Medical assisting graduate finds rewarding career

[BEAVER, W.Va.] Erica Shepherd applied to New River Community and Technical College during her senior year at Meadow Bridge High School and was excited to receive a Presidential Scholarship from the college.

“During my first semester, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to study. I was interested in education, then business and then another student told me about medical assisting. After that, I talked to a faculty member with the program and began taking classes. I knew I had found a career I would enjoy,” Shepherd explained.

She earned the Associate of Applied Science in Medical Assisting in May and is employed at Obstetrician/Gynecologist Dr. David Patton’s Beckley office. “I love interacting with and caring for the patients,” Shepherd added.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 23% increase in job growth between 2014 and 2024 in the field of medical assisting, faster than the average for other occupations. New River CTC’s medical assisting program is a two-year associate degree program that prepares graduates to work in a variety of healthcare settings. During the last semester, students complete an externship under the supervision of a physician. Graduates are qualified to sit for the National Healthcareer Association certified clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) Exam.

Presidential Scholarships at New River CTC are merit-based awards for current graduating seniors. The scholarship provides full in-state tuition for up to four consecutive
semesters beginning with the fall (excluding summer terms and special sessions). Recipients must register for 12 or more credit hours pursuing a certificate of applied science or associate degree and maintain an overall 3.0 grade point average. For information on admissions and the programs offered at New River CTC, email or call 866-349-3739.

New River Community and Technical College serves nine counties in southeastern West Virginia from the Greenbrier Valley Campus (Lewisburg), Mercer County Campus (Princeton), Nicholas County Campus (Summersville) and Raleigh County Campus (Beaver/Beckley).