Pharmacy Technician Training at CCBC

Monica KempMonica is a current student in the Pharmacy Technician program at CCBC. She is a top student in the class despite having reservations at first about enrolling. Read below for more of Monica’s inspiring story.

Why did you decide to enroll in the program at CCBC?
I graduated with a degree in Biochemistry and Pharmaceuticals from my country, Ecuador. I have not worked the industry for more than 20 years, as I was dedicated to raising my children. As my son and daughter are older now, I decided to go back to work, but many things have changed over the past 20 years, and I had only worked in Pharmaceuticals in my home country of Ecuador, so I also knew there may be many other differences between countries as well.

What was your biggest fear about entering the program?
As English is not my native language, one of my biggest fears was if I would have difficulties understanding the language. My professors were very patient with me, and the Student Services Center staff was also very helpful and accommodating.


What was your greatest accomplishment as a student in the program?
Through hard work and dedication, I was able to overcome the language barrier, and finished the program at the top of my class.


What opportunities have you had as a result of your CCBC education?
As a result of my CCBC education and opportunities, I was offered a full-time position with UPMC Chartwell, only 1 week into my Externship.

What are your future plans?
My future plans are to continue with my employment at UMPC, the largest employer in Western, PA, and grow with them to higher levels.

Why would you recommend the program to other students?
The Pharmacy Technician program is a great opportunity for people of all ages, and has an excellent placement rate. I highly recommend it. As a middle aged women, from a different country, culture, language, and out of the industry for many years, if I can do it, you can too!

I Owe a lot to CCBC

It has been a little over one year since I graduated from CCBC with an associate’s degree in General Studies. I have since transferred to Slippery Rock University to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Professional Writing with a minor in Computing.

When I first came to CCBC, I had no idea as to what I was going to major in. Part of that was due to the fact that I was only a junior in high school. The very first course I took at CCBC, like many other students, was Introduction to Information Technology. The course itself was held one night a week in the Science and Technology Center (STC).

I was terrified about entering a college classroom at the ripe age of 16. All my predetermined inclinations as to how I thought a college classroom would be, came from TV shows and movies. When the day finally came for the semester to begin, I was completely shocked by what I walked into. Instead attending class with a rowdy bunch of 18 and 19-year-olds, I ended up in a classroom filled with adult students. Now that I’m older and have been in college for a longer amount of time, this situation makes a lot more sense to me. Adult students take night classes because most also have full-time jobs. But again, I was 16 and did not think that way yet.

Another aspect of college classes that completely surprised me was that they really weren’t that difficult. Sure, you always encounter subjects that you find difficult to understand but the workload is manageable. That is, as long as you decide to not procrastinate.

After successfully completing my first college course, I was inspired to enroll in four more the following year. Because of CCBC’s dual enrollment program, teachers from my high school were allowed to teach several of their courses on site. By the time I had graduated from high school, I had already accumulated 15 college credits.

After graduation, I had intended on going straight to SRU or IUP but was persuaded not to after being picked to receive CCBC’s Presidential Scholarship. Two years’ worth of college courses being paid for was an opportunity that I could not pass up.

While attending CCBC, I was both a Student Ambassador and Phi Theta Kappa member. I would not have been a part of either academic honorary group if I had chosen to go directly to a four-year university. I also would not have been allotted the opportunity to gain the valuable leadership skills that I use today.

A few months before my graduation a received even more good news. I was chosen to be a part of 2015 All-PA Academic Team in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Receiving this prestigious award meant that I would be attending a banquet in my and the other winners’ honor, along with having two years of tuition paid for at any state university in Pennsylvania. Without the help of CCBC’s and it’s wonderful staff, I would never have known about or won this award.

Now as I enter my final year of college, I am again back at CCBC. Around December of last year, I found out that I needed an internship in order to complete the requirements for a degree in Professional Writing.  Now, until mid-July, I can be found in CCBC’s marketing department as an intern. Again, without the help of the Community College of Beaver County, I would not be where I am today.

-Katie Fisher


Reflection as I finish my time at CCBC…

It is shocking to think that I will be graduating tomorrow after being at CCBC for two years in the business administration program. Time surely does fly, and leaving CCBC to go onto my next school will certainly be a bittersweet transition. I am going to be transferring to IUP in the fall to major in Marketing and minor in Spanish. I hope to obtain my Master’s Degree and then possibly continuing on to pursue my Doctorate. Looking back, I will forever be grateful for the opportunities, connections, and experiences that I have had here at CCBC.

When I first decided to come to community college, I was unsure about what to expect. There are always people who will tell you that the quality of education at a community college level is not equivalent to that of the education at a four year institution. This, my friends, is completely false. I feel that the education I have received here has prepared me extremely well to be successful at IUP. There is no doubt in my mind that CCBC was a great place to start my education. I have had great teachers who have always been extremely helpful and kind. I have made friends that I am confident I will have for a lifetime.

Also, there are so many opportunities for scholarships, volunteer work, and internships through CCBC. It is just vital to make sure to keep informed on everything that is happening on campus so you never miss out on anything.

No matter where life takes me, I will always be proud to call myself a graduate from the Community College of Beaver County. I hope that after your time as CCBC students, you can say the same for yourselves.

-Liana, student blogger

The End of an Era

After completing my finals for this semester, and finishing my last few volunteer hours, my time as a student ambassador for CCBC is coming to end. I have to say, I am a bit sad to no longer be a part of this amazing group of people. I have spent the last two years having all of these fantastic opportunities to better myself and the world around me.

My time as a student ambassador has made my first two years of college such an fun experience. I met a ton of new people, got to help with a wide range of activities like the Veteran’s Breakfast and New Student Orientation, and become a well rounded college student. This has helped me become more of a responsible student and person.

My future advice for the incoming freshmen and new student ambassadors is to not take it for granted. This is such an amazing program that CCBC offers some of its students and you have to take advantage of it. You should try and help with every opportunity that is given to you because it is not just a chance to get your volunteer hours but also a chance to help out the community, learn new skills, and meet your fellow CCBC classmates.

I do want to thank the student ambassador coordinator, Sandy May, for all that she has done for me. She has made this experience so worthwhile and I’m so appreciative. If you ever need a thing, she will always go out of her way to help you out.

-Samantha, student blogger


During your senior year of high school, you probably heard the term “senioritis”. It is a term used for the seniors that get this condition; the condition that makes you almost give up in the sense. You don’t want to do any more homework, study, or even go to school because you know the end near.

I personally got this condition in high school and I am convinced that I kept the condition going into college as well. Everyday that I have class it is a constant battle of making myself actually go. I wake up and think to myself, “will this class really matter?” “will that paper really make a change on my grade?”or “maybe they will accept it late?” The battle usually ends with me getting up and doing my work, but it is only getting worse as the semester is coming to an end.

So, I am here to remind you, and myself, that you have to keep going on. No matter how badly you want to give up and forget about your work, you have to keep studying because FINALS are just around the corner.

You may think to yourself that these last few weeks won’t affect your grade “that much,” but if you get a bad grade on only one test, it can change the result of your entire grade. Nobody wants this, so keep on pushing through the next few weeks because it may drag on, but you will definitely regret it if you give up now.

End the semester stronger than you started it; make your time count!

-Jacqueline, student blogger


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