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How a diagnosis led to a dream career

Written by Ashworth College on Friday, 21 September 2018. Posted in Success Stories

How a Diagnosis Led to a Dream Career

When Kevin Kays enrolled in the Associate Degree Program in Construction Management, it had been more than a decade since he had attended any kind of school. Because he was working full time in the construction business, convenience was on his mind as he began researching online colleges. He needed a flexible program of study that was affordable and would lead to a degree. He also wanted the freedom to learn at his own pace so he could finish his studies sooner rather than later.

Good fortune came his way in two ways. He decided Ashworth College met all of his needs, and his employer reimbursed him for the cost of the program.

A diagnosis of epilepsy

However, life has a way of throwing curve balls at you when you least expect it. Shortly after he enrolled at Ashworth College, Kevin was diagnosed with epilepsy and ended up in the hospital for treatment. But there was no stopping him. In his words, “Online education is really helpful if you have chronic health issues. I started my construction management degree just before I was diagnosed with epilepsy and I loved that it was online, since I had stays in the hospital. I probably wouldn't have been able to finish my degree at a brick and mortar school."

Returning to his job, Kevin refocused on earning his degree. He studied late at night, on weekends, and during lunch breaks at work. He remained committed to bettering himself, and in about two years the hard work paid off and he graduated.

Watch Kevin Kays speak at an Ashworth College graduation ceremony.

Kevin’s epilepsy prohibited him from achieving his initial goal of becoming a construction manager but didn’t let that dash his dreams of achieving more in life and attaining personal fulfillment. After earning his associate degree, he became an elementary school assistant substitute teacher. His associate degree qualified him for the role, and teaching young people became his new passion.

“I like making a difference in children’s lives a lot more than construction,” notes Kevin, adding, “At first I was in denial about epilepsy, but realized I had one choice: to just smile and move forward. It is what gave me the idea for my new career and as odd as it is to say, it has helped me find a career I love more.”

Education makes a difference

Ashworth College trains tens of thousands of students to be competent in careers they love. And even though Kevin graduated years ago, he continues to lavish praise on the quality of education he received at Ashworth College while earning his degree.

“The staff went above and beyond to help me out and they were great. I still stay in contact to this day. The advisors and staff are just great and easy to talk to. They give you quick feedback and were just amazing. In addition, I got all of my books on time and didn’t have to wait around for anything.”

While in school, Kevin’s strong suit was math, while English challenged him. When he was unsure of how to interpret a question in that subject, he would frequently call the professor for clarification. He suggests that Ashworth College students request help rather than guessing if they have any questions or uncertainty about what a concept means.

Says Kevin, “Make a phone call or leave a message in the online portal, or participate in the online community where you can go to the forum; I actually answered and asked questions in the forum a few times. Even if it’s at the end of the day, leave a message and they will call you back to help you.”

Recently, Kevin experienced another health setback and is scheduled for brain surgery. However, he has no intention of the surgery interfering with his career. He plans to earn his bachelor’s degree so he can become a full-fledged teacher. With the strength and determination he has shown in the past, there is no question his future remains bright.

If you’re considering higher education but are unsure where to start, contact one of our Admission Advisors at 1-800-957-5412 to help guide you through your choices.

About the Author

Ashworth College

Ashworth College

Our community is full of independent, motivated, growth-focused students. Dive into our blog to explore diverse stories from our students, friends, experts, and executives. From tips & tricks to student experiences and alumni stories, the Ashworth Blog is all about celebrating our community's accomplishments and passions.

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Career Why Ashworth Online personal training courses for NCSF-CPT prep

Look at you! You got swole and you loved it so much you’ve decided to help others get swole. What’s your next step? Professional certification! You already look the part of a legit personal trainer and that’s excellent for marketing your skills. But it’s a professional certification that really shows your potential clients that you’re qualified to train them. In other words, it gives them permission to trust you right from the start.

Get your brain in shape in as few as four months

Don’t worry, training your brain for certification won’t take as long as training your body into the best physical shape of your life. You also don’t have to go anywhere to get it done; you can learn everything you need to know with online personal training courses at Ashworth College. Our Personal Trainer Career Diploma program can be completed in as few as four months and you can study at your own pace.

The program curriculum aligns with the standards set by the National Council on Strength and Fitness and helps prep you specifically for their Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) certification exam. Because of the NCSF mission to promote high levels of professional competency, ethics, and safety, their CPTs are considered highly-reputable industry wide.

Why the NCSF-CPT certification exam?

There are nearly a dozen well-known certification programs available for aspiring personal trainers. They feature a range of costs, time commitments, and reputation levels. Here are some reasons why Ashworth College chose to base our program on the NCSF-CPT exam:

  • It’s accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).
  • The pass rate is about 57%. It’s not an open book test like the ISSA exam which has an 89.9% pass rate, but it is passable.
  • The NCSF requires fewer Continuing Education Units than other CPT certifications which means ongoing recertification requirements will take less time and money.*

By the way, when you enroll in the Personal Trainer Career Diploma program at Ashworth College, you’ll also have the cost of the NCSF-CPT exam, practice test, study guides, and a 1-year membership covered by tuition! Once you graduate, you’ll be ready to sit for your exam without jumping through hoops. We’ll help you get prepped and get done so you can start pursuing your passion for personal training with confidence.


*https://www.fitnessmentors.com/best-personal-trainer-certification/

Event planning diploma opens door to five-figure career for this former concert pianist

Career Success Stories Event planning diploma opens door to five-figure career for this former concert pianist

Terrence Jones of Raleigh, North Carolina, should have been a concert pianist. In fact, he graduated in 1998 with a Bachelor of Music degree in performance piano from Virginia State University. But there was one small problem.

“I walked the stage and got my degree, but I never actually finished my recital,” Terrence laughs today. “I completed all the coursework, but hey, it’s difficult to memorize an hour-long recital and then play it for an audience from memory.”

And while Terrence still plays the piano daily, he harbors no dreams of making his living as the next “piano man.” Instead, he used his first college experience to drive his determination to finish a different education and get started on a new, lucrative career path.

Starting a new path in hotel management

Terrence Jones

Terrence Jones

After completing his music degree, Terrence returned to Raleigh and began working as a server in various chain restaurants. Eventually he took a position as a banquet server at a local Sheraton hotel, which proved to be a life-altering decision.

“As I progressed in my career as a banquet server, I became very curious about how it all worked behind the scenes,” Terrence said. “I started asking questions about how everything came together – how the event contracts were negotiated, and all of that stuff.”

Terrence’s supervisors took note of his curiosity and began to mentor him. “Eventually one of them said to me, ‘You’re going to have to get an education to advance in this career,’ and that’s when I found Ashworth College,” he said.

“’You’re going to have to get an education to advance in this career,’ and that’s when I found Ashworth College.”

— Terrence Jones, Ashworth College graduate

Immediate value in the coursework

Terrence enrolled in the Ashworth College career diploma program in hotel and restaurant management in 2016, determined to finish it. He said the sense of “unfinished business” left by his first college experience drove his desire to complete the entire program this time around. It probably helped his determination when he experienced the immediate value of his coursework.

“When I was enrolled in the hotel management program, I was working at a thirty year old property that was undergoing renovation, and the first educational concept I learned in the course was that hotels must keep up with trends in order to remain viable,” Terrence said. “There was an instant, direct correlation between my education and the real world. I’ll give you another example: when I attended my very first sales meeting, they used the term RPM – rate per room – and I understood it! I felt like, wow, the lightbulb has turned on for me.”

Event planning and hotel management combination was the key

Not long after completing the hotel management career diploma at Ashworth College, Terrence enrolled in the event planning program, which he finished in 2018. These two shrewd educational moves have boosted his career tremendously.

“In less than seven years I went from making $16.25 an hour as a server to making over $50,000 a year as a catering and convention manager,” Terrence says with delight. “Ever since I stepped into Ashworth College online, my life began to change. I truly give it all to God. I’m so surprised at where the courses have taken me so far.”

Envisioning a Boundless Future

Some people hit their career stride early, while others take a more meandering path, as Terrence did. He turned 43 this past year and now sees his career future as a boundless opportunity to succeed. “My next step probably will be to take some finance courses, to get a better handle on that end of things,” he says of his plans. “My ultimate goal is to be a general manager.”

No doubt this should-have-been-pianist who followed his curiosity to a satisfying career in hotel management will succeed.

Learn more about the 125+ programs at Ashworth College

Whether, like Terrence, you’re looking to launch a new career, or perhaps advance in your current industry, Ashworth College offers a range of career diploma, career certificates, and advanced degrees to meet your needs. Getting started is simple and we’ll help keep you on track. Talk to an admissions advisor today to learn more.

How much do vet techs make, anyway?

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Animal lovers, rejoice! You can take your passion for furry (and scaly…and feathered) critters to the next level by becoming a veterinary technician. But before you take the plunge, how much do you know about vet tech salary? How much do vet techs make, anyway? Let’s dive into the key factors that affect vet tech pay.

Vet tech salary statistics

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for veterinary technicians and technologists looks rosy. The profession is expected to grow much faster than average, adding more than 20,000 jobs over the next decade.

That means demand for vet techs is high right now, and the wages are correspondingly generous. The median pay for vet techs runs $33,400 per year. “Median” means half of vet techs earn more than that, while half earn less. The top 10 percent of vet techs make more than $50,000 per year. That’s not chicken feed.

So how can you land the higher-paying vet tech jobs? It comes down to which industry you work in, as well as your geographic location.

These industries boast the highest vet tech salaries

Many people think of vet techs as the people who work at their veterinarian’s office, but veterinary technicians actually work in a wide range of industries, from advocacy organizations to zoos. And how much a vet tech makes can hinge on what industry they decide to work in.

The top-paying industry for vet techs is the federal government’s executive branch, with an annual mean wage of $51,320. The executive branch includes agencies like the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Commerce, which may employ vet techs to work in animal inspection jobs, at fisheries, or in other interesting positions. Other top-paying industries for vet techs include:

  1. Museums, historical sites, and other institutions, which pay an annual mean wage of $44,510. In these positions, a vet tech might tend to wildlife or service animals.
  2. Colleges of all kinds, including junior colleges, universities, and professional schools, at an annual mean salary of $40,480. These vet techs likely work with animals involved in research activities.
  3. Social advocacy organizations, which pay vet techs an annual mean salary of $33,080. These vet techs may care for injured animals throughout a rehabilitation process.

Which states pay the highest vet tech salary?

In addition to the industry you choose to work in as a vet tech, your geographic location can affect your pay, too. If you want to earn the highest salary as a vet tech, pack up the van and move to one of these states.

  1. Connecticut, which pays the highest mean annual wage of $43,360.
  2. New York, just behind its neighbor to the east, at an annual mean wage of $42,840.
  3. Alaska, where you can earn a mean annual wage of $41,160.

And which states pay the least to vet techs?

  1. Louisiana, with an annual salary of $26,000.
  2. Arkansas, slightly better, at $26,410.
  3. Oklahoma, $27,370.

Start your journey to becoming a vet tech

As you can see, a vet tech salary can be very generous. And because the profession is growing, there’s never been a better time to get started on this path. Learn more about the AVMA CVTEA-accredited online veterinary technician program at Ashworth College or talk to an Admissions Advisor today by calling 1-800-957-5412.

Ready to enroll? You can sign up and start classes the same day! Start now.

 
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