PDC at Smithfield now offers nurse aide program

Those with a passion for helping people can now enroll in the Paul D. Camp Community College nurse aide program in Smithfield.
“We received site approval last week from the Virginia Board of Nursing,” said Dean of Nursing and Allied Health Dr. Debbie Hartman. “We are so excited that we can now let everyone know and begin recruiting for the program.”
The 24-credit hour program is designed to prepare students for full-time work as nurse assistants. A certified nursing assistant (CNA) provides basic care to patients in a healthcare setting, such as a hospital or long-term care facility, or even in the homes of patients through home healthcare services.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual mean pay in Virginia for a CNA in 2016 was between $24,960 and $26,830. The demand to fill these positions is also expected to increase, which means facilities will be looking to fill CNA positions with skilled workers.
“This will provide a convenient location for Isle of Wight and the surrounding area students who want to begin a career in the healthcare profession,” said Hartman. “This is also the beginning of the pathway for the practical nursing and associate’s degree in nursing programs.”
Registration for fall 2017 classes is in progress. Classes start on Aug. 21. For more information, contact Carol Griffin, cgriffin@pdc.edu.


Students take advantage of free proctoring services at Paul D. Camp Community College

Taking online college classes and accessing proctoring services go hand in hand for many university students. The PDC Testing Center offers proctoring services to PDC graduates as well as college students within the community who are enrolled in four-year colleges. Olivia Walker, a graduate of the PDC nursing program, and Jake Doiron, a student at Virginia Tech, are utilizing these services.
Olivia WalkerAfter graduating in 2015 from the PDC RN program, Walker began her nursing career at Sentara Obici Hospital and later transferred to the Courtland Health and Rehabilitation Center. She is currently enrolled in the Western Governor’s University bachelor’s degree program in nursing (BSN) while working at the Rehab Center. Walker’s future interest is nursing informatics, a relatively new field combining technology and clinical nursing.
PDC and the Virginia Community College System (VCCS) have a number of articulation agreements with other colleges and universities. These agreements allow students who have earned certain associate degrees to transfer from PDC or other VCCS colleges to senior institutions with little or no loss of credits.
The articulation agreement with Western Governor’s University (WGU) is specific to nursing graduates. Other articulations include Old Dominion University, Norfolk State University, James Madison University, and many other colleges and programs.
Western Governor’s University (WGU) derived its name from 19 U.S. governors who came together in 1995 to create a distance learning university focused on “learning and not time,” according to its website, making it the choice for many people with jobs and families who are looking for a bachelor’s or master’s degree in their field without the travel and deadlines.
According to Walker, WGU assigns a program mentor who is discipline specific. Her program mentor is a nurse. Other program mentors have degrees and experience in the discipline that they support. Walker said, “My WGU program mentor has been especially helpful. She not only helps me with the content of my classes, but the technology required for online classes.”
Jake DoironJake Doiron is a Virginia Tech student majoring in mining engineering. He has enrolled in an online math course on differential equations through Northern Virginia Community College (NVCC), but lives in the service area of PDC. Taking online courses in the summer helps to lighten his course load in the fall and spring.
He added, “The online math course through NVCC offers a significantly lower tuition rate.” Students would pay more at a four-year college. NVCC operates an Extended Learning Institute (ELI) that provides flexible online education in which students can take either 8-week or 16-week classes. While ELI boasts of offering their courses to students “anywhere in the world,” students taking these courses within Virginia can access proctoring services for their courses at the nearest community college.
The benefits of enrolling in online classes are many for university students. Having access to proctoring services at the nearest community college provides minimal travel time, free proctoring, and a prepared testing environment that increases the allures of online classes.
For students like Doiron, his academic schedule is lightened, the tuition costs are appealing, and the proctoring proximity is convenient. For university students like Walker, she can keep in touch with nursing faculty, receiving encouragement from the environment where she began her career. She also has received support for some of her submissions requiring more complex technology from PDC technology staff. For these students, they find testing support and encouragement for their online classes right around the corner at their community college.
For more information, contact Gleason, who also serves as the Franklin Campus Testing Administrator, at mgleason@pdc.edu.
Photos by Mary Ellen Gleason


Native named director of PDC at Smithfield

~Antoinette Johnson begins duties August 1~

Antoinette JohnsonToni Johnson started out at PDC as an adjunct professor before serving as full-time faculty member for early childhood development, and dean of the Franklin campus and occupational/technical programs. She begins as director of PDC at Smithfield on August 1.
It has been a decade since Antoinette “Toni” Johnson joined Paul D. Camp Community College as an adjunct professor. Beginning August 1, she will serve the college as the director of PDC at Smithfield.
“As a native of Smithfield, I am excited to be home,” she said. “I am looking forward to promoting PDC, and working with students and stakeholders in the community to help the college be first choice.”
Many of Johnson’s duties will be an extension of what she is currently doing as dean of the Franklin Campus, a position she has held since May 2016. She served as interim dean for a year prior to that as well.
“I will ensure the center at Smithfield offers a learning environment conducive to high-quality instruction,” she said. Other duties include helping to develop the class schedule, advising students, assisting with admissions advising and orientation of new students, teaching early childhood development classes, and seeking and maintaining program-related partnerships and opportunities for the students.
“There are endless opportunities in which to explore that will help continue PDC’s value and viability, not only for the Town of Smithfield, but throughout Isle of Wight County and surrounding communities,” she said.
Johnson attained a Bachelor of Science degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from Norfolk State University in 1999 and a Master of Education degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of Phoenix in 2006. She is presently pursuing a Doctorate of Education degree in higher Educational Leadership at Concordia University. She has served as early childhood education director at The Children’s Center and has taught in Isle of Wight County Public Schools.
“Antoinette will bring a wealth of experience to the center in Smithfield, not to mention her community connections as a native,” said Vice President of Academic and Student Development Dr. Tara Atkins-Brady.
Johnson resides in Suffolk and is a member of Kingdom Empowerment Temple in Newport News, where her husband, Ed’Ward Johnson, is pastor. Together, they have one son, Aaron, who is a law school student, two daughters, Felicia and Kiyah, and three grandchildren. She is a 1990 graduate of Smithfield High School and is the daughter of Theresa Hall and the late Melvin Hall.

Antoinette Johnson with AalliyahToni Johnson and work study student Aalliyah Merricks review some information in the admissions office at PDC.


PDCCC student finds confidence again after graduating with associate’s degree in May

~Student endured weather, used wheelchair to travel to classes~
Laurenda and Bryan at front deskLaurenda Boone helps PDCCC student Bryan Evans at the circulation desk in the library on the Franklin Campus.
Laurenda Boone had little confidence that she would succeed at pursuing a postsecondary degree. In 2008, she was diagnosed with systemic lupus, a chronic disease that involves the body attacking its own tissues and organs. The inflammatory disorder can affect many different systems in the body.
By 2011, Boone’s condition declined to the point where she had to rely on a wheelchair to remain mobile. In the meantime, her mother, who was also ill, stood as her greatest supporter. But she passed away in 2014, leaving Boone beside herself with grief.
“I was at one of the lowest points in my life,” she said. “I was doing nothing at home, but flipping through channels.” I decided to make a change in my life.”
But Boone was apprehensive about what she could accomplish due to the current outcome of the disease.
“I had lost my confidence over the years while being sick. I felt different, and I was,” she said. “I had been out of school for 12 years. But, my faith in God carried me.”
For two years, no matter what the weather, the general studies student rode about a half mile each way in her powered wheelchair to get to her classes and back home.
“Sometimes the sun, the freezing weather or the rain tried to beat me down, but that made me want to go even harder,” she said. “I was not going to be defeated by a wheelchair or disease.”
She began as a work-study student in the library during spring 2017 semester and graduated in May with nearly a 3.0. The 31-year-old returned recently to volunteer in the library during the summer, but has been accepted to Regent University, where she will work to attain her bachelor’s degree in psychology beginning this fall.
“After getting my degree, I would like to become a renal social worker,” she said. “This field of work that I want to go into is inspired by my mom and my uncle Nathan.”
A renal social worker serves as holistic support for people who are going through dialysis. “It is draining to watch the ones you love go back and forth to dialysis on a daily basis,” she explained. “This was my family’s story for 14 years. My mom was one of the strongest women I know. She was a fighter. I want to be there to help and inspire others.”
Boone sings nothing but praise for her decision to enroll in a postsecondary education institution and is very proud of earning her associate’s degree.
“Never underestimate a person because of what you see,” she said. “I have been blessed with the opportunity to start over.
“This school is like a family. I think it’s a good start for people who want to continue their education even beyond community college.”
Laurenda and Bryan at computer 2Laurenda Boone assists students like Bryan Evans on the computers when they visit the library.


PDCCC holds first baseball signing day

~Baseball gets underway in fall~

First Baseball Signing Group PhotoThe following were on hand for the inaugural Signing Day ceremony for the PDC Hurricanes. Front row, kneeling, are: Kyle Martin, Austin Younkins, Matthew Stout, Bryce Jones and Zach Pauley. Second row: Ty Johnson, Dylan Beale, Paul Parker, Chase Lewis, Caleb Dodge, Khairi Gunn and Dawson Holmes. In back: Coaches David Mitchell and Pat Stafford, Myles Geller, Burghie Miller, Patrick Crossman, Austin Holley, TJ Hubbard, Hunter Stephens, Devin Sisson, PDCCC President Dr. Dan Lufkin, and Coaches John Smith and Dylan Bratton. Not pictured are Dylan Duckwall and Zack Groves, who signed during a previous gathering.
The new athletics program at Paul D. Camp Community College already holds promise as the college plans for its first baseball signing day.
More than 20 students have committed to attend PDCCC to play the sport by signing a Letter of Intent.
“This is an exciting kickoff to the program,” said David Mitchell, athletic director, head baseball coach and admissions recruiter. “This will be a real boost for enrollment as well at the college.”
A signing day ceremony took place June 27 in the library on the Franklin Campus, 100 North College Drive.
“Having a sports team will build on the camaraderie and cohesiveness that already exists at the college,” said PDCCC President Dr. Dan Lufkin. “This is an advantage we have of being a small educational institution.”
The following students were recruited for the PDC Hurricanes:

  • Dylan Beale – Southampton High School
  • Patrick Crossman – Nansemond-Suffolk Academy
  • Caleb Dodge – Churchland High School
  • Dylan Duckwall – Wilson High School
  • Myles Geller – Nansemond River High School
  • Zack Groves – Norfolk Christian School
  • Khairi Gunn – Hampton High School
  • Austin Holley – Norfolk Christian School
  • Dawson Holmes – Isle of Wight Academy
  • TJ Hubbard – Hampton High School
  • Ty Johnson – Hampton High School
  • Bryce Jones – Kings Fork High School, Virginia Wesleyan
  • Seth Konkel – Mighty Warriors Home School
  • Chase Lewis – Lakeland High School
  • Kyle Martin – Penn Foster High School
  • Jordan McCray – Hampton High School
  • Burghie Miller – Great Bridge High School
  • Paul Parker – Southampton Academy, Lenoir Community College
  • Zach Pauley – Abeka Academy
  • Devin Sisson – Rapphannock High School, Averett University
  • Hunter Stephens – Windsor High School
  • Matthew Stout – Southampton High School
  • Austin Younkins – Churchland High School

For more information the baseball program or upcoming softball program set to begin in 2018, contact Mitchell at dmitchell@pdc.edu.


Paul D. Camp Community College selected as one of five in nation to receive funding from Verizon Innovative Learning for pilot program

~funding will bring free STEM workshops to area middle school girls~
This summer, Verizon Innovative Learning launches its first program addressing the need for more girls, especially those in rural America, to be prepared for the science, technology, engineering and math careers of the future. The three-week summer learning experience will take place at Paul D. Camp Community College in Franklin, one of five community colleges piloting the program in rural areas across the country in partnership with the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE).
The program will expose 50 middle school girls from the service areas to the fundamentals of augmented reality, coding, 3D design, entrepreneurship and design thinking principles, as well as to female mentors. Leveraging an augmented reality interface and app, students will create a culminating project that identifies—and solves–a community problem that aligns with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Following the summer program, students will continue to participate in monthly courses in person and virtually to build upon what they’ve learned and complete their final augmented reality products at PDCCC.
Women continue to be underrepresented in STEM careers, where a staggering 86 percent of engineers and 74 percent of computer professionals are men. The percentage of women in STEM careers has not improved since 2001, specifically within the engineering (12 percent) and computing (26 percent) workforces. 21
The inaugural STEM summer camp will run from July 10-28 at the Franklin Campus, 100 North College Drive.


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