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National News

April 06, 2015

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Google Search Lands Graduate in a New Career

 Google Search Lands Graduate in a New Career

Elizabeth Richmond was looking for career training that would allow her to get out into the workforce quickly, when a Google search led her to the medical office assistant program at the Florence Campus. “I saw the length of the program, and I thought that was ideal,” she recalled.  “Then they told me it was a small college, and that works for me because I need more one-on-one attention.”

After completing the program in less than six months, Elizabeth’s goal of finding a good job to support her family was achieved when she was recently hired by University of Cincinnati Physicians group as a floating patient services representative, working in medical offices throughout the Tristate area.

“I like to tell people that I work for UC,” she said with a big smile. “I sit at the front desk when patients come in to be checked in, or make an appointment, [and I help with] anything that they need to check on or look up.”

Elizabeth feels that her transition from the classroom to the medical office has gone smoothly thanks to the relevant, hands-on training that she received at American National University, particularly in utilizing the electronic health records system in her office. “The e-Medsys program [that we received training on at National] is very similar to the real world EPIC program, so that really helped me out a lot, because I knew nothing prior,” she explained. In order to provide graduates with the most up-to-date essential knowledge and skills necessary, the medical office assistant program has recently been superseded by the new medical office professional program, which represents the culmination of months of research into this constantly growing career field.

Elizabeth feels that she will have many opportunities for career advancement and growth with UC, and she feels grateful that her Google search landed her at National, where she received all the tools that she needed to find her new career.   

“Before National, I had tried college twice and failed, so when I started at National I told myself I wasn’t going to quit, and I finished,” she stated proudly. “Now, I’m making great money, and I have insurance for me and my daughter.”

A- Elizabeth Richmond found the quick career training that she was looking for when she discovered American National University via a Google search on the internet.

B- Elizabeth is proud to tell her family and friends that she works for UC Physicians group.

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Graduate Goes From Blank Slate to Successful Ophthalmic Associate

 Graduate Goes From Blank Slate to Successful Ophthalmic Associate

Tabetha Miller graduated from the Bristol Campus last fall with a medical assisting degree. She was previously a stay-at-home mom until deciding to return to school with what she referred to as a “clean blank slate” – ready to fill her mind with knowledge. While researching schools that would fit what she was looking for, Tabetha found National College, and after one visit, she realized that it was the institution for her. “It’s small, it’s comfortable, and they do want you to succeed,” she explained of why National fit the bill.

She also found that the entire campus staff was supportive, and she particularly appreciated the help from career services in polishing up her résumé. “The teachers and staff worked really hard with me,” said Tabetha, looking back on her experience.  

After earning double associate’s degrees in medical assisting and business administration, Tabetha also successfully passed the exam to earn her registered medical assistant (RMA) certification. As part of the National curriculum, students are given the option to participate in an externship with a community organization to gain hands-on experience in the field. Before completing her externship with Southeastern Retina Associates in Bristol, Tabetha was offered a job there. She continues there today as a certified ophthalmic associate and will be sitting for her ophthalmic technician license later this year.  

Tabetha encourages others with hesitations about returning to school to not give up on their dreams. “They will guide you all the way to the top of the ladder, and I’m standing at the top of the ladder,” she enthusiastically stated. “It doesn’t get any better than this place!” 

Tabetha Miller received a job offer from her externship site before graduating with double associate’s degrees and her RMA certification.

Medical Assisting Student Has Sights Firmly Set on Career Goals

Medical Assisting Student Has Sights Firmly Set on Career Goals

Alexandra Wyatt's educational journey began with a series of goals. She had a goal of doing something more with her life and career. She had a goal of being successful for her kids. She had a goal to work in health care, where she could make a difference in peoples' lives.

Alexandra chose American National University's Fort Wayne Campus to help her achieve her goals, but education is a two-way street. All of Alexandra's instructors and campus staff have played a part in helping her work toward her ultimate goal of becoming a medical assistant, by giving her the tools and resources and teaching her how to use them. However, it was up to Alexandra to put the required work into actually learning the information and gaining the skills needed to get there. 

She recently had the opportunity to prove her commitment to her goals and use some of the skills that she learned in the campus medical lab in a real-world situation. Alexandra volunteered to help director of health care education Kimberly Leyman take vital signs for community members at the Fort Wayne Home & Garden Show, where American National University had set up an information booth. 

Alexandra appreciated the learning opportunity National provided for her to get real hands-on experience working with the public and enjoyed how much fun it was to talk to all the different people who attended the event. 

“Alexandra shows great enthusiasm for the hands-on and patient interaction of this class; she is resourceful in her application of all the classroom techniques,” said her medical assisting instructor, Dr. Vanessa Akins-White. “These characteristics will serve her well as she moves out into the ‘real world’ of health care.”

Alexandra Wyatt gets experience beyond the classroom to prepare for her career as a medical assistant.

Neurosciences Center of Excellence Honored for Support of Career Education

Neurosciences Center of Excellence Honored for Support of Career Education

The Charlottesville Campus recently honored the Neurosciences Center of Excellence of the University of Virginia Health System with the Distinguished Community Employer Award.

The campus and the clinic have forged a highly successful relationship over the last two years, as the Neurosciences Center of Excellence has hosted several externs from the medical assisting program and has recently hired two medical assisting graduates.

The University of Virginia Health System is comprised of a hospital and numerous outpatient clinics. Many of these clinics have hosted medical assisting students from the Charlottesville Campus in the externship phase of their degree programs. 

“We’re pleased to have established such a strong partnership with the UVA Neurosciences Center of Excellence,” said campus director John Donohue. “They have provided valuable learning opportunities for our student externs, and we have in turn been able to help them fill their employment needs by providing them with quality medical assistants.”

Charlottesville Campus director John Donohue (far left) and director of health care education Larry Liggan (far right) presented the Distinguished Community Employer Award to nurse care coordinator Peggy Scott (2nd from left) and assistant nurse manager J. Michele Maddox (2nd from right) of the Neurosciences Center of Excellence.

Campus Offers Opportunity to ‘Spring into a New Career’

Campus Offers Opportunity to ‘Spring into a New Career’

“Spring into a New Career” was the theme of the career fair held at the Martinsville Campus on March 26. Fifteen employers registered to attend the career fair in hopes of connecting with students and graduates for employment, as well as volunteer opportunities. Faneuil, Inc., The Results Companies, Ameristaff, Memorial Hospital of Martinsville-Henry County, and Virginia Mirror Company, Inc. were just a few of the organizations who participated with available job opportunities in various fields. 

“I love working with American National University students; they are always prepared and wanting to work,” said employer Annette Lawson of AmeriStaff. “The favorite part of my job is finding these students and graduates gainful employment.”

Kimberly Hanks, a student in the medical office assistant program, spoke with a number of employers at the event. She was excited that ANU was hosting a career fair on campus because of her busy school and work schedule. “I wouldn’t be able to attend at other times,” she explained. 

Campus visitor Ben Stephens said the career fair event enjoyed a promising turnout for the businesses that were present and he had high hopes for those who attended seeking jobs. 

“The career fair is an overall success for students and employers. It presents a great opportunity for students to see the different types of jobs available in the community,” career center director Sheree Spencer remarked.

A- ANU student Kimberly Hanks gets information about job openings from AmeriStaff representative Annette Lawson at the campus career fair.

B- Fifteen employers from a variety of fields participated in the recent career fair at the Martinsville Campus.

Kroger Pharmacy Provides Career Opportunities for Students and Graduates

Kroger Pharmacy Provides Career Opportunities for Students and Graduates

The Princeton Campus recently recognized the Bluewell Kroger Pharmacy with the University’s Distinguished Community Employer Award. The Princeton Campus’s pharmacy technician program director, Jackie Smith, and career center director Elaine Owens were pleased to present the award to Kroger Pharmacy manager Tracy Mathena. 

Ms. Mathena and her staff have been training ANU student externs, as well as hiring pharmacy technician graduates, since 2007. Ms. Mathena has worked closely with Elaine throughout the years, frequently calling to let her know when pharmacy technician positions are available and asking for ANU graduates to stop by with their résumés. “We have had some great externs and graduates from ANU,” said Ms. Mathena, while also noting that the level of training they provide “depends on the graduate and what they hope to accomplish with their career.” 

Ms. Mathena indicated she was excited to receive the award, and before Jackie and Elaine left the pharmacy, she was quick to let them know she currently had a part-time position available for an ANU student or graduate. 

Kroger Pharmacy manager Tracy Mathena (left) accepts the Distinguished Community Employer Award from Princeton Campus pharmacy technician program director Jackie Smith (right).

U-Turn Lands Student Right Where She Needed to Be

U-Turn Lands Student Right Where She Needed to Be

A fateful U-turn while running errands brought Jessica Matthews into the Lexington Campus and well on her way to earning the degree that she’s always wanted. “When I made a U-turn, it happened to be in National’s parking lot,” Jessica recalled.   

When she went in to ask for information about American National University, Jessica was introduced to admissions representative Sharon Rodgers, and later that same day, her enrollment in the business administration-accounting bachelor’s degree program was complete. “Both Sharon and [student services representative] Nick [Barnes] were phenomenal that first day,” she said. “They did everything to ensure that I was able to get in and get started that next week.”

After attending other large universities, Jessica found the easy enrollment process at American National University to be a welcome change. She also loves the convenience of having all of her classes located under one roof. “If I had a class at 6 p.m., I didn’t have to leave two hours beforehand to deal with parking,” she explained. “That’s what has been great about it.” 

She’s also seen a difference in her instructors at National, who are extremely knowledgeable about the subjects they’re teaching due to their first-hand experience in the field. “You can tell that they’re here because they want to be,” she stated. “If you have a question, they won’t just answer it and then go on; they’ll make sure you understand it. The care that they have for their students--you don’t see [at large universities], and that’s not lost on me. That is huge.”

As she nears the conclusion of her program, Jessica has also been extremely impressed by campus director Kim Thomasson and her staff’s dedication to seeing that she completes her degree program as quickly as possible. “I was always taught no matter what happens in life, no one can take away your education,” Jessica said. “National made it much more accommodating; they made me want to finish it.”

Jessica Matthews has seen a number of advantages to being a student at American National University, from convenience of parking to the care and concern of her instructors.

It’s Never Too Late

It’s Never Too Late

Connie Gonzalez enrolled at the Danville, Kentucky Campus to help her find a way out of the factory where she worked. “I was getting too old to do that kind of work, and I’ve always wanted to go back to school, so I said, ‘No time like the present,’” she recalled.

She first enrolled at a local large university but had trouble navigating through the steps that she needed to take to get started in her program. “They just weren’t very helpful with getting things done,” she explained.

When she received a call from her admissions representative at American National University, she went to visit the campus and got all the help that she needed to get into class a short time later.

Now in the last term of her medical assisting program, Connie is excited to be using the skills from her program during her externship at Physicians for Families. After getting hands-on practice in the classroom, she feels confident in her abilities as she does “everything” in the office, including working the front desk, rooming patients, performing EKGs, and giving injections.

Although Connie was initially nervous about returning to school, she’s had a great experience at American National University, and she’s even considering continuing her education in the medical billing and coding program. “I’m trying to better myself,” she stated. “I’m almost 50 years old, but it’s never too late.”

Connie Gonzalez enrolled at American National University to help her transition from factory work to the medical field.

Speaker Shares Knowledge of Web Page Design

Speaker Shares Knowledge of Web Page Design

Instructor Lynn Bellamy’s Desktop Applications class at the Richmond Campus recently hosted guest speaker Nicole Mueller, owner of Startup Productions, who spoke about web page design.

Ms. Mueller gave a very informative presentation on the do’s and don’ts when designing a website. She also discussed ways to catch customers’ attention. Studies have shown the more that a business is perceived to have invested in marketing and design, the more other companies, consumers, and potential investors tend to trust that business. One important tip about design that Ms. Mueller shared was to keep it simple and keep it consistent.

“Nicole gave the idea that branding is all about creating memories in consumers and must be thoroughly considered and completed before effective marketing can take place,” said business administration-management and accounting student Shannon Ford. “Being a management major, I know this presentation on marketing a company with web page design will be of great benefit to me.”

(Left to right) Student J. C. Cox, student Shannon Ford, student Jennifer Guier, guest speaker Nicole Mueller, student Kristy McKinney, and  instructor Lynn Bellamy are pictured following the presentation on web page design.

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.