Thresea Gilchrist – Graduate Highlight

Before attending OVCT, I had no prior college experience. I was a happy wife to a very wonderful man of 42 years and counting. We have 3 children and 6 beautiful grandchildren. At the time, I was recently laid off from my job as a Customer Resource Coordinator/ Medical Records Specialist and realized it was time to go to school. I needed to further my education to do more with my life and career. The OVCT family was beyond amazing. I knew in my heart that this was the right place to go and I still feel it was the perfect decision for me.

I chose to enroll at OVCT because many of my co-workers and dear friends have graduated from OVCT’s Medical Assisting program. These ladies spoke so highly of OVCT and showcased immeasurable skills in the medical office. Starting as a CNA with a robust love for the medical field, I decided I wanted to do even more. Being a little older with a love for serving others, I felt it was the right choice to enroll in the Medical Assisting program. I believe in helping people from every walk of life. This provided me an opportunity to truly give back.

My favorite part of attending OVCT cannot be defined by one single event. Everyone and everything about OVCT was nothing short of incredible. From the moment I was honored as Student Government President, up to the day I received my Medical Assisting certification, I cannot thank everyone enough. The teachers and students really care about each other here and are always there for you. We became more and more like family every day. The classes surprised me by providing me with the skills and information I needed to be successful in my life and career.

After graduating, I was hired on at my dream job straight away. I am now a Medical Assistant at the East Ohio Hospital in their Wound Care Center. I thoroughly enjoy the hands-on practices and interactions with the patients.  Learning so many new things and techniques every day keeps me on my toes.  It is challenging and rewarding all at the same time.

There is not a day that goes by that I do not tell people about how wonderful OVCT was for me. I will always encourage others to continue or begin their college education thanks to my personal experiences there. You will learn a lot, and continue to learn even after graduation.  The feeling of accomplishment I have from completing my degree at OVCT is the greatest feeling in the world.


Career Services at OVCT

Whether you’re just graduating high school and starting college for the first time or going back to school as a nontraditional student, career services can greatly impact your educational experience and future job prospects. Choosing a college that offers career services helps you prepare for the professional world and gives you a jump-start in your career.

We are committed to your success, and that’s why we offer many career services here at Ohio Valley College of Technology, including professional development, career readiness, and continuing assistance.

Professional Development

At OVCT, we offer professional development services to all our current students that help you get ready to start your new career. From the moment you first contact us, your dedicated admissions and career services team helps you create a plan to achieve your career and financial goals. All students in each of our programs receive this type of career advising.

In today’s job market, personal and professional branding are extremely important and can help you stand out when applying for jobs. We will help you create a personal and professional brand just for you and the career field you are getting started in.

To further strengthen your personal branding and set you up for career success, we will help you create a LinkedIn profile, which showcases your education, experience, and skills to prospective employers. You can also add things like volunteer experience and specific projects to your LinkedIn profile that will show your value in the job market.

We will assist you in creating professional documents that you will need for your job search, including your resume, cover letters, and thank you letters. It’s important that they are error-free and professional, as this is the first impression you will make on a potential employer.

Many jobs require professional references when you apply or are interviewed. We can help you find these professional references, so you are ready when you need them.

Career Readiness

In addition to helping with professional development, we also offer a variety of benefits to ensure you are ready to start your career upon graduation. For example, while enrolled in your career-focused college degree program at OVCT, you will gain real-world experience through an externship or clinicals. This experience in a real job setting is a great addition to your resume and LinkedIn profile for when you begin the job application process.

You will also have the opportunity to complete interview practice and training while in your classes. This will help give you the confidence to excel as you are interviewed for real jobs.

At OVCT, we have existing positive relationships with a network of local employers. We are proud that we can help these employers find qualified candidates and help our students start their new careers at the same time. So when you’re ready to graduate, you will have access to our network of employers, and we will assist you in any way we can to help place you in a job.

Continuing Assistance

Even after you earn your degree and graduate from OVCT, we are still here to give you continuing assistance throughout your career. You will have continuous access to brush-up courses that help you stay up to date in your career field. For example, if you earn a degree in Business Administration from OVCT, and there is new bookkeeping software that you need to learn in a few years, you could take a brush-up course to understand this new software.

Your career goals may change over time, so we offer continuous career advising to all OVCT alumni because we want to help you succeed now and in the future.

Apply Today

When you choose OVCT, you receive hands-on training and prepare for professional certifications or licenses, all while earning your college degree.

We are now accepting applications for fall college classes! Explore our career-focused degree programs in Nursing, LPN to RN Bridge, Medical Assisting, Dental Assisting, Medical Billing and Coding, and Business Administration. Contact us at 330-385-1070 or request information now to get started on your path to a new career!

Shaylon Brentley – Student Highlight

Before attending Ohio Valley College of Technologybusiness administration student, Shaylon Brentley, attended New Castle School of Trades. There he was enrolled in their Electrical Industrial Maintenance program. However, he did not feel this school was the best fit for him. “The classes were all over the place, so I took a break from my schooling and worked a full-time job with my uncle for a while.” However, after visiting the OVCT campus and meeting with admissions, Shaylon knew right away that Ohio Valley College of Technology was the right school for him. “I heard so many great things about OVCT, and when I started, it did not take long to realize that every wonderful compliment I heard was true! The teachers and staff at OVCT represent a strong family-like atmosphere and are available to help you, every step of the way.”

When considering programs, Shaylon chose Business Administration because “In high school, I had the opportunity to take business courses that I truly enjoyed. I am really good at accounting. Learning essential skills of money handling and investments felt like my natural calling.” Upon graduation, Shaylon wants to obtain a career in the automotive industry as an auto lender, processing loans. The goals he has set for himself over the next five years include living a prosperous life with high hopes of opening his own business in the future.

Although he loves all of the faculty and staff at OVCT, Shaylon says, “My favorite teacher at OVCT has to be Mr. Ream. He has treated me with such respect from the moment I entered this school. Anytime I have a question or issue with my computer, he is more than willing to help me out and tries his best to fix my computer problems.”

When we asked Shaylon if he would recommend OVCT, he said, “I would definitely recommend OVCT to a friend or family member. It is a great school with amazing teachers, and you can obtain your associate degree in less than two years.”

To learn more about the OVCT family and how to jumpstart your business administration career, request information here!

The Emerging Trend of Skills-Based Learning

According to LinkedIn research, skills-based hiring is on the rise in the United States. LinkedIn found that out of people who are hiring, 77% are investing more toward hiring based on a candidate’s skills or competencies. This increased focus on hiring candidates with the right skill set has led to the emerging trend of skills-based learning.

So, we’re here to tell you all about the emerging trend of skills-based learning and how it can benefit you. Keep reading to learn all about it!

What Is Skills-Based Learning?

Skills-based learning enables students to acquire knowledge, learn new concepts in the classroom, and then apply these skills through practical application. This includes an increased focus on hands-on training that teaches students real skills in their careers. Some options for skills-based learning include interactive labs, hands-on practice, and an externship experience.

Why All the Focus on Skills?

There are many reasons for the emerging trend of skills-based learning. First, employers want job candidates who already possess the skills required for their specific job. It takes time and resources to train employees, so hiring candidates who are ready to perform their specialized skills from the first day on the job, helps employers save on their valuable resources.

Second, an increased focus on skills helps you stay up to date with the latest best practices, trends, and technology for your chosen career field. For example, a nurse must have the most up-to-date training available to care for patients in a healthcare setting effectively.

Third, learning and practicing skills while in school allows you to stay ahead of frequently changing job markets, which helps bridge the gap between what employers need and the skills that people currently have.

What Are the Benefits of This?

For students who choose a college degree that focuses on skills-based learning, there are many benefits you will receive. One of the main benefits is that you only take the classes you need for your new career instead of taking years of general education classes. This allows you to finish college faster because you don’t have to spend four to six years in school.

Another great benefit is that you will learn skills that employers actually need. For example, at OVCT, we designed our college degree programs to meet the needs of local employers. Students in our career-focused programs prepare for professional, skills-based certifications specific to their chosen career field. Additionally, students complete an externship experience as part of their program that allows them to apply their skills in the real world. Gaining valuable experience and preparing for professional certifications helps you stand out in the job market when starting your new career.

Many people learn better by doing rather than just by listening to a lecture. Because of this, when people get the opportunity to learn in a hands-on environment, they pick up the skills faster and get better at them. This type of hands-on training also gives you the chance to enhance your critical thinking and problem-solving skills, as you must make decisions in the moment while practicing your skills.

How Do You Choose the Right Program?

With so many different college and training options available, how can you choose the right program that offers this type of skills-based learning? The first thing you need to do is look for a program that teaches the exact skills you need for the career you want to pursue. For example, if you are interested in becoming a medical assistant, you will need a program that trains you on the valuable skills medical assistants use every day, such as taking vital signs, performing lab tests, and drawing blood.

You will also want to choose a program that includes practical ways to practice your skills and gain experience, such as the hands-on training, interactive labs, externship experience, and certification preparation included in our degree programs here at Ohio Valley College of Technology.

If you’re ready to enroll in a career-focused college degree program that gives you the skills-based learning and hands-on experience you need to succeed in today’s job market, we are here to help!

Discover our fast-track programs in Nursing, LPN to RN Bridge, Medical Assisting, Dental Assisting, Medical Billing and Coding, and Business Administration. Contact us today to get started on your path to an exciting new career!

Refresh Dental Alliance – Externship Highlight

Ohio Valley College of Technology’s Dental Assisting program is honored to be affiliated with Refresh Dental Alliance. Refresh Dental Alliance has been serving the Ohio Valley area for the last 10 years by integrating a philosophy that goes above and beyond what the consumer expects of their dental healthcare. Refresh Dental Alliance offers a variety of dental services including, but not limited to, routine dental cleanings, scaling and root planning, restorative, crown and bridgework, dentures, partials, implants, and oral surgery.

According to their website, Refresh Dental Alliance is motivated by “our desire to gain leadership to set new standards in the dental industry through prioritizing the overall health of our patients, and implementing a new feature of centralizing an in-house patient specialty care”. With Dr. Lucido having 36 years of practice under his belt, Refresh Dental Alliance is a well-established and busy practice that has earned the trust of and built relationships with many patients.

Refresh Dental Alliance has an abundance of opportunities for students. By having such a large group of local offices, Refresh has the capacity to offer students experience working with different doctors in multiple specialties. “We like to be able to give the students the experience they need to help them with potential job opportunities when their extern is completed”.

For years, Refresh Dental Alliance has graciously welcomed OVCT dental assisting students into their practice for externship prospects. When asked what significance she feels students will receive from externing at Refresh Dental Alliance, Cheyanne Hoops answered, “Having students in our organization to complete their externs gives us value in being able to share our best practices with them. Our organization can help a student learn and grow into an amazing team member that will likely be hired within the group!”

When asked what advice she would provide a student entering college in the upcoming year, Cheyanne said, “When it is time for your externship do not be afraid to ask questions and jump in! That is what we look for in students. We love for them to get the experience that they wish for. Our end goal is to give you as much knowledge as we possibly can, the only way for us to do that is for you to actually want it!”

To learn more about OVCT’s Dental Assisting program, request information here!

The Return to Campus

With more people getting vaccinated and places starting to open back up, we are all making the transition back into our in-person lives. So many of us have gone back to our in-person jobs, our children have returned to school, and colleges are getting their students back on campus.

Here at Ohio Valley College of Technology, we’re super excited that our students are returning to campus. Just like before the pandemic, there are so many benefits for students learning on campus. For those who choose to enroll in a career-focused college degree program at OVCT, you will receive an interactive education, in-person support, and wonderful connections.

Interactive Education

Those who decide to attend college at OVCT will enjoy an interactive educational experience to start their journey to a successful career. Our class sizes are much smaller than those at traditional universities, which means you get personalized instruction and attention from your teachers. In addition, every student has different needs and learning preferences, so we make sure to give you the support that meets your unique requirements.

As you complete your college classes, you are trained in hands-on skills to use when you begin your career. Our career-focused degree programs allow you to practice your skills in interactive labs with the assistance of our helpful instructors.

While in your program, you will also complete an externship, which gives you real-world experience in the career path of your choice. This real experience in a professional setting provides you with the credentials and confidence to excel when you start the job application process.

In-Person Support

We offer you continuous in-person support as you complete your interactive college classes. Your dedicated admissions advisor will help guide you through the enrollment process from the first time you contact us. From completing your application to filling out your FAFSA to getting registered for your classes, we’re here to help you!

After you’ve completed enrollment and start your college courses, you will have the support of our academic team through every step of earning your college degree. We provide tutoring, study and test-taking skill development, academic advising, and goal setting to help you succeed.

Once you begin to approach the end of your college degree, our career services team steps in to get you prepared to succeed in the job market. You will have a personal career services director, who will work with you to develop a career plan, a resume and cover letter, and interview skills while facilitating job interviews for you.

Great Connections

As you complete your college degree at OVCT, you have the chance to create meaningful and lasting connections with the people you interact with daily, including your instructors, the staff, and your classmates. In addition, you will feel right at home here with our welcoming family atmosphere.

When you build these meaningful connections as you earn your college degree, you will have a fun and enjoyable experience. It also helps you create a professional network that will be valuable in your future career. In addition, as you complete your externship, you can also create important connections with potential employers.

At OVCT, our priority is you, your education, and your career success. Every day, we are committed to helping you achieve your goals with our WE CARE educational approach. We are here to help you through every step of earning your degree with whatever support you need to succeed.

Get Started Today

Do you want to continue your education at a college that offers career-focused degree programs and dedicated support customized to you? Then OVCT may be the right place for you. Explore our Nursing, LPN to RN Bridge, Medical Assisting, Medical Billing and Coding, Dental Assisting, and Business Administration programs today. Request information to start your journey to a great career now!

Hayley Sowinski – Student Highlight

Meet one of Ohio Valley College of Technology’s medical assisting students, Hayley Sowinski! Hayley previously attended the Community College of Beaver County with hopes of becoming a radiology technician. She quickly found that this was not the path for her. “Although that was a bit of a rough patch, everything works out for a reason, and I am glad that it landed me at OVCT. I knew I wanted to be a medical assistant, but I wanted to earn a degree and not just a certification”. Upon visiting the OVCT campus and meeting with our admissions team, Haley enrolled in the Medical Assisting Associate Degree program.

When considering programs, Hayley chose medical assisting because “I really enjoy taking care of people. Ever since I was a child, I have always wanted to work with orthopedics. When I was around 10 years old, I used to say that I wanted to put casts on people who had broken bones. When I really did my research on what medical assistants do, I realized that this is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I find orthopedics fascinating, and I really look forward to learning more about it. I am so thankful that I will be able to fulfill the career 10-year-old me dreamed of”.

Although she has enjoyed all of the faculty and staff at OVCT, Hayley says, “My favorite teacher so far has been Mrs. Scott. I really enjoy having Mrs. Scott for my Pharmacology 2 class. The way she ran the class made learning an extremely hard topic very easy. I cannot wait to have her for more of my classes”.

When asked if she would recommend OVCT, Hayley said, “Yes, I would refer a friend. I feel that anyone can excel at OVCT. Not only with the education portion, but the social aspect of the school is amazing. It is very easy to make friends. Most of my friends are very social like I am. I think that all of my friends would enjoy OVCT very much.” Hayley also enjoys the small class sizes and the one-on-one instruction and mentoring she receives from her instructors. “It makes learning easier. Every teacher here knows who everyone is, and they truly care about every student’s success”.

Want to learn more about taking the first step toward your career in the medical field or how to become a part of the OVCT family? Request information here!

What Is the Difference Between a CNA and MA?

There are terrific reasons why a lot of people would like to start a career in healthcare. There is continuous growth within the healthcare industry and various job options available. Starting a career in healthcare also allows you to help people by making a difference in their life when it’s needed the most.

There are many opportunities for starting a career in healthcare, and it can be difficult to figure things out by yourself. Bearing this in mind, we’re here to help by providing a breakdown of the differences between certified nursing assistants and medical assistants.

Career Outlook

The job outlook for medical assistants is budding. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics states that the expected growth rate for medical assistants in the US from 2019-2029 is 19%, which is much higher than the 4% average growth rate for other professions. In essence, we will need more medical assistants in the future, and employers will require qualified people for these positions.

For certified nursing assistants within the United States, the BLS projects the growth rate will be 8% between 2019 and 2029. This is still higher than the average growth rate of 4%, but not as high as the growth rate for medical assistants.

Skills Required

Medical assistants complete a wide range of duties for the job, involving clinical and administrative responsibilities that are focused on evaluating patients and assisting doctors with care and treatment. Taking vital signs, assisting with examinations, administering injections, prepping lab tests, and managing patient information are skills a medical assistant needs to learn.

At OVCT, medical assisting students get the opportunity to complete practical skills within a real healthcare environment while in their externship. These hands-on experiences give students an edge and allows them to be more successful once they start applying for jobs to begin their careers.

Certified nursing assistants are more focused on direct patient care and assisting with the activities of daily living. They carry out tasks such as bathing and cleaning patients, getting them dressed, assisting them in the restroom, and transporting them between beds and wheelchairs. Feeding patients and changing linens are also on the list of necessary skills for a certified nursing assistant.

Training Needed

To begin a career as a medical assistant, you will need specific training to prepare you for the job requirements. Many medical assisting programs available can be completed within a two-year period, and they include classroom instruction as well as hands-on training. We recommend choosing a medical assisting training program that prepares you for a professional certification, as many employers have a preference for candidates who possess these credentials.

For instance, our Medical Assisting program at OVCT allows students to get valuable training and obtain hands-on experience in their medical assisting labs, classes, and externships. Students are prepped for a healthcare certification specific to working as a medical assistant, which is the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant* certification.

Becoming a certified nursing assistant requires specialized training, and it is normally completed within six months. This training has to be state-approved and usually teaches patient safety, direct patient care, and documentation. It is a requirement for CNAs to pass a competency exam and finish a number of hands-on clinical hours that vary by state.

Work Environment

According to data from BLS, medical assistants are more likely to work in a physician’s office, with 57% employed in this setting in 2019 and an additional 15% working in a hospital setting, while the remainder worked in outpatient care centers and chiropractors. Many medical assistants are full-time professionals who work 40-hour workweeks. For example, in facilities that remain open, hospitals may be required to work evenings, weekends, and on holidays.

According to BLS, nursing assistants most likely work in nursing care centers, with 37% employed there, and at hospitals, with 27% employed there. The remaining nursing assistants work in-home healthcare services, retirement and assisted living facilities, and in government. The requirements for the job are more strenuous and demanding, as CNAs are frequently on their feet and are expected to be able to lift 50 pounds or more. A majority of certified nursing assistants will complete a full-time work schedule, but others may work part-time. They may also be assigned longer shift times and complete more hours on the night shift, weekends, and holidays.

Get Started

You are now more aware of the differences between medical assistants and certified nursing assistants! If you’ve chosen medical assisting as your career path, you may be a great fit for our Medical Assisting program. We offer hands-on instruction, academic support, and career services and are here to help you achieve your career goals. Contact us for more information today and start your career journey with OVCT!


*Certification is contingent upon passing the corresponding industry certification exam. Required/included in tuition/fees.

Meet Megan Tinklepaugh – Career Management Director

Meet Megan Tinklepaugh, OVCT’s Career Management Director! She joined the OVCT family in January 2021 and has been assisting students preparing for college and career success since. In her Student Success Strategies and Career Preparation courses, Ms. Tinklepaugh helps students discover their learning styles and develop their employability soft skills to effectively navigate college and present themselves to potential employers with confidence and professionalism. She oversees the school’s Student Government Association and works diligently to support and assist students in their job search.

Megan possesses exceptional insight and practical experience, which she uses to encourage and support the students’ educational and career endeavors. Prior to OVCT, Megan was the administrative assistant in the high school guidance department at Freedom Area High School for five years. She was also the school board secretary and administrative assistant to the Jeannette City School District superintendent for two years. She was also the assistant office manager/certified consultant at Aspen Dental for four years. In addition to her education and dental experience, she also possesses her Associate Degree of Applied Science in Business Management from Beaver County Community College (2013), a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology and Pre-Counseling from Capella University (2020), and is currently completing her Master in Education for School Counseling through West Liberty University.

Ms. Tinklepaugh chose to join the OVCT family because she has always wanted to help others set goals and take advantage of new opportunities. “I am a strong believer in challenging expectations, pushing individual limitations, and holding ourselves accountable for personal growth and development opportunities. I have always found great interest in advocating for positive change and making an influential impact in others’ lives.” Megan stated that her favorite part of working at OVCT is, “…having the opportunity to teach the students early on in their educational experience in Student Success Strategies and then again at the very end of their instruction in my Career Preparation course. Seeing them really embrace all that they have learned and utilizing the skill sets they have developed over such a quick period of time is truly amazing.”

Megan’s greatest motivators are her two daughters. “My girls mean the absolute world to me and keep me on my toes. They are my biggest supporters and my constant push to be my best version of myself. A year ago, I held an Associate Degree in Business Management, was content in my career, and focused solely on devoting time to my children. Today, I have a fresh career that I love and face new adventures every day, have completed my Bachelor’s Degree, and have entered a Master’s program I never thought I would. I want my children to be resilient and prosperous individuals who never settle for complacency.”

Megan is most proud of the continual effort she places on bettering herself to ensure her family’s overall health, wealth, and success. “Success is so much more than meeting goals and hitting targets. It influences your mood and day-to-day purpose. Tiny steps toward improvement make my heart happy.”

When Ms. Tinklepaugh is not teaching or on campus, she loves to work on household projects, be outdoors, and spend time with her family. “There is always work to be done, but every now and again, I enjoy relaxing around our fire pit, working on my garden, or playing games with the girls. We plan to take them on their first kayaking trip this year! I think we are all very excited for that.”

An interesting fact about Megan is that her first job was as a member service representative at the Beaver County YMCA, where she worked alongside Mrs. Courtney Martin, our OVCT Campus President! There, they built a long-lasting friendship which shows through the OVCT family atmosphere.

As the Career Management Director, Ms. Tinklepaugh has access to a vast employer network, provides personalized career advising for students and alumni, aids students with personal and professional branding and interview training, supports students in the development of professional documents and a career portfolio, and identifies quality job leads within the tri-state area.

For more information on how Ms. Tinklepaugh and OVCT can help you take the next step toward a great career, request information here!

OVCT Learning Experience

This week, we’re giving you a behind the scenes picture of what it’s like for students who attend Ohio Valley College of Technology. We love helping our students train for rewarding careers in healthcare and business. Keep reading to find out just what the learning experience is like here at OVCT!

Hands-On Skills

For those who enroll in our college degree programs, you will be taught many hands-on skills valuable to your chosen career field. The more experience you get at practicing these hands-on skills, the better you will be at them. This sets you up for success when you begin working in your career. Check out some important hands-on skills OVCT students practice in their classes!

Classroom Instruction

At OVCT, students are provided with up-to-date labs and classrooms to complete their classes and earn their college degrees. Students are taught by experienced instructors dedicated to preparing you for your career and helping you succeed. We support you through every step of earning your degree with one-on-one, personalized education. Check out these OVCT students having an awesome classroom experience!

Certification Prep

Today’s employers need candidates who are qualified and ready to perform their specific job duties. We understand this, and that’s why we’ve built professional certification* or license preparation into our healthcare and business college degree programs. You will prepare for the specific ones that employers value for your chosen career field. Check out some of our awesome students as they prepare for and celebrate earning their professional certifications!

Student Success

We are committed each and every day to our purpose of empowering change by creating opportunity. It’s our goal to help every student achieve their dreams of graduating college and starting an exciting new career. We’re here to support you every step of the way as you go through your learning experience, from the moment you first contact us, to practicing hands-on skills, to graduating and even beyond. Check out these awesome students and graduates and contact us today to start your own career journey!


*Certification is contingent upon passing the corresponding industry certification exam.