SANFORD — The sense of accomplishment was palpable as Continuing Education medical programs students at Central Carolina Community College gathered for their graduation.
The students, from the college’s service area of Chatham, Harnett and Lee counties, as well as four other near-by counties, all earned their certificates through the medical programs offered by the college’s Continuing Education Department in Lee County.
Dr. Teronda McNeill, the college’s Lee County director of Continuing Education, gave the graduation address at the event, held in the Dennis A. Wicker Civic Center Dec. 17. She spoke of the “aura of success” she felt from those receiving their certificates.
“If you have want, will power and willingness, you can succeed,” she said. “You have done a great deed; you have completed your first step. Now, go out and spread your aura of success.”
The graduates plan to do just that. Many will continue their education, either by earning additional certificates to make them more valuable to employers, or moving on to earn a diploma or degree in their field of study.
Amanda Corum, of Harnett County, said she was feeling “relieved” after achieving her goal of receiving her Nursing Assistant-I certificate. She got a congratulatory hug from her fiancÚ, Kenny Daniel, and daughter, Nikole, for her accomplishment. She plans to continue her nursing education.
Graduate Tracy McCormick, of Sanford, also earned her NA-I certificate.
“There’s a profound joy to accomplishing something yourself,” she said. “My next step is to earn my NA-II, then enroll in the nursing program at the college.”
A total of 261 students completed Continuing Education-Lee County medical programs during the fall. Of those, about 116 attended the graduation ceremony. Certificates were awarded in pharmacy technician, phlebotomy, NA-I, NA-II, medical insurance, medical coding and billing, EKG, advanced EKG, and EKG monitor technician.
The department also graduated its first class of nine students earning Health Business certificates. The new course prepares people for an entry-level position in a medical billing office or to work in billing from home. The graduates can take exams to become a Certified Coding Specialist or Certified Coding Associate.
Tamicha McKinnon, of Carthage, received her NA-I.
“It feels good to finish,” she said with a smile. “Now I’m going for a certificate in phlebotomy, then for my Associate Degree in Nursing — and then for a registered nurse degree.”
Judy Farmer, Continuing Education health program coordinator, understood well just how much the graduates had achieved.
“Medical programs are demanding,” she told the graduating students. “I count it a privilege to have worked with you, and I wish you well in the future.”