Monthly Archives: July 2016

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