Check back often to see stories of students who have succeeded in their studies at Washington State Community College.
Taking 5 Classes - Heidi McPeek
Student Success Profile: Heidi McPeek - Taking 5 Semester Courses
Freshman student Heidi McPeek, of Newport, hit the ground running during her first semester at Washington State Community College (WSCC).
The 19-year-old is taking six classes this fall under the Executive Administrative Assistant program, and says she was able to schedule all the courses around her personal life. "I enrolled and registered early so I was able to get into all the classes I needed for this semester," explains McPeek.
She adds that the workload of six classes may sound tough, but is completely manageable. "I mean, you have to study and do the homework to stay caught up, but I don't find it overwhelming at all."
The newly revamped and renamed Center for Student Success helped Heidi out with an equipment loan this fall. "I took advantage of borrowing one of the calculators for the semester," notes McPeek. "It saved me a bunch of money since I only needed it for this one particular math class."
Heidi McPeek plans to graduate with her associate of applied business degree in 2014, with plans to seek a career in office administrative services.
Taking 5 Classes - Ashley Cronin
Student Success Profile: Ashley Cronin - Currently taking 20 credit hours
Newport native Ashley Cronin is one of many Washington State Community College (WSCC) students who successfully made the transition from quarters to semesters this fall.
The 24-year-old college student first started taking classes at WSCC during winter quarter 2012. Majoring in Early Childhood Development, Cronin took seven classes this fall semester totaling 20 credit hours.
"I have more time to learn and really understand the material," reports Cronin. "I don't feel as rushed as I did in the winter quarter; even though I'm taking more classes, the deadlines for papers and exams are more spread out."
Cronin adds that the set-up of semester classes has made it easier to schedule around her personal life. "All of my classes meet two days a week plus I work one day a week getting field experience for my child development major. This lets me have four days a week off school – the only downfall to semesters is carrying more books!"
Ashley Cronin gives advice to other WSCC students trying to finish their associate degree program in two years. "My biggest recommendation is to take at least fifteen credit hours each semester. Also, take as many classes as possible that meet twice a week," shares Cronin. "On those two days I use my time in between classes to do homework and go to the Center for Student Success for extra help when I need it...that way, I don't have much homework to do on my days off."
She adds, "For me, I would rather take more classes and graduate sooner, instead of dragging out school for a long time, that way I can graduate and begin my career."
Cronin is set to earn her associates of applied science degree Early Childhood Development in 2014. After graduation from WSCC, she plans to further her education and eventually work with preschool-age children with mild to moderate disabilities.
Taking 5 Classes - Drew Antill
Student Success Profile: Drew Antill - Taking Five Fall Semester Classes
In fall 2011, high school student Drew Antill decided to enroll at Washington State Community College (WSCC) as part of the Post Secondary Enrollment Option (PSEO) program for her senior year of high school – preparing her for a four-year university and receiving immense financial savings for college credit.
"I had earned more than the number of high school credits mandatory for graduation and like many other seniors only needed to take a couple classes to graduate," explains Antill. "By coming to Washington State Community College, I knew I could get a head start on college by taking those classes, along with a few others, and earn both high school and college credits at the same time."
Antill planned on attending a four year university immediately after high school graduation but realized that, by coming to WSCC for an additional year and completing an associate's degree program, her financial costs savings would total at least $14,000.
Drew Antill is currently working toward her liberal arts associate's degree and in fall 2012 was part of a handful of determined students taking five courses for WSCC's first-ever semester.
Now a Washington State Community College senior, Antill's goal is to graduate with her degree by either spring or summer semester 2012. She currently has 30 credit hours under her belt and is on track, only needing a few more credits to complete her degree and become one a proud WSCC alumni. Antill is resolute in completing this goal and "will do whatever it takes to graduate before fall semester, even if it means cramming in a few extra-classes."
Haylee and Angela Erb
Mother/Daughter pair who worked together to accomplish their goal of higher education
This summer’s Practical Nursing (PN) program graduates included a mother and daughter pair who worked together to accomplish their goal of higher education in the nursing field.
Angela and Haylee Erb teamed up to work together in the PN program and successfully completed the program this past August. “Always having each other to study with and go through the experience with, really helped us both succeed,” shares daughter Haylee.
Mother Angela Erb grew up in Marietta and was a Warren High School graduate who started her career ambitions with cosmetology classes at the Washington County Career Center. “I started my family, having three children, and eventually decided to go back to school, enrolling at Washington State several years ago,” explains Angela.
In 2005 Angela graduated from Washington State with her associate’s in Medical Transcription, which she used to obtain a job with Mountain State Blue Cross for nearly two years.
“I knew that I did like to work in health care, but realized my dream was to be a nurse in the home health field,” says Angela. Always encouraging her daughter to seek higher education, Angela teamed up with Haylee as they entered the program last year.
Haylee Erb is a recent Fort Frye High School graduate, who also followed in her mother’s footsteps, initially taking up cosmetology at the Career Center. “I became pregnant with my son during my senior year. Mom encouraged me to get into college straight after high school. Within two weeks of starting the PN program, my son was born,” explains Haylee.
Haylee says the classes came easier for her because she was fresh out of high school. Angela worked hard to brush up on her skills, “The class work was difficult, but I knew I was ready to work for it,” shares Angela. She also maintained a job throughout the entire PN program, working while studying to become a practical nurse.
Of course having a close study buddy always helps.
“Every time we had a test coming up we would meet four hours beforehand in the library,” says Haylee. “We studied together all the time, and that was a big help,” Angela adds, “Also, Diana Eesley was a really good nursing instructor who helped us both throughout the entire nursing experience.” They say Eesley helped them to memorize material with helpful sayings and made learning fun in the classroom.
The Erbs received their PN pins in a ceremony this past August, and look forward to taking their board licensure exams. Haylee shares that she would eventually like to start her career with Marietta Memorial Hospital after building her clinical experience. Angela says she would like to work in a nursing home and is looking into relocating to Columbus, OH.
For 40 years Washington State Community College has provided residents of the Mid-Ohio Valley the opportunity to realize dreams, to enhance skills, and to broaden understanding. Whether you are a recent high school graduate or a non-traditional student looking to move your life in a new direction, Washington State has the classes to suit your needs. For more information about Washington State Community College, visit www.wscc.edu or call 740.374.8716.
Student Success Profile
In her own words:
Two years ago my (then) seven-year-old son was asking me for help with his homework. When I realized I couldn't help him that really showed me I needed to make a change in my education.
I decided to take the ABLE (Adult Basic & Literacy Education) classes at Washington State with a goal to pass the GED exam. Within the first few months of classes my family saw a complete turnaround in my attitude. The program built up my self-confidence and changed my way of thinking.
I never thought I would even go back to get my GED. Now that I saw I could do that, it's not enough...I want to go to college too.
Lyndsey is currently enrolled in the fall quarter Bridge to College Success program at Washington State that will help her transition into full-time enrollment. She has future plans to get her associate degree in Social Services. She wants to dedicate her life to helping young adults.
Transfer Opportunities Abound for WSCC Graduate
Over the years Washington State has had numerous graduates who have gone on to succeed in a variety of fields. Whether former students go straight into the workforce, or continue their education at a four year institute or beyond, Washington State is proud to help students get started on their path towards success.
Levi Morris is just one great example of a student who has flourished since his time at WSCC.
During his second year of high school, Levi made the decision to participate in the PSEO program with Washington State. Not only did Levi thrive in the program, he also completed his Associates Degree in Liberal Arts Transfer by the end of his junior year. His ambition for higher education was not done there, however.
As a high school senior, though already holding his Associates Degree, Levi further took advantage of classes at Washington State, especially enjoying classes in Physics. He divided his time between WSCC and Marietta College, where he took two classes, and was no stranger to a full schedule.
Levi worked hard and when he graduated from Monroe Central in 2007 as valedictorian, he had no plans to take it easy over the next four years.
After transferring his credits to Wheeling Jesuit University in Wheeling, WV, Levi became even more active in both the campus and the community. With his involvement as a staff writer and section editor for the college newspaper, Cardinal Connection, his time spent as a physics tutor, and his participation in Cross Country, Track, and Theatre Guild, it is no surprise that during his freshman year, peers voted Levi Collegian of the Year.
This May 2011, Levi graduated Summa Cum Laude as an Ignatian Honors Scholar and was given the award for second highest GPA. He received his degree in Political and Economic Philosophy with a minor in Physics. Accepted to several top law schools, Levi plans to attend the University of Pennsylvania in the fall.
Levi said of his experience, "Washington State is an excellent stepping stone toward the full college experience. It allowed me to explore different courses to determine my academic interests, all while earning credit so I could graduate early from college if I chose to."
Levi's mother, Becky Morris, has no doubt that Washington State helped a great deal in Levi's path to higher education. Not only was he able to save money, but starting as a PSEO student at Washington State helped enable Levi to pick up his Physics minor. As a former WSCC student herself, Becky understands the difference starting at Washington State can make. "WSCC offers a quality education that prepares students to continue their education or get started in the workforce," said Becky.
Erica and Jonni Felter
Two sisters, two journeys, one commUNITY college
When Ericka and Jonni Felter enrolled separately at Washington State Community College, they didn't realize how their journeys would intertwine. In 1998, Ericka earned a degree in elementary education while Jonni completed a transfer degree via the Post-Secondary Enrollment Option (PSEO) program.
As first-generation college students, both knew that college was an important pathway to future career success. Washington State offered the programs that gave them their start.
According to Ericka Felter Schneider, she always felt a desire to teach. It became a reality when she met Carole Hancock, education program coordinator. "Carole's enthusiasm and encouragement affected me deeply," noted Schneider, "and her passion for teaching is a trait I carry into my own classroom."
After completing her bachelor's degree, Schneider began teaching for the Fort Frye local school district, where she currently teaches middle school, actively participates in the teacher's association, and offers her classroom as a location for Washington State's field experience students."I want to be a positive role model for my students and my children," said Schneider, "and I am grateful for the teachers who inspired me and helped to propel my career."
After finishing her PSEO career, Jonni Felter Tucker returned to Washington State in 1999 to pursue a nursing degree. Like her sister, Tucker felt inspired by Washington State faculty. "Darla Boone and Joyce Joy provided so much encouragement," Tucker stated. "I had so little experience and so little selfconfidence, but they constantly reassured me that I would be a great nurse."
When she graduated from the nursing program in 2000, Tucker briefly worked at Marietta Memorial Hospital before moving to her current position with the Washington County Health Department. Tucker works not only as a registered nurse, but also as a prevention instructor.
"The constant support, positive reinforcement, and genuine encouragement cemented my career path," Schneider said, "and I attribute my success to my mentors." Tucker agreed, "The nursing program at Washington State gave me self-assurance. I felt so well-prepared for not only state board exams, but also for real life."
Twelve years after a joint commencement with her sister, Tucker continues to feel grateful for her education and career choices, adding "I'm really lucky to be on this path with my sister and my best friend."
Robb and Ashlee Clark
Caldwell Couple Follow Dreams Through WSCC
When Robb Clark found he dreaded going to work every day, his wife, Ashlee had a solution: Go to Washington State Community College and,"Find out what you want to do."
Ashlee knew what she was talking about. After graduating high school, she attended Ohio State University to study Respiratory Therapy. She put her dream of helping others temporarily on hold after becoming pregnant with the couple's first child and moving back to Caldwell to raise their young family.
"There was never any doubt that I would go back, I knew this was something that I wanted to do," she said. When her son was about a year old, she knew the time was upon her. And at that time, Respiratory Therapy programs were few and far between in Ohio. "There were only about eight to ten in the state, and one happened to be at Washington State Community College."
She entered the program, and with the help of WSCC's professional staff, graduated in 2008 with an Associate in Applied Science in Respiratory Therapy degree.
"They prepped me for everything there," she said. "It's a really good program and it's local and very affordable."
It was after she landed a job in the Pulmonary Rehab Department at Genesis Healthcare System in Zanesville that she told Robb that it was time for him to chase a dream or two.
As a 24 year-old father of two, he knew when he enrolled in the Design Drafting program in 2008 that things would be hectic – after all, he'd watched his wife try to balance school and family life. But flexible scheduling and understanding professors made all the difference, he said. "Everyone was very helpful and the program was complimentary to an older student's schedule."
He received an Associate in Applied Science degree in Design Drafting in 2010 and is now a programmer at AGI Steel in Hannibal, OH. Now, every day he uses numerous tools he mastered at WSCC and continually draws upon the knowledge he gained through the Design Drafting coursework.
"I love my job," he said. "Before, I dreaded going to work. Now I look forward to it and I just didn't think that was possible for me. It couldn't have happened without Washington State."
Ashlee acknowledges that the path she and Robb took was a little less traditional than some students, but said that the sacrifices they made to pursue their degrees at Washington State Community College were worth it. "It's nice to have two good incomes and both of us working days and home on the weekends," she said laughing. "We may have done things a little backwards – or at least sideways – but eventually we got there."
Serving our commUNITY
In 2003, Warren High School graduate Jeremie Pinkerton wasn't sure if college was the right choice. Without solid plans, he enrolled in the liberal arts transfer program at Washington State Community College. Not knowing what to expect, Pinkerton came to the college as a greenhorn and left with a mission.
When criminal justice courses — corrections and introduction to justice — were added to his schedule as electives, Pinkerton found his passion.
"After spending time at Washington State Community College," Pinkerton noted, "I felt the confidence to continue pursuing my college education."
Pinkerton transferred to Kent State University where he earned his bachelor's degree in justice studies. He then began his law enforcement career as a corrections officer at the North Central Regional Jail in Greenwood, WV.
In 2007, Pinkerton was hired by the Parkersburg Police Department where he worked in dispatch for a short time before completing an intensive 16-week training course at the West Virginia State Police Academy. He returned to Parkersburg and, after an additional 12 weeks of training, Officer J.D. Pinkerton became a patrolman for the city of Parkersburg to "give back to and serve" his local community.
In addition to his typical duties of responding to traffic accidents, assisting with domestic violence incidents, and tending to the occasional drunk and disorderly calls, Pinkerton has continued his education within the department. He currently possesses motorcycle certification and recently completed specialized training to assist in upgrading reporting procedures. "Highrisk situations," he admitted, feed his adrenaline, which might explain his position on the SWAT team.
"The most rewarding aspect of the job," Pinkerton said, "is getting satisfaction from genuinely helping people."
He also acknowledged that the job has changed him. "I see the evil in people. I've changed my lifestyle, my friends, and my habits," he stated. "This job creates maturity."
Although Pinkerton truly enjoys his position, his long-term aspirations include pursuing his master's degree and potentially securing employment with the federal government.
"Washington State offered me direction," Pinkerton said. "It provided me with a good foundation and instilled a solid work ethic."
"If you're unsure about college," he said, "Washington State is a great place to start."
Graduation and Retention Rates
|Retention Rates based on 2010 Fall First-Time |
Full-Time Degree Seeking Cohort
|Undergraduate Retention & Graduation Rate Cohort|
|First-time, full-time student retention rate||47%|
|First-time, part-time student retention rate||26%|
|Graduation & Transfer Rates based on 2009 Fall First-time |
Full-Time Degree Seeking Cohort
|Overall Graduation Rate|
|Total number of students in the Adjusted Cohort||248|
|Total number of completers within 150% of normal time||43|
|Overall Transfer-out Rate|
|Total number of students in the Adjusted Cohort||248|
|Total number of transfers-out within 150% of normal time||36|