. “The IT students really embraced the idea and took it from the ground floor to the next level.”

Richard Miller and Timothy Thompson (pictured), students in William’s Computer and Information Technology Fundamentals class, have been the driving force in getting the new clinic off the ground. Timothy comments that the clinic “has to do with what this class is all about.”

“I really try to empower the students, to almost create it like a business, so that they [the students] are using professionalism,” William said. “Using both soft skills and tech skills to be able to work with people and their technology…it’s an exposure they don’t normally get in the class room. It helps emulate the real world.”

Reem Osman - Difference Maker at the English Language Institute

Reem Osman - Difference Maker at the English Language Institute

Reem Osman of the English Language Institute at the Roanoke Valley Campus was selected as an American National University difference maker.


  • ESL Program Coordinator at the Roanoke Valley Campus
  • Recipient of ANU’s “Outstanding College Member of the Year 2012” award
  • Holds two associate degrees, one in engineering and one in computer drafting and design

Staff member for the ESL program since it began over two years ago


  • Originally from Sudan, lived in Saudi Arabia for 13 years, and speaks fluent Arabic
  • Previously worked for Refugee and Immigration Services to help immigrants settle in the U.S.

I was an ESL student when I first came to the United States, so I went through everything our ESL students go through. My own experiences as an international student help me explain to them how the school system in the U.S. works.

I help the students with everything in their life, from registering for classes to looking for apartments and cars, paying their bills, taking them to doctor’s appointments, and opening a bank account. They are very friendly and appreciate everything I do for them, even if it’s very small. They treat me like a sister.

My favorite moments include when I see a student practicing something I taught him or her; when I used to translate an entire conversation for a student, and now they can communicate on their own; and when we graduate students, and they successfully enter a university.


Overflow Attendance Marks Career Fair

Overflow Attendance Marks Career Fair

The Lynchburg Campus held a career fair on Tuesday, April 2, with 20 employers in attendance representing a variety of industries. The event even saw four of National’s own graduates return to the campus to recruit for their employers. National College students, as well as the general public, were able to network with employers and learn about job openings in the community.

One such student, Shappel Tanner, will be graduating from the pharmacy technician diploma program in June and attended the career fair to look for job possibilities when she graduates, as well as volunteering opportunities she can add to her résumé now. “It’s always good to get out there and show your face and get familiar with local businesses,” Shappel says. After the career fair, the campus hosted a networking reception for the participating employers.

The event was so well attended, the campus staff needed to help direct traffic to handle all the vehicles coming in and out of the campus. WSET News sent a crew to the event to speak with job seekers as well as National College staff.

Student Shappel Tanner speaks with Lindsey Edwards of Presbyterian Homes & Family Services & the Family Alliance at the Lynchburg Campus career fair that was held on April 2nd.

Guest Speaker Relates Valuable Information

Guest Speaker Relates Valuable Information

Saundra Sims, an instructor at the Indianapolis Campus, recently invited a guest speaker to her Surgical Technology I class. Tawanda Gardfrey is a CRCST (Certified Registered Central Sterile Technician) and a CIS (Certified Instrument Specialist) working at IU Health in Indianapolis. Ms. Gardfrey spoke to the class about her experiences in the surgical field dealing with many different surgical cases.

“The biggest mistake you can make is to contaminate the area,” said Ms. Gardfrey. She said that each surgical center/hospital is different. Surgical technologists must be willing to adapt to their environment and different personalities. She advised the students to simply “let it roll off” when they approach a difficult doctor or patient. You should always have a good attitude and when you dwell on one person, you are not able to work to your best ability.

Before Ms. Gardfrey left, she gave this advice: “Walk into each surgery with confidence and a great smile. Some days will be rough, but remember how you got in [to the surgical field] and treat others with respect.”

Community Turns Out in Force for Career Fair

Community Turns Out in Force for Career Fair

The Fort Wayne Campus hosted their spring career fair on Thursday, March 28. Nineteen vendors set up displays and prepared to speak with students and guests from the general public about their organizations. Vendors ranged from leading Northeast Indiana employers such as Parkview and Frontier Communications to small entrepreneurships such as Avon and Mary Kay Cosmetics. Volunteer organizations were also present to discuss volunteer and community service opportunities with the participants.

“The Career Fair went really well for us,” stated Kelly Clouse, a human resource supervisor for Easter Seals ARC. “A lot of people had service experience or experience related to our field. We handed out a lot of applications on site.”

Over 100 guests participated in the career fair. Guests were encouraged to bring résumés, dress for success, and be prepared to speak with all employers about the opportunities within each organization. Kat Keener, a American National University student said, “There were so many people! It was a very good event. The employers were willing to share information about their organizations.”

The event was very successful. WPTA - TV, Fort Wayne’s ABC affiliate, visited the Career Fair to film the event and interview its participants. It aired the coverage during the local evening news.

Student Jerrail Caldwell is pictured speaking with Dodi Hart and Nancy Myers of ResCare at the career fair.

March 13th Career Fair – Connect, Network, Hire

March 13th Career Fair – Connect, Network, Hire

Thirteen was a lucky number on the South Bend Campus for the March 13th career fair. Fifteen companies were represented, with twenty-two employers participating on a cold, snowy, icy day. Some of the participating employers included: Beacon Health Systems, CVS Pharmacy, Logan Community Resources, MapleTronics Computers Inc., Oaklawn Foundation, Saint Joseph’s Regional Medical Center, Trine University, and the U.S. Army. Having two hospital organizations represented gave medical students a firsthand opportunity to meet and talk directly with the recruiters who hire for virtually every medical practice in the area. The employers all expressed that they were pleased with the many qualified résumés they are taking back to their offices.

It was a great turnout for the event with approximately 60 people in attendance at the campus. One of the highlights was the local TV station that showed up for a news story, interviewed career center director Mary Mathews, and aired the coverage twice that evening.

The ultimate success story from this year’s career fair? That of a recent pharmacy technician graduate, Amber Daley, who met with CVS Pharmacy and within one week interviewed and received a job offer!

Physician Seeks National College Externs

Physician Seeks National College Externs

On Wednesday, March 27, Christopher Weve, director of health care education for the Harrisonburg Campus, met with Dr. Maria Hernandez, a specialist in internal medicine, and her assistant Eileen Gilmore. Christopher had received a call earlier requesting information about the availability of extern students from National’s medical assisting program.

“We are always looking for sites in which our students will be able to practice and hone their skills in a real-world setting,” explains Christopher. Dr. Hernandez was pleased with the breadth of National’s medical assisting program, saying, “I am very impressed with the courses the externs will have taken by the time they begin their externship experience during their last term of study.”

Eileen, a 2002 graduate of National College’s medical billing and coding program, expressed a desire to return to the campus in a coming term to become more familiar with the upcoming conversion to the ICD-10 coding process. “I am very thankful that National offers no-cost refresher courses,” she adds. As a graduate, Eileen may take a refresher course at any National campus and pay only for the textbook – a plus for the employee as well as the employer.

Pictured left to right are Maria Hernandez, Christopher Weve, and Eileen Gilmore.

Graduate Finds Career Success Thanks to Advice from Her Aunt and Help from the National College Career Center

Graduate Finds Career Success Thanks to Advice from Her Aunt and Help from the National College Career Center

When Lorianne Teegarden Franzen graduated from high school, she knew that she needed career training to put her on the right track for her future. Her aunt, Rhonda Spangler, was attending the Florence Campus at the time, and suggested that Lorianne enroll there, as well. Her aunt’s advice paid off, as Lorianne recently completed her medical office assistant program and was hired by St. Elizabeth ANC-Home Care to work in their office.

“I love National,” said Rhonda, a graduate of the administrative office professional associate’s degree program, who recommended the college to her niece because of the personal attention that each student receives. “She’s not into big crowds,” she explained. “At National, everybody knows your name. You’re not just a number.”

Lorianne agreed that National was the right choice for her. “I wasn’t really a ‘school girl,’ and I didn’t want to go to a big college. National is small and the teachers are one-on-one. I loved that. They taught me a lot,” she said adding that she utilizes skills gained in her classes every day on the job.

The Career Center at American National University also played a key role in helping Lorianne get started in her new career. She worked closely with career center director Karen Sheldon during her job search. “She was excellent. She stayed on top of things,” said Lorianne, who recalled that Karen alerted her to the job opening with St. Elizabeth ANC-Home Care. Karen also helped her refine her résumé, and she even conducted a practice interview with Lorianne just prior to her interview with St. Elizabeth.

“I love my job,” Lorianne said with a smile adding that St. Elizabeth is a large organization and she feels that there are plenty of opportunities for growth in her career there. She also feels secure knowing that the career center is available to her for life if she ever wants to utilize its services again in the future.

Lorianne Franzen was able to successfully find employment working in the office of St. Elizabeth ANC-Home Care with assistance from the Florence Campus Career Center.

Students Learn Interviewing Skills During Workshop

Students Learn Interviewing Skills During Workshop

On Wednesday, April 3rd, career center director Elizabeth Walker held an Interviewing Skills Workshop at the Richmond Campus. The workshop covered strategies and skills that students should use to best impress an employer during a job interview.

During the workshop, Elizabeth explained the types of interviews and the importance of preparing for the interview by researching the company and by participating in mock interviews, which are frequently conducted in the career center. Elizabeth shared that many employers ask behavioral interview questions during an interview and utilize the S.T.A.R. method in which a job candidate is asked to give an example of a Situation and Task that they were given on the job and describe the Action they took and the Results that they were able to attain.

Medical assisting student Elizabeth McIntosh was one of the students who participated in the workshop. She said that it was very informative and that she learned how to dress for an interview, what takes place during an interview and how to give a proper handshake. “Before attending this workshop, I was really nervous about my upcoming graduation because I knew the next step was interviews,” said Elizabeth. “I now feel prepared and ready—even excited!” she shared enthusiastically.

Students Elizabeth McIntosh and Joshua Brockman practice proper handshaking during the Interviewing Skills Workshop that was held at the Richmond Campus.

Students Find Employment During Campus Career Fair

Students Find Employment During Campus Career Fair

On March 20th the Lexington Campus hosted a career fair with twelve representatives from nine companies in attendance. While in a relaxed setting, students were able to learn about opportunities, discuss details with hiring managers, and submit résumés. Of particular interest was the information they gained concerning expectations of new hires. As a direct result of participation in this event, two upcoming graduates from the campus were hired for positions in their fields of study, making the event a great success.

Also, the Kentucky Career Center’s Career Mobile was onsite during the career fair to help students with their résumés, help them find jobs that they qualify for online, and help them apply for jobs.

Business administration-accounting student Fred Shackelford (left) talks with Xerox recruiter Demond Royce during the recent career fair that was held at the Lexington Campus.

Pikeville Campus Holds Agency Breakfast

Pikeville Campus Holds Agency Breakfast

On Thursday, March 21, the Pikeville Campus held a networking breakfast for representatives from area agencies. The breakfast is held by the campus periodically to give agency representatives an opportunity to share information regarding programs and assistance that they have available.

Student Services Director Anne Snyder-Vanover shared information about the American National University Workforce Development grant which matches agency funding to eligible students and about the American National University Fast Track Grant which will match a cash payment or supplemental educational grant for eligible students who have depleted their Pell grant award for the year.

Those participating in the agency breakfast agreed that finding employment for their clients was their number one priority. Campus director Tammy Riley explained that American National University has a full-time career center director on staff who assists graduates with finding employment. Tammy also shared that the campus’s placement rates are carefully monitored by National’s accrediting body, the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS).

Linda Habern, a counselor with the Kentucky Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, said that her program provides funding for education to her clients and that she closely monitors those students from the beginning of their education through “closure” which she defined as finding employment after training. Linda said that her clients who have completed career training at National have had great success finding employment. “National has probably the highest number, in my case load, of closures,” she said.

Campus Director Tammy Riley (front left) and Vice President of the American National University Kentucky Region, Charlotte Brinneman (front right), gathered for a photo with agency representatives and American National University staff and faculty who attended the agency breakfast.

Students Learn About Body Systems through Hands-On Assignment

Students Learn About Body Systems through Hands-On Assignment

Students in instructor Stephanie Slone’s Body Control Systems class at the Danville, Kentucky Campus were recently assigned an anatomy project in which they were asked to pick a body system of their choice and to make either a model or diagram to present to the class. Many of the students who completed the assignment said that creating posters and models and having the visual aids helped them retain information about the body systems.

“Doing a diagram of the ear, helped me learn the parts as well as the terms,” explained medical assisting student Courtney McDaniel.

“My project did help me understand more about the glands, where they are located and what they do,” said medical assisting student Clarinda Hall, whose project focused on the thyroid and parathyroid glands.

Students from the Danville Campus Body Control Systems class are pictured with their posters and models of body systems which they created during a recent class assignment.

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.