Students Find Success After College: ACTC and Pathways Inc. Partnership – by MEGAN SMEDLEY

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Students Find Success After College: ACTC and Pathways Inc. Partnership - by MEGAN SMEDLEY 2

Two students in the Medical Information Technology (MIT) program at Ashland Community and Technical College (ACTC) are headed to work at the same agency after completing successful internships. 

ACTC students Jaime Bowen and Shawnda Stamper have been working at an internship with Pathways, Inc in Ashland as a part of the MIT program. The two are set to graduate in December. 

“It really meant a lot to me to be able to do my Internship at Pathways,” said Bowen. “I have always been interested in the work that they do to help people and I wanted to be able to contribute.” 

“The internship meant the world to me,” Stamper added. “It was another step to reaching my dream.”

Janet Thomson, MIT program coordinator, says ACTC has a strong and thriving relationship with Pathways, Inc.  She says one of the biggest reasons for the collaboration is that an MIT program graduate, Marie Sublett, currently serves as the Director of Medical Records for Pathways and places the MIT students at their intern sites. 

 “Marie loves to help students excel in the same program that prepared her for a new career in the business side of health care,” Thompson said. 

She says MIT program classes can be completed fully online, though the program does require a certain amount of internship hours being on an actual job site as a part of the “Capstone” course.  

The Capstone course is individualized to each student and also includes other career readiness components such as practice job interviews with professionals in the field, drafting an updated resume, reviewing weekly job posts in the field, and preparing for national industry certifications such as the Certified Professional Coder (CPC) credential. 

Beth Sterling, Pathways Customer Service Manager, says the partnership is mutually beneficial to both Pathways and to ACTC. 

“Pathways not only works with ACTC with the Capstone program, but also annually provides a presentation to the Medical Information Management class related to careers in the field, and provides mock interviews to the MIT students.”

 “Pathways is a great organization to work with because they have such diverse services and several tri-state locations to place students in the Ashland/Grayson/Greenup area,” said Thompson. “Many MIT students are drawn to do their internship with Pathways because of the important mission the organization serves to our community.  It’s a win-win because they get to be in a medical office setting, learn the real work that goes into the administrative job duties to keep the offices and services running, and be a part of providing much needed resources to better the lives of people living in our area.”

“I have had so many people at that location reach out to me and be so helpful in my learning experience,” said Stamper. “The most meaningful thing of all is that I got offered a full-time job as a Customer Service Representative. This was surprising and has been the most rewarding experience. This job means I am getting closer to having a better career. It means the world to me.”

“Shawnda was very friendly, a quick leaner, and eager to work,” said Sterling. “Good work ethic goes a long way. Shawnda showed very early that she could work independently and a great team player. “ 

 Upon graduation, Bowen will also serve as a Customer Service Representative. 

“This job means a great deal to me,” she said. “I have always wanted the opportunity to be able to help people and I really feel I achieve this goal working at Pathways in addictions.  I like to feel as if I am part of great team and look forward to going to work every day.” 

“Jaime had a good work ethic. She was eager to work, was a self-starter and could work independently. She worked well with the rest of our staff,” said Sheila Tierney, Bowen’s supervisor. 

“Pathways has always enjoyed being able to help ACTC with the internship program and want to be able to continue to do so in the future,” she added.

Thompson says it is not uncommon for students to receive job offers while completing their internships on work sites. Along with Pathways, she says the MIT program works with many other employers, notably Hospice of Ashland, Ashland Children’s Clinic, and Kings Daughter’s Medical Center.

“We are always looking for new opportunities and partnerships,” she says. “Our end goal is to get our students into a rewarding full-time career.”

Thompson says there are also opportunities for MIT graduates to transfer for a 4-year degree, as the program works closely with multiple area universities, such as Ohio University Southern and Morehead State University.

For anyone interested in learning more about the MIT program, there will be an ONLINE information session on Zoom for prospective, new, or returning students. The event will be held Tuesday, December 15 at 6 p.m. For more information, email Janet.Thompson@kctcs.edu.

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