Meet our Students
Aspiring Biomedical Engineer
When Kristina Smith was a senior at Monticello High School, she worked hard to get good grades so she could go to college. Plans were nearly in place to attend a four-year school when she discovered that she didn't qualify for financial aid. "It was either pay my own way or not go at all. So I didn't go."
What followed were a few years of unfulfilling, minimum-wage jobs. Just when she thought she didn't have any other options to help pay for college, the family she works for as a nanny and personal assistant offered to cover her expenses for PVCC classes. "They said I was too smart not to go to school," said the Fishersville resident. "I felt that this was finally my chance at a college education."
Kristina began taking classes at PVCC in 2012. The PVCC dual enrollment classes that she completed while in high school helped give her a jump start on an Associate of Science degree in engineering.
Her professors encouraged her to do her very best in the classroom, and she is now active in the PVCC community. Kristina works as a Student Ambassador for PVCC's Admissions and Advising Center. She gives tours to visitors, assists with student orientations and helps register students for classes.
Her plans are to transfer to the University of Virginia in 2014 to pursue a degree in biomedical engineering. "PVCC has been an amazing experience," Kristina said. "It's taken a lot of strength to get where I am, but I want my story to show someone else that they can do it, too."
On the Path to a Health-Care Career
In 2012, Albemarle County Resident and Marine veteran Joyce Howard was a working mother with two children and a job that she planned to have until retirement. When her employer was forced to downsize due to lack of program funding, she unexpectedly found herself unemployed. The next few months brought a lot of uncertainty, but one thing Joyce knew for sure: she was ready for a career change.
Joyce had always felt that she was missing out by not having a college degree, so when she heard about the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program, which helps unemployed veterans receive job training assistance at a community college, she jumped at the opportunity. Her first call was to PVCC.
Joyce met with Jackie Fisher, PVCC's veterans and military advisor, who provided assistance with applying to PVCC, choosing a program of study and applying for veterans educational benefits. She also attended one of PVCC's special veterans information sessions for prospective students. There she discovered that she qualified for additional financial aid and learned about PVCC's many support services and resources to help students succeed.
Now Joyce is a full-time student, completing the general education classes required for application to PVCC's Radiography associate degree program. Her studies are often a family affair with her two children helping her to prepare for exams. "I love being in school. It's a tremendous opportunity. It really is a dream come true." After graduation, Joyce plans to work as a radiologic technologist.
The Associate of Applied Science degree in Radiography is a two-year (five semesters) course of study. Graduates of the program are eligible to take the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) exam for national certification. For more information, log on to www.pvcc.edu/radiography.
Michelle T., PVCC 2010, Associate of Science in General Studies (transfer degree)
January 7, 2014
I began my college career as a student at Piedmont Virginia Community College. It was August of 2008 when I first began classes, but it was not my dream school. Before I had even [finished] high school I knew that I wanted to attend Longwood University. It had always been my dream school, but I also knew that I was not prepared to go Longwood. My mother did not have the finances to support that dream, nor did I have the living/social skills to be able to live on my own, but I was still determined to see my dream all the way though. I decided to attend PVCC so that I could stay at home, and save all the money that I could save, and work on becoming a more independent person. It was a learning experience to say the least. I worked for the first time, and juggling both work and school seemed impossible at times. I didn't have a car at the time, and I relied on the Jaunt transportation system to bring me back and forth. Eventually I was able to save up and purchase a $200 1990 Honda Accord. I was so proud that I was able to purchase it all on my own! It didn't have air conditioning, and it broke down on the side of the road countless times, but it was all worth it. Two years later with hard work and determination, I was able to graduate [from PVCC] and attend my dream school, Longwood. While at Longwood, I completed my Bachelor's in Sociology and I am now pursuing my Master's degree in School Counseling. I work as a Family Services Specialist for Fluvanna County Department of Social Services. I am pleased with my decision to attend PVCC. PVCC has helped shaped me into the young woman that I am today. PVCC offers an array of courses which helped me come to the decision to study sociology, and the staff at PVCC truly helped guide me. My sister is now a freshman at PVCC, and I remind her everyday how this college prepared me for everything that I am doing today. I am truly grateful that I was able to attend and I am living proof that it is possible.
Julie B., PVCC 2013, Associate of Science, Business Management
May 9, 2013
With the help of an amazing support system, I am the first in my family to graduate and receive a degree in Business Management. PVCC has helped me tremendously to build my interpersonal and conversation skills. I work at Orme Family Fitness Gym in Palmyra. There I am able to utilize the skills and tools I have learned at Piedmont, such as problem solving and people skills. Working and going to school can be a tough decision to make and carry out, but with the help and understanding of the staff at PVCC, I was able to make it happen! This achievement has opened my future up to many possibilities, I feel as if I can make any dream I now have come true!
Nathan M., PVCC 2013, Associate Degree in Applied Science, Police Science
May 8, 2013
I attended PVCC because when I graduated high school, I had no real idea what I wanted to do with my life. My marks in school were far less than outstanding and I was not really mature enough to attend a university just yet. I needed that college experience without being completely taken away from my hometown, friends, family, pretty much everything I knew. PVCC gave me that guidance to find myself and find what I wanted to do for the rest of my life while still being in a familiar atmosphere. Now that I am graduating, I know I have gained the experience and maturity necessary to attend a university this fall to continue my studies in Criminology.
Thomas B., PVCC 1980, Took classes, then transferred to U.Va.
March 15, 2013
Many years ago when I lived in Albemarle County I was working at the bottom of a ditch waiting for a backhoe to lower a piece of sewer pipe down to me. I looked up and all I could see was a stripe of blue sky. I had two thoughts; the first was that if the ditch caved in, I would never see my unborn child. The other was what my father made to me years earlier. He said, "Son, if you don't go to college you will end up digging ditches." I decided to get out of the ditch. I did. My goal was to earn my teaching credentials. I did.
For many years I have been living and teaching in Japan for the Department of Defense, it was the culmination of my efforts at PVCC, U.Va., The Curry Graduate School, and The University of Denver. I never thought I would ever see or travel in the Far East much less live here. Now my plan is for to retire after next school year from DoDDS (Department of Defense Dependents Schools). My wife and I have enjoyed our time here. Our daughter grew up overseas and had educational experiences others can only imagine.
Dr. Pincus was one of my first instructors and he and I became friends and remain so to this day. I also remember Mr. and Mrs. Willis, Evelyn Edson, Madame Chartres, and an anonymous Math instructor who pulled me back into his class so that I could satisfy the algebra requirement. There are others whose names I have forgotten but I would like to acknowledge their dedication to me as a student and to the teaching profession. PVCC was my personal gateway.
Carol O., PVCC 1989, Associate in Applied Health-Nursing
August 23, 2012
1989 seems like so many years ago. That Associate in Applied Health degree that I earned at PVCC has served me well. It opened doors and allowed me to do things I once only dreamed about. I've earned two master's degrees since but still work in health care serving the tribal people of Alaska and use the tools I learned at PVCC every day.
John S., PVCC 2012, Associate of Applied Science Degree, Nursing
February 28, 2012
I am making a "later in life change" that was precipitated by life events. I was motivated in part by the thinking "do something or I will be a greeter (at a store we all know) when I get old" and nursing was on my short list. I was advised to take Anatomy and Physiology as an introduction to the nursing program. I panicked after I took the first quiz. I felt that I should drop the course because I was too far out of the loop in the sciences. The calm advice of Professor Moyer to wait until after the first midterm to make a decision was well made. I finished the course with an A which helped me gain entrance into the nursing program. Looking to the future, I plan to use my Associate's Degree in Nursing as a springboard into the field of nursing. A bachelor's degree is my most immediate education goal with plans to be enrolled in a BSN program within the year. It is my long-range plan to continue to the master's level. I should be 54 when I graduate in nursing after 35 years in hospitality. My time at PVCC will be remembered fondly.
Elizabeth H., PVCC 2012, Associate of Applied Science in Nursing
February 16, 2012
I have been interested in Nursing since high school. As a senior, I took a half day of high school and a half day of college courses. I had my eyes set on being an RN. Then, I was distracted after meeting the love of my life and was married right out of high school. College became a struggle with a full-time job and being a newlywed. I was in love and couldn't wait to start a family. So, I put my dream on hold and dropped out. Thirteen years went by. We moved to Virginia and have had two children who are 11 and 13 now. My husband told me that it was time to complete my high school dream and finally become a nurse. PVCC was a great choice because the classes that I needed fit right into my schedule. A year later, I applied to the Nursing program. To my surprise, I was accepted quickly. My husband and children had to kick in. We made a pact at the beginning of Nursing school that we would all pitch in to lighten mom's load. Through these two years in PVCC's Nursing program, I have had many sleepless nights and have spent many weekends doing nothing but studying. I have missed many family moments. My husband took over the cooking, cleaning, and transportation for the kid's and their sports activities. If it wasn't for my husband and children kicking into full gear, I would have never made it! I just want to say that you can work part time, have a family, and still go to college and fullfill your life dreams!
Elizabeth J., PVCC 2012, Associate of Applied Science in Nursing
February 16, 2012
I began attending PVCC with the original idea to obtain my teacher's licensure so that I could use my B.A. in English to teach. I took a Microbiology course and almost all of the students were talking about the Nursing program. Being new to Charlottesville, I quickly learned PVCC has a very reputable Nursing program and after enjoying Microbiology, I soon turned my attention to Nursing. I was stuck in a retail management job, making good money but at a dead end. I was so excited to get into the program!!! My instructors have been amazing and PVCC is affordable, which made a big difference while I was still working full time and paying for school out-of-pocket. I have enjoyed the Nursing program and think that PVCC has a clinical application in their program that really prepares you for the job. I will graduate this May, and I plan on obtaining my BSN beginning in the fall. My ultimate goal is to be a Nurse practitioner, and I love the fact that I can actually work in my profession while I attain those advanced degrees. Thanks PVCC!!!
Josh P., PVCC 2012, Associate of Science - General Studies (Transfer Degree)
January 13, 2012
Attending PVCC was my only choice -- when I applied, I had freshly graduated with a GED from a subpar homeschooling experience. Admission to a four-year school was impossible. Through many semesters of work, PVCC enabled me to learn foundational mathematics and other literacy concepts as well as fostered a new attitude toward learning -- an attitude of excitement, curiosity, and competence. I intend to transfer to a school in the DC area to complete my undergrad in sociology and then earn a master's degree in education. I hope to be able to give back to other students, through education support, in the same measure that staff at PVCC and other educational institutions have helped me.
Colleen Y., PVCC 2011, Associate of Science with a Specialization in Biotechnology
October 6, 2011
I applied to PVCC as a recently separated/single mom and veteran. The GI Bill and College Fund supported me and my family as I pursued education to gain independence. I began with the nursing program but found it too strenuous as a single mom, so I refocused on an Associate of Science degree specializing in Biotechnology. I love the sciences and PVCC has a superior faculty. I look forward to working in the field and continuing my education in the near future.
Carolyn B., PVCC 1979, Associate in Applied Science Degree - Nursing
July 31, 2011
I began my degree in 1976 and graduated from the nursing program in 1979. I worked as an RN in ICU/CCU, ER, PACU and Telemetry for my entire career before returning to complete my BSN. I will complete my Master's of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree in August, 2011, from Walden University. I presently work as a clinical instructor for a local practical nursing program. I wish all of you nursing students the best education you can possibly get. It just takes time and perseverence. PVCC gave me a wonderful education, one that I will always be thankful for. Do not let this be the end of your education since we must all be life long learners. I plan on working on my DNP beginning next year. I feel there is a time for a much needed rest in between the MSN and DNP. Godspeed to you all.
Megan P., PVCC 2011, Associate of Science in General Studies
April 4, 2011
I chose PVCC because I never thought about attending a four-year college and leaving home. I began attending PVCC before graduating high school in 2008 and continued until 2010. While attending PVCC, I was introduced to so much information that I found not only useful but also interesting. It was through attending PVCC that I realized I would like to continue my education. I was accepted to JMU and with the help of PVCC's wonderful advisors as well as some faculty members, I got all the information I needed to transfer there and prepare me for the transfer. I am so glad I chose to come to PVCC because it opened me up to so many opportunities. I would not have attended JMU right after high school, and thanks to PVCC I have realized that I would love to teach. I am pursuing my Master's in Elementary Education. PVCC has given me the opportunity to meet students from so many countries like Iran, China, South Korea, Africa, and Vietnam and even led to me becoming an active citizen and volunteer in my community. I recently participated in an alternative spring break through JMU to Bartow, Florida, to help the children of migrant farm workers and talk with those families to let them know we respect them and do not believe they are bad people, which is all they hear sometimes through politics and prejudice. We were able to spend a week in their shoes basically and see how hard their lives are. Before PVCC I had no direction, but now I am proud of my accomplishments and future goals and realize my ability to help people.
Thomas M., PVCC 2003, Information Systems Technology
March 23, 2011
I began taking classes part-time at PVCC in 1984 shortly after I moved here. My employers always picked up the tab, but because I worked full time, I could comfortably manage only one class at a time. I did not take a class every semester. By early 2001 I had accumulated a fair number of credits, so I met with a PVCC counselor to determine if I was close to meeting the requirements for a degree. I was informed that I needed six classes to qualify for an AAS in Information Systems Technology with Specialization in Computer Applications. So I took the six classes over the next two years and graduated from PVCC on May 9, 2003 with highest honors. So what am I doing now at PVCC? The company I was working for, Biotage, moved from Charlottesville, transferring most of the work to Sweden. That made us former Biotage employees "displaced workers" by the government's definition. After a few months of unfruitful job hunting, the Virginia Employment Commission advised that I needed to be retrained, so here I am back at PVCC, but as a full-time student working part time. I chose PVCC because I have a history here, knew that it has top-notch teachers and courses, and it was much more affordable than other higher education institutions in the area. I am taking a double major: Information Technology and Electronics and Computer Technology, and plan to graduate with the IT degree this May and with the additional degree possibly in 2012.
Christine O., PVCC 2011, Associate of Applied Science Police Science Degree
March 10, 2011
I started attending PVCC in the summer semester of 2006. My mother had just passed away, and I needed something to help me focus (what better than school). Yes, I realize an Associate Degree in a normal world only takes two years. Mine took five. I had been a Business Management major but couldn't wrap my brain around economics. I changed my major to something I'd always been interested in...Criminal Justice. I didn't do so well one semester and I lost my financial aid. I took a year off to get myself together (a lot was going on in my personal life) and regain my focus. When my daughter started kindergarten in August 2009, I started back to PVCC. I appealed to get my aid re-instated, and I won my appeal! Each semester, I have challenged myself by adding more classes to my schedule as well as two internships in my field of study. I'm looking forward to graduation (I'm a 1st- generation college graduate) and completing the transfer process for ODU. I'd like to think that I am a role model not just for my daughter but for other single moms and people who live in public housing. This step (graduation) is one of my first steps towards becoming self-sufficient and moving my family out of public housing.
Sheila H., PVCC 2011, Associate of Science Degrees in General Studies and Education
March 3, 2011
Ever since walking through the doors at PVCC, the college has really helped me as an adult student in many ways to reach my goals of getting degrees in general studies and education. I want to be a special education teacher who helps autistic children, and I plan to apply to U.Va.'s BIS program to continue after PVCC graduation. Growing up I loved school, but I had many obstacles to overcome which lead me not to attend college after high school. I wasn't motivated anymore. I thought there were no other options until I came to PVCC. I have turned into a well-spoken woman with high dignity and will be graduating in May with the education I need to succeed in life. While attending PVCC, I have worked 40+ hours a week as a surgical technician in a research lab at the U.Va. Health System. This semester I have also been an intern at Barrett Daycare Center on Mondays and Fridays. During my journey here at PVCC, I learned to always be determined and never, never to give up on my dreams. Education is the key and so important. Attending PVCC has also allowed me to set an example for my daughters. One of them transferred from PVCC to Virginia Union University as a first-year student, and my other daughter attended Norfolk State University and is now in law school at the University of Maryland.
Shannon P., PVCC 2011, Associate of Applied Science in Nursing
February 28, 2011
After graduation from Western Albemarle High School, I enrolled at PVCC but wasn't focused enough to do anything. I preferred free time and was content with the fact that I didn't necessarily have to go to class. I bombed my first semester, picked up my grades, and then bombed later. It was a roller coaster. I finally started doing better in school once I settled down and decided to focus, and I graduated with my Liberal Arts degree in 2008. I had planned to go into Education, but Nursing was much more appealing to me. I took all the courses I could and got excellent marks! The Nursing program at PVCC has been very intense, stressful, and hectic, which has truly prepared me for the nature of the nursing profession. The program has enhanced my skills in critical thinking to effectively problem-solve. It has given me confidence to establish therapeutic relationships with patients. The program teaches boundaries, ethical dilemmas, standards of practice, and an overall strict adherence to professionalism. It has prepared me for work in a variety of clinical settings. I feel that this program is very competitive and that my education and competence will be apparent on the job.
Johanna C., PVCC 2007, Math and sciences prerequisites for Physician Assistant school
February 7, 2011
I had already earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology in 1994 at West Virginia University. When I decided I wanted to become a Physician Assistant (PA), I realized that I had quite a bit of math and science classes to either take for the first time or retake because the credits from my bachelor's degree were too old. PVCC's class offerings were perfect as they catered (among other things) to the health science professions. I was able to take every pre-requisite I needed. They were taught by professors that had real career experience specific to their subject. As a result, I had a respect for my professors because they didn't just teach from a book. They had real life scenarios. Not only that, but the professors were attuned to the challenges of adult learners and career changers. I'll never forget my surprise when at the start of a semester I received an anonymous classroom questionnaire that assessed potential barriers to our success in the classroom. Examples of barriers included lack of personal time, work, child care, transportation, rusty study skills, all of which were very real barriers to some of us. The professors wanted to know first-hand what we were dealing with, to better understand our needs. I don't think you could get that as easily at a large scale institution. PVCC is a small community college with big ideas. In a very unassuming and personal way, it is helping people achieve their career goals. I am one example. After obtaining my pre-requisites through PVCC, I was accepted to the Drexel/Hahnemann Physician Assistant Program in Philadelphia, PA, where I obtained my Master of Health Sciences degree, and after graduating, I earned the national PA certification. I am now a certified and licensed PA.
Sandra B., PVCC 2011, Business Management
February 4, 2011
I graduated from Fluvanna County High School in 1980 and began taking classes soon after at PVCC. I have been through 2 divorces, multiple job losses, financial problems, and raising a son by myself. In August 2009, my 18-year-old son was in an auto accident and is now a quadriplegic. I was with him bedside in 4 hospitals for 5 months. Since coming home in January 2010, I have been his sole caregiver 24/7. I decided that since I only have 3 classes left to graduate in May 2011 to bite the bullet and get it done. It is very stressful, but when I walk at graduation and get my Associates Degree with my PTK Honor, I will be the happiest person in the world. I hope that I can inspire others to never give up on their education. I plan to continue at Mary Baldwin College to get my Bachelor's in Business Administration. I enjoy the laid-back feeling of PVCC and the various class schedules. I have made many new friends along the way. My hope for the future is to start a home business, which my son can help me to run.
James S., PVCC 2011, Business Administration
February 2, 2011
After graduating high school in '95, I attended a 4-year college near home in Wisconsin. After not doing very well and being academically suspended after one year, I decided to join the Marine Corps. I was in the Marines for 8 years. After coming back home from Iraq in 2003 and getting out of the Marines, I went into the police academy and became a police officer. While working, I started attending college when I met my future wife. She was graduating from medical school and was moving to VA for her residency when I decided to quit my job and move with her. In VA, I decided to go back to school full time and try to finish my degree that I started almost 15 years earlier. After 2 years at PVCC, I am graduating with a 3.8 GPA and most likely transferring to UVa's McIntire School of Commerce to pursue my degree in Accounting. PVCC has made this process easy by offering its work-study program, student activities, and Learning Center, and through the helpfulness of all my professors and faculty, I am on my way to graduating from PVCC and moving on to a 4-year school. This may not be the most riveting story, but for me, I went through a lot to reach this point and get what I think is very important for anyone and everyone to achieve...a degree.
Modou lamin G., PVCC 2011, AAS Police Science
December 12, 2010
In the spring of 2009, I decided to take part-time classes at PVCC to get a feel about college life, before making my mind on going full time. Although I was scared to death for starting a full course load the following semester, I decided to go ahead anyway, because I knew without a doubt that getting a degree will change my life. I have to say, it is the best decision I have ever made in my entire life, and there is no better place to do this than at PVCC. With the help of a scholarship from the PVCC Foundation board, I was able to pay for all my classes, and I had a great time going to school. There are students from all walks of life at PVCC, and having moved to Virginia from Gambia, I felt totally at home. I could not ask for a friendlier atmosphere. Furthermore, the best part is I am slated to graduate in the spring of 2011 with an AAS in Police Science and no debt. There is no way that I could have been able to achieve my educational goals without the financial help, plus the tremendous support I received from my teachers and other staff at PVCC. I can firmly attest that the best teachers cannot be found anywhere in the world than�at PVCC. Therefore, everyone especially people of the piedmont should take advantage of the opportunities accorded to them at PVCC. Thank you PVCC!
James L., PVCC 2011, Associate of Applied Science in Information Technology
December 1, 2010
Starting college 18 years after graduating from high school, I was a little apprehensive of how I would adjust to returning to a learning environment. From the moment I walked in to speak to an academic advisor to choose a path of study until now, one semester away from graduating, the faculty and staff at PVCC have made the transition for me very easy and my overall experience very enjoyable. My only regret is not starting at PVCC sooner.
Gabrielle C., PVCC 2011, Associate of Science, General Studies
October 29, 2010
Because of PVCC, I was able to graduate high school at 16, and I will have my Associate in General Studies when I am only 18 years old.
Deborah M., PVCC 2010, Associate of Applied Science degree in Accounting
October 26, 2010
I took my first class at PVCC with my 14-year-old son who was taking a dual-credit Spanish class. I found I loved the learning experience and continued for 5 years to complete my AAS degree. I feel such an accomplishment, even though it has been a slow road to travel. I never graduated from high school, but was thrilled when I passed the Compass placement test and did not have to take any remedial classes. The stigmatism that I have felt when someone asks if I graduated will be gone once I receive this degree. Although I received my GED, I didn't like to tell anyone, as it made me feel like a quitter. Now I feel that I have actually followed through with this endeavor and accomplished my goal. I would have tried earlier in my life had I realized the financial assistance available to adult students. I always thought I was unable financially to go to college. I am especially grateful to Professor Linda Hitt and her brother for providing a scholarship to me so I could accomplish this goal and to Mary Jane King for taking the time to tell me it was possible for me to get a scholarship. I will never forget the support I received while at PVCC. The professors were always willing to help you succeed and took extra time to explain difficult concepts in ways that you as an individual could understand. Expectations at PVCC are high, but if you work hard, you can do it. I am so grateful for the education I received while there.
Elisha C., PVCC 2010, Associate Degree
October 26, 2010
PVCC is one of the great colleges not only in Virginia but across the nation that stands for student success. I chose PVCC for its input and output towards student academic credentials. Throughout my study at PVCC, I was never free from migraine. I suffered from daily headache and chronic migraine nearly every day, but I never gave up. I kept on trying hard in order to get my associate degree. I was always lucky to have professors who could easily understand my situation. Today I am very proud to exit PVCC with this great smile on my face.
Margaret D., PVCC 2012, Health Information Management
October 26, 2010
After being laid off from my long-time job in graphic arts, layout and design, where I had worked for twenty years, and being unable to find a job in the Charlottesville area in the same or related field, I finally had to face up to the fact that I would have to seek training in another field. I have found everyone at PVCC to be very helpful in my quest to re-educate myself in a new area. In the end, however, it is up to me to succeed in making a new career for myself. I will continue to work in that path by continuing to work towards my certificate in Health Information Management here at PVCC.
Sara M., PVCC 2011, Associate of Arts, Liberal Arts
October 26, 2010
I enrolled in PVCC after graduating from high school because I felt I had too few redeeming qualities to apply to a four-year college. After my first year at PVCC, I was able to realize my potential at learning Japanese and that I could attain the goals I set out to do. I am now completing three times the amount of homework regular Japanese students are doing and hosting a Japanese study group for 101 students. Because of my success at PVCC, I am confident I will study in Japan and become a translator in the near future.
James M., PVCC 2011, Associate of Science Degree
October 22, 2010
I dropped out of school in 9th grade and for years I had no idea where I was going. Nearly 4 and 1/2 years ago, I enrolled into a creative writing course at PVCC because at the time I was interested in becoming a writer and figured that the one course could help. I was hooked. I especially enjoyed the school grounds and the teachers' openness and willingness to talk with me. Since then, I have slowly worked my way up and developed my academic skills by taking more and more courses and finally getting over the many humps of not having much prior formal education. My time at PVCC and working together with PVCC's staff and teachers has been one of the most personally enriching experiences of my life. The teachers at PVCC are gems. They are kind, understanding, sensitive, supportive, and have wonderful senses of humors. They are the strength of the community. If it weren't for their continuing energy I would not have been inspired to continue my own studies. At some point, I would love to teach here to carry on their enthusiasm for learning. PVCC is not just an intermediate gateway to some larger 4-year university -- like a heart, it stands on its own providing a warmth that enlivens the student body. The faculty is part of this community and they represent the channels from the heart. It is my sincere hope that PVCC retains the same warmth in order to nurture future students to come.
Whitney T., PVCC 2011, Career Studies Certificate, Administrative Support
October 22, 2010
I am a single mother and I work 2 jobs. PVCC has been there for me through it all. My instructors were perfect, and the college hours and resources were incredible. I would recommend this wonderful opportunity to anyone.
Ralph H., PVCC 1996, Associate of Science, General Studies
August 5, 2010
After Desert Storm, I relocated to Charlottesville to help build a retirement home for my friend and mentor. I told him about my goal of achieving an advanced degree. He recommended I look into PVCC. I took his advice and visited. Immediately upon visiting PVCC, I felt at ease and found like people with similar goals, backgrounds and ideals. I made friends for life. As PVCC helped me achieve my educational goal, I, in turn, helped PVCC by participating in student activities and events as well as returning as an alum for various events. PVCC will always have a warm place in my heart. I recommend PVCC to any one looking to advance their goals through retraining, obtaining additional skills and/or pursuing an advanced degree.
John C., PVCC 2009, Associate of Applied Science in Nursing
August 5, 2010
I went to PVCC because I wanted to change careers. I was very nervous in the beginning because I had been out of school for 4 years and had been working full time. After starting at PVCC I was no longer nervous because the faculty and staff were very helpful and friendly and I could tell from the beginning that they did not want to just help me get a degree but they wanted me to be successful and be the best I could be. I volunteered as a tour guide my first 2 semesters and I was privileged to get to know a lot of the incoming students, faculty and staff that I would have never gotten to know otherwise. A lot of the staff that I got to know around campus through giving tours or helping in the Welcome Center were such an encouragement to me. Nursing school was difficult, but my instructors were very helpful and taught me what it means to be a great nurse. Because of the great instruction and support of my PVCC family, I have a great career helping and taking care of other people today. Thank you PVCC!
Crystal B., PVCC 1993, Associate of Arts, Liberal Arts
June 21, 2010
I entered PVCC with fear in my heart and low expectations in my mind. I began as a part-time student but the more classes I took, the more comfortable I was with learning and the more ambitious my dreams became. By the time I graduated with my associate degree, I had already begun planning for my bachelor's degree and by the time I completed my bachelor's degree, I was planning for my master's degree. I now have an associate degree in liberal arts, a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology, and a master's degree in special education. I owe it all to the staff and faculty of Piedmont Virginia Community College. If my PVCC experience had not been as positive and fulfilling as it was I would not have gone on to further my education.
Gary P., PVCC 1987, Associate in Police Science
June 17, 2010
My primary reason for attending PVCC was because of the availability of both day and evening classes. I was working full-time and doing shift work, so I needed the flexible class schedule. Once I started attending classes, I came to really enjoy the time I spent there. I found the faculty to be very open to having class discussions and not just "reading from the book," which I found both interesting and informative. This was a much more relaxed form of teaching and I could see that it took a lot of the normal pressure off of the students and allowed us to perform better in the classroom.
My degree has helped me obtain two promotions in my job, and I often find myself thinking back to things I learned in the various classes I attended. I truly believe that without the availability of PVCC, many people in our community would not have achieved the success they have.
Crystal L., PVCC 2010, Nursing
June 15, 2010
I worked my way through nursing school at PVCC, and because I was given the choice whether to take the evening or day classes, I was able to work and support my daughter while I attended nursing school to achieve my dream of becoming a nurse. I would highly recommend anyone to pursue their dreams. Where there is a will there is a way! I am living proof. I am a single mother, and I was able to work and attend college full time. It did take a lot of sacrifices, but in the end, it is making for a better future. Now, I only work one full-time job and have more time at home with my daughter.
Brenda G., PVCC 2010, Associate in Nursing
June 15, 2010
If you would have asked me ten years ago if I would ever go back to college, I would have told you "no". I had a bachelor's degree in business management and had been busy home schooling six great kids. I was turning 47 and putting my last child in school. Several of my children were in college. I realized that I still wanted to be able to serve others and my children would soon be grown. I had started off as a nursing major 25 years prior. At that time, I would have to transfer schools to complete this major, so at 19, I decided I would just "be something else". That is when I became a business management major and I did obtain that degree. In 2007, I realized that I really wished I was a nurse. I saw several older people in my church that could benefit from me being a nurse. My husband was surprised when I told him my plans. I honestly was not sure that I could do it. I didn't think as fast as I used to, and the use of a computer was beyond my capabilities. Determined, I signed up for anatomy and ITE (a computer class) at PVCC. After the first class, I was afraid that I would not be able to do the work. I immediately signed up in PVCC's Learning Center to get a FREE tutor. I got to know my professors and asked a lot of questions. I also studied. It wasn't easy to go back to school, but I was a different person than I was at 18 or 19. I had told my children when I home schooled that they should always do their best. Now I had to practice what I had preached. I understood my purpose and I was much more determined to make something of myself. With a lot of help from some great faculty and staff, I have now graduated from PVCC with a nursing degree. I have a job at UVA in oncology. No matter how old you are, you can learn and you can still become who you want to become. I never knew we had such a great college practically in our backyard. I feel very prepared to be a practicing nurse. Piedmont really cares about their students. Thanks PVCC!!