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Student Earns Two Degrees Simultaneously



Jul 07, 2014

After receiving her GED in 1993, Heather Sills never planned on stepping onto a college campus.  But 20 years later, she ended up doing just that and more.

Heather followed the encouragement of her husband, as well as a friend who was a student at the time, and enrolled at the Cleveland Area Campus of American National University in June, 2012.  Heather said, “I saw a late, late night television commercial for National and decided to ask my friend.”  Heather joined the pharmacy technician program, but found it necessary to stop attending after the first term.

Upon returning one term later, she let the department chair of pharmacy technology, Scott Schlemmer, know about her real desire—to get a medical assisting degree and finish her pharmacy training immediately after.  He advised her not to wait, but instead to pursue the medical assisting degree immediately.  Then an unexpected surprise came.  “When I talked to Kim (the student services representative at that time), she advised me that I could pursue the medical assisting degree for my major while continuing to study pharmacy as a minor,” said Heather.  “This combination had never been attempted at [the Cleveland Area Campus] before.  I decided to do it.”

In addition to a full course load, Heather worked as a campus tutor for between five to ten students.  She also held a work study position which required alternating between two campus departments and helping to set up various campus events.

Undaunted by her schedule and a myriad of other unforeseen personal challenges, Heather successfully became the first ever double-discipline graduate of the Cleveland Area Campus.  Completing all her requirements on July 4, 2014, “independence” took on a special meaning for her. 

Heather has been hired in the pharmacy department of a local CVS store where she had completed a term-long externship and hopes to obtain a position as a medical assistant at a local medical facility in the near future. 

A-Heather Sills is the first double discipline graduate of the Cleveland Campus.

B-Graduate Heather Sills has been hired by CVS.

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tags: OH-Cleveland Area Medical: Pharmacy Technician - Associate's Degree (PTA)