When Leanna Summers first entered the Medical Assistant certificate program at Charter College, she had not attended any classes since high school. “I’d never had a full-time job,” she says. “I got married and had kids after high school. I didn’t have a lot of confidence in myself.”
Then her husband announced that he was retiring and she saw an opportunity to continue her education. From the very start, the decision paid off. “When I started at Charter, I was very introverted and quiet,” she says. “But even the first day, the people there build you and help you to believe in yourself. They’ll do anything they can to help you succeed.”
Summers chose the MA program in part because of her own experience with the medical field – from a patient perspective. “I’ve been really sick for a long time and in my community, I’ve seen the need for connection between patients, doctors and the medical team,” she explains. Initially, she considered pursuing an LPN certification but was concerned about the impact on her family. “Charter offered a ten-month program which fit my family’s needs perfectly,” she says.
After graduating at the end of September, she found a job during her second interview. She credits the college with expanding her knowledge of the medical field and giving her more confidence. “For me, the program worked really well,” she says. “I took in-person classes as well as some that were all online. Access to the instructors was really good, even with the online courses. People who weren’t even part of our program, like the pharmacy instructors, would help us out. They were there for us for anything we needed.”
If you do not succeed at Charter, she maintains, it is only because you did not seek help. “Any time I asked, someone was right there, from the front desk to the instructors. If you bomb a test, they sit down with you and talk about it. They’ll find a way to help you be successful.”
Kaylan Grandorff came to Charter’s Pharmacy Technician certificate program for a different reason. Whether through nurture or nature, she seemed destined for the medical field. “My mom has been a nurse for 30 years at Providence,” she says. “My grandma is a retired nurse, my aunt is a CNA, and my other aunt is a pharmacist. I was drawn to the pharmacy side.”
She enjoys working with numbers as well as customers, so the program was a good fit. “I have a background in customer service and cooking,” she says. “I like fixing things.”
She appreciates how adaptable Charter’s programs are for students with families or who work while going to school. “They have awesome options for people who have a family life and have to work,” she says. “I worked the whole time I went to school and still am now.”
The student body is quite diverse, Grandorff notes. “We have a lot of moms that are going back to school and a lot of students that had taken a break after high school, myself included. The instruction and courses were geared toward job opportunities and what future employers would be looking for. They prepared us for what’s out there in the real world so we wouldn’t be going in blind.”
Elaina Keeter also continued her studies after completing a program at Charter, earning an Associate’s Degree in Allied Health after finishing the MA program. “I’ve always been interested in the medical field,” she says. “I had to quit my job because I had hand surgery and I saw a commercial for Charter College on TV. I ended up enrolling and starting school within three weeks.”
Since graduating, she is working directly for a doctor. “I manage more now that I have the AAS,” she says. “Before I was doing medical assistant work, but now I have more responsibility.”
Like Summers, she appreciates the Charter faculty and staff’s willingness to support students, whatever their needs. “I loved it,” she says. “All of the instructors are amazing. If you need help, they welcome you to stay after class so you can practice skills or study. Everyone is willing to help you in any way they can. They’re also amazing about supporting students in finding a job after you graduate. Even if I move, they’ll help me find a job in a new location. I feel like they’ll always be there, even if it’s been 20 years.”
Learn more about the programs and offerings at Charter College in Lacey online or call 888-200-9942.