Tag Archives: Student Services


Five Study Habits to Help You Focus

If you maintain your focus on a task, you can easily accomplish it in the most effective manner. From doing assignments to studying for a test, you will be done with it before you know it. Staying focused also enhances and improves you personal and professional life. It helps you to come up with an effective solution for any problem. If you have problems maintaining your focus or want to enhance your focusing ability, here are five effective study habits to help you focus more:

 1.    Organize Your Study Space

  • This holds true for students as well as working professionals.
  • If you have a neat and organized space, you will be able to focus more.
  • Make sure there is nothing on the table that can distract you like your favorite novel or video game or your crafting supplies and especially your cell phone!
  • Clean your desk and only keep the necessary items you need to study.

2.    Breaking Big Tasks Into Small Ones

  • People tend to procrastinate when they have several long-term tasks to accomplish.
  • The best way to resolve this problem is to break your tasks into smaller tasks that are easily manageable.
  • When you break a big task into shorter goals, you will find it easier to keep on accomplishing those small tasks and gradually moving towards finishing the entire task.
  • This helps you to concentrate more and stay motivated.


3.    Reward Yourself

  • When you accomplish a certain task, reward yourself. This will also help you stay motivated.
  • Take a 10 to 20 minute break after each task or eat your favorite snack.
  • Plan your rewards initially. When you know that there is a treat waiting for you at the end of the task, you will be more focused on finishing it.
  • Promise yourself that you will play your favorite video game or read your favorite book after you have accomplished the task at hand.


4.    Schedule a Study Time

  • Making a proper study schedule is the best method to stay focused.
  • When you have a daily study plan it gradually becomes a habit.
  • Make sure you select a time when you are fresh and energized. This way your mind is focus and ready to retain information.


5.    Eliminate Distractions

People get easily distracted without even realizing it. When doing research online for your assignment, don’t waste time going on websites that don’t pertain to the topic that you are researching. It is easy to sway your attention to other tasks when you are not into the task that you have to do.

Determine what distracts you and stay away from it during your study time. For example, if you do find interesting topics similar to the one you are researching bookmark them and read them after you have completed the assignment. If your cell phone distracts you, turn it off. If people or noise distract you, go study at a library or at a quiet place.



How To Prepare For A Career In Healthcare

Are you one of the many individuals who aspire to pursue a successful career in the healthcare field?

The healthcare industry is not only a field in which one can fulfill their passion for serving society, but it is also a very beneficial industry to pursue a career in, as it offers promising opportunities for growth and personal development.

Preparation Is Key

If you want to adopt a prosperous career in the healthcare sector, then there are a few essential requirements that you need to fulfill before walking down the path of success.

The first most important thing to determine is the field of your particular interest within the sector and the job that interests you and answers your passion. There is a huge variety of different career options within the healthcare industry, which includes doctors, medical professionals, nurses, specialists, technicians and healthcare administrators, just to name a few.

Educational Requirements                

The educational requirements of all the different career paths are different in which some require an associate’s degree within a specific discipline, while others require only a certification or diploma to permit an individual to work within the healthcare industry in the capacity of a medical technician.

Necessary Skills

Sound technical skills and professional experience is essential for pursuing a career in the healthcare sector, whether the career of your choice requires an associate’s degree or professional medical master’s degree. As the healthcare field involves providing expert medical assistance for the help of patients, sound skills training and medical knowledge is a prerequisite to work professionally within the industry.

While sound medical knowledge is essential, some other skills and capabilities are also required in individuals who wish to pursue a career within the healthcare sector. Problem solving skills and analytical skills along with effective communication skills are necessary to pursue a successful career within the sector in any job position one desires.

In some jobs, which involve administrative work in healthcare facilities, good management skills and know-how of planning and organizing requirements, is considered as an essential requisite, which enable an individual to perform competently their various job responsibilities.

Moreover, if you wish to excel in the field of your choice within the sector, then it is vital to brush up on your skills, and keep your knowledge updated with the latest developments and technological advancements within the industry. Pursuing a degree in a specialization will surely open up new venues of opportunities within the sector, preparing you perfectly for a career in the healthcare industry.

Preparing for a lucrative, passionate and satisfying career in the healthcare industry requires effort, enthusiasm and motivation, not to forget required educational qualification and mandatory technical skills. To Find out more information on the healthcare careers that we offer check out our Program’s Page.




The Importance of Limited Scope X-Ray Technicians

Are you seeking a suitable career choice in the healthcare industry?

Do you wish to make a career choice which can open up new venues of opportunities and advancement for you in the industry?

The career of a limited scope x-ray technician has much to offer in terms of greater industry exposure and better chances of pursuing a good and rewarding career in the healthcare industry.

What Does A Limited Scope X-Ray Technician Do?

The scope of responsibility of a limited scope x-ray technician includes taking the x-rays of patients in a hospital or clinical setting, and providing assistance to the radiological assistants in the various testing procedures of patients prescribed by doctors.

The limited scope x-ray technicians assist the radiological technologists, who perform more complex and sophisticated procedures. The limited scope technicians are usually employed in diagnostic imaging centers, clinics and hospitals, where they are responsible for taking the x-rays of the knees, hands, chest and ankles etc. of a patient. Due to their limited skill and qualification they are restricted from taking x-ray images of the more sensitive parts of the patients, like the skull and the abdomen. The more complicated and sensitive x-ray imaging procedures are handled by the more qualified technicians in a healthcare clinic and center.

Educational Requirements Of A Limited Scope Technician

In order to become a limited scope x-ray technician, you will have to pursue a certification and training from a reputed and reliable college. An associate degree, diploma or certificate with the required training and skill set is essential for practicing in the healthcare industry.

Acquiring an associate’s degree in the applied sciences is not considered to be mandatory in order to practice in the industry as a limited scope x-ray technician, but the time and effort leads to better work and career opportunities in the future.

Importance Of The Career In The Industry

The career of a limited scope x-ray technician is one which promises great chances for advancement and a rising demand in the industry. The constant advancement in the scientific methods for improving the x-ray imaging procedure, and the use of the method in an ever increasing number of clinics and healthcare establishments has prompted a rise in demand for limited scope x-ray technicians in the industry.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for skilled and qualified limited scope x-ray technicians are predicted to grow at a rate of 21% between the period 2012 and 2022. The rate is higher than the average industry growth rate for other occupations, signifying the apparent demand for experienced individuals who can respond to the increasing need for expert healthcare assistance in the x-ray and radiological arena.

Attractive And Rewarding Career Option

Pursuing a career as a limited scope x-ray technician is both satisfying in terms of career goals and ambitions, as well as intrinsically rewarding due to the highly attractive salary packages enjoyed by the professionals in the industry. The job requires mostly laboratory work, with usually flexible work times.

With the years of experience in the industry you can be sure of enjoying a highly successful, satisfying and lucrative career in the healthcare industry.



Becoming a Surgical Technologist

Can you imagine a surgical room without a surgical technologist? Me neither. The first surgical technologists were born and bred out of the military. Since nurses were not allowed anywhere near the battlefield, the military trained “medics” to work alongside surgeons. However, it was not after the two world wars of the twentieth century that sparked the need for trained operating room personnel. The role of the “operating room nurse” and “medic” evolved into a separate allied health career, now known as Surgical Technology.

Surgical Technologists- Duties and Responsibilities

Did you know surgical technologists are also called surgical technicians or operating room technicians? These highly skilled allied health professionals fulfill many important duties and responsibilities required for a successful surgery.

Before a surgical procedure, the surgical technologist (ST) is responsible for ensuring the proper arrangement and availability of all necessary equipment needed for the patient’s surgical procedure. They ensure that each surgical equipment and monitoring device is connected and working properly. The surgical technologist is also responsible for prepping the patient for surgery.

During the surgery, one of the (ST) duties is to pass instruments and other sterile supplies to the surgeon and surgical assistant. After the surgical procedure, the (ST) gathers and secures all contaminated instruments, cleans and disinfects the surgical instruments and preps the operating room for the next procedure. sat

Essential Traits

In order for a surgical technologist to be a valued team member, he or she must be able to maintain focused and calm during extremely stressful, emergency situations. Other highly regarded traits are the ability to listen, to follow directions; one wrong move can put a patient in critical condition. The aspirant surgical technologist must also have a strong desire to contribute to society and to help others feel better. Do you think you have what it takes to be a successful surgical technologist?

Educational Requirements

To become a skilled surgical technician, a person must obtain post-secondary education. Training for surgical technology can take ten months to two years to complete. Depending on the school the individual decides to attend, they will either receive a diploma of completion or an associate degree. Students in the surgical technology program at our Anthem Education schools learn hands-on training in areas such as: sterilization techniques and instrumentation set-up, and learn about surgical instruments and supplies. Students are also trained in basic surgical skills and laboratory procedures that support operating room functions. If you have any questions about the healthcare field or the surgical technology program, contact one of our campuses, we would love to get you on the right career track.

Career Outlook

A surgical technologist, besides enjoying a place of significance in the healthcare industry, also promises an increased number of job opportunities in the healthcare sector for the future.

Industry statistics and experts (BLS) have predicted a growth in the job outlook of the surgical technologist job position, and have estimated at around 30% growth in the sector for this career. This estimation of 30% growths has been predicted from 2012 to 2022, with the percentage increase in job opportunities greater than in other sectors of the industry.

If you are passionate about pursuing a career in the healthcare industry, and wish for a career with significant opportunities, then a career as a surgical technologist might just be what you seek.



Beginning a Career as a Surgical Technologist

The healthcare field is constantly growing and evolving and in need of trained professionals that are serious about the service they provide to their community. If you are looking to get into the healthcare field, and would love to be where the action is—in the operation room, then keep reading to find out what it takes to be a great surgical technologist.

Responsibilities of a Surgical Technician

A surgical technologist or surgical technician is responsible for supervising the preparation of operating rooms prior to surgery. They practice extreme care to ensure that all the surgical instruments are properly sterilized for the operating room. They supervise the working of the junior operating room staff and assist the surgeon during the surgical procedure.  A surgical technician is a valuable asset to surgeons in the operating room and they must be able to maintain a sharp eye to detail and composure during long operations.

Get the Proper Training

In order to become a successful surgical technologist, an individual must acquire the proper training from an accredited school.  The surgical technologist programs, also called surgical technology at select Anthem Education campuses provide students the knowledge and skill needed to be a valuable member in an operating room. Students in the Surgical Tech program learn the fundamentals of anatomy and physiology, receive hands-on training in basic surgical skills and laboratory procedures. Having the proper training and externship experience provides the necessary knowledge and technical skills needed in order to succeed as a surgical technologist.

Important Skills to Learn

An individual, who intends to pursue a successful career as a surgical technologist, needs to adopt certain skills and traits, making it an ideal career choice for someone who is great under pressure. Excellent manual dexterity and arm/hand steadiness are perhaps the most critical skills needed in an operating room, along with communication skills, particularly the ability to comprehend speech and effectively communicate with other team members. Critical thinking, social perceptiveness and information ordering—the ability to order items in a defined format or according to specified rules—are also essential when working in the operating room. The main thing to remember when starting out as a surgical technologist is to work hard and learn as much as possible from the senior doctors and specialists. To make your mark in your job, it is essential to be willing to learn and put into practice all that you were taught in your training.

Employment Outlook for Surgical Technologists

The employment outlook for surgical technologists is strong, with projected growth of about 30% during the next decade. This is considered “much faster than average” growth for a job sector, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Surgical technologists may advance their careers by specializing in progressively more demanding and more difficult medical specialties. Some of the most challenging would include neurosurgery and cardiac surgery.  If you are truly interested in helping people feel better and are up for a challenge, then entering the surgical technology field might very well be the correct choice for you.

Patient Care Technician

Is a Career as a Patient Care Technician Right for You?

Patient Care Technicians have evolved into one of the most highly demanded professionals in the health industry. They are the people who interact, on a regular basis, with the patients and try to gather information essential for their treatment. Patient care technicians provide valuable support to both the patients as well as the medical staff of the hospital. The following are some of the essential duties that PCT’s perform:

Providing Care

The main duty of a patient care technician is to care for the patients and ensure that their stay at the hospital is comfortable. For people who require nursing services at their homes a patient care giver becomes the sole authority who supports, and cares for them. A professional in this field may be required to perform various functions for the betterment of patients like bathe them, change their dressings, help them with daily errands, go out on a stroll with them, or even help them out of bed. Such professionals become the caretakers for the patients and look after their everyday needs.Florida Career College Programs


Monitoring the Progress

Patient care technicians remain with the patients and interact with them more than any of the other staff members. Their main duty requires that they monitor a patient’s progress and report it to the doctor when any serious changes occur. They must keep an eye on the patients’ physical activities, like pulse, vital signs, blood pressure, temperature, inhalation, etc. He or she makes a note of all the changes in the patient’s bodily functions, so that they could be reviewed by the patient later on. Along with this, a patient care technician assists the physician and nurses from taking blood samples, to setting up the required equipment for treatment in the operating rooms.

Educational Requirements

To become a recognized patient care technician, a person must acquire postsecondary education. Once his or her education is complete, he or she must receive a certificate of completion, which serves as proof of his or her qualification. A patient care technician studies courses which give him or her, the knowledge necessary to perform all the procedures as defined by the job requirements.

A person who has passed this course is also eligible to receive a Certified Nursing Assistant Certificate, whereby, he or she may also work as a nursing assistant.

Students in the Patient Care Technician program at our Anthem Education schools learn hands-on training in areas such as: respiratory therapy aide and equipment training, use of radiology and basic lab equipments, recording vital signs, and overall patient care.

Important Traits

Patients require care and love; therefore, it is essential for a patient care technician to be humble and kind. He or she must have patience and at the same time must possess the strength required to deal with the tantrums of any patient. For those who are considering becoming professionals in this field, they must remember that communicating clearly and listening to the patient are both crucial roles in making a treatment effective.

If you have any questions about the health field or the Patient Care Technician program, contact Anthem Education. We provide those eager to change their lives with a wide variety of programs, including cosmetology, information technology, allied health, and HVAC.

Teaching adult students

Student Success Guide

What is Student Success?

I’m sure you all have your own ideas and opinions on this subject. Many may believe it’s the student that never misses class, studies every day, and graduates with a high GPA. But it can be as simple as grasping difficult concepts, being involved in student organizations or applying what you have learned in the real world. A successful student is one that realizes their journey is not over, they are continually impacting those around them. Here are some tips to help you achieve student success.

1.      Master Your Schedule.

There are 168 hours in a week. Make sure you know how you are spending your time. Prepare a weekly schedule, and keep up with it daily. If you find planners or agendas useless, use you smartphone. There are many time management apps you can download.

Great Time Management Apps:

  • Astrid Task/Todo list for Android Phones. With the Astrid Task App you will never miss a deadline, plus you will be able to automatic sync your tasks across your phone or Astrid.com.  Download for free: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.timsu.astrid
  • My Class Schedule is another Android App Phone. Great App for keeping you up to date with your school work. The app is free with ads or you can purchase it for $1.31.
  • Inclass is an Iphone/Ipad App. With this app you are able to organize your schedule, share your notes, plus much more. To download click here http://www.inclassapp.com/

 2.      Go to Class

Showing up to class is the easiest task you can do. By attending class diligently you show your instructors you care. If you make the effort to show up and pay attention to the key topics being discussed, you definitely improve your chances for getting a good grade.  School is a pretty expensive commitment to not commit all the way.  If you are allowed to use your smartphone in class, use a note taking app or a note recording app.

Note Apps:

  • Evernote It’s a free app available to Android or Iphone smartphone users in conjunction with a desktop program. If you take a note using your phone (text, voice recording or snapshot) it will sync to both your online Evernote account and your PC.
  • Easy Voice Recorder is an Android App that lets you record your class lecture.

 3.      Improve your Study Strategy

Come up with a strategy that complements your schedule and learning style. There are many techniques you can employ to make studying less demanding and more effective. For example, you can use Mnemonics to help you memorize difficult material or flash cards to actively retain what you have memorized.

  • Mnemonics-” target=”_blank” We all remember from elementary school or junior high the order of planets by repeating these mnemonics, “My Very Eager Mother Just Served us Nine Pickles”, or “My Very Educated Mother Just Showed Us Nine Planets.”
  • Example of an Anatomy Mnemonic- “A Peaceful Thoughtful Man” for Aortic, Pulmonary, Tricuspid, and Mitral.
  • Flash Cards-Are great for kinetic learners, the energy required to make them, plus the active engagement of reading them out load will help you retain the information at a faster pace. However, in order for flash cards to work they must be read out loud daily, at least seven days before your exam.
  • Flashcard Apps for Android-StudyDroid  is an easy to use flashcard application. You can make your own flashcards on your computer or you can browse the public flashcards at Studydroid. 

 4.      Join or Form a Study Group. 

Studying with other students will motivate you to keep up with your studying, plus,  it’s a great way to meet new people.  If you are going to form a study group make sure to limit the group to four to five students. Also select students that share your same dedication to studying and getting good grades.  Remember, “Two heads are better than one”.

5.      Join Campus Clubs/Organizations. 

The skills you learn from a club or organization can help you succeed in your classes too, plus it looks great on your resume. Being part of a club or organization is a great way to network, promote awareness and to force you to stay focus on your schoolwork.

Anthem Education is dedicated to helping our students achieve success. We are here to help you find yourself, by learning a new skill. Dr. Seuss said it best, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” If you are ready to read more, know more, and  learn more, visit http://www.anthem.edu.

We would love to help you find the program that’s right for you!

Businesswoman Crossing the Finish Line Ahead of Businessmen --- Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

What Keeps Students From Finishing College? Can Anthem Education Help?

I think everyone enters college with the idea that they are going to finish and walk out with a degree or diploma or whatever else they went there for in the first place. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen.

A Public Agenda report for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation titled, “With Their Whole Lives Ahead of Them,” tries to debunk some of the common myths surrounding why so many students don’t finish college. It’s actually a very interesting study and very enlightening.

In my opinion, the results boil down to two big things:

  • The traditional college student that’s often shown on TV and in the movies is only a small part of the whole college student picture.
  • Having help makes a big difference.

The thing is—these two actually intertwine. As more students find themselves trying to get through college on their own, and even more do it while dealing with a bunch of other responsibilities outside of school, it continues to change the college landscape and the definition of today’s college student.

I happen to have a huge amount of respect for people who have to juggle work and other responsibilities, but still manage to put themselves through school. Those people should be incredibly proud of themselves. That’s one of the reasons that Anthem Education schools and colleges work so hard to provide services and support students who need a little extra help so they can stay in school and fulfill their education and career goals.

So let’s talk about what the study shows affects these college students the most, and how Anthem Education schools and colleges work to help students who deal with these and similar issues.

Work. The study shows that more than 60 percent of the students surveyed who did not finish college agreed with the statement: “I had to work as well, and it was too stressful trying to do both.” Is time anyone’s friend these days? We all have so much to do and so little time to do…at least it seems that way. When you have multiple things competing for your time, that’s when you have to take a moment to think about how you are investing your time and what’s most important to you. Are you willing to take night classes if you need to? Is getting a college education and training for a career important enough to you to give up your time?

At Anthem Education, we know that some of our students need to work in order to pay their bills while they are going to school, and have other responsibilities that require their time. There are a couple of ways that Anthem schools and colleges try to work with students to help them stay in school and work around their job schedule. First, we offer classes in the morning and in the evening. Anthem College also has an online option, Anthem College Online, which gives students additional flexibility over when and where they do their learning.

Finances. Grants, student loans, scholarships, parents, grandparents, the possibilities for funding a college education are endless, right? Uh no. Students must be attending school at least half-time in order to qualify for federal student aid, and there is a large percentage of students who never see any scholarship or grant money, and do not have relatives who will help them pay for college. In fact, almost 60 percent of people who didn’t finish college were paying for it themselves.

And how do people pay for something? They work—they have jobs. The one-two punch of working because you need money to pay for college and then finding the time to actually go to college can be overwhelming sometimes. At Anthem, we want these students to know that they are not alone and that they can work if they need to and still go to school.

We also work to educate our students about money, and we do our best to support them. The Student Services department can help students locate part-time jobs, affordable housing, childcare assistance and other necessities that can help them stay in school.  Students and graduates can also take advantage of the Anthem Student Assistance Team, which helps students better understand their student loans, stay on top of payment deadlines after they graduate, and provides important information and updates about student loans.

If you would like to learn more about the career-focused programs and services at Anthem Education schools and colleges, please visit our website or call us at 1.866.381.6397.

If you have attended an Anthem Education school before, but did not finish and would like to talk to someone about coming back to school, please do not hesitate to call us. We’d love to hear from you and discuss your re-entry options.

Tell us: Are you a graduate who has overcome obstacles to complete school or are you a current student who is facing some of these issues? What has been the most important thing you’ve learned from the experience? How did Anthem help you?

Anthem Education campuses support student parents

Supporting Student Parents at Anthem Education Schools and Colleges

I have been told that it’s not easy being a parent. Without having any direct experience myself, I can only imagine what it would be like. At the same time, I have been to college and I do remember what that was like—so much to do, so little time to do it. Now add a child to the mix and everything that comes along with it… Wow.

In an article for the Washington Post, education writer Jenna Johnson provides some great tips for how schools and colleges can support young moms and dads. If you are a young parent who is thinking about or would like to go to college, but are wondering how you can do it all, you can read through these services to see what help could be available to you.

1. Provide as much financial aid as possible. It is important to remember that tuition is only a part of the cost of going to college. What about books…fees…transportation? At Anthem Education schools and colleges, the cost of books and fees are included in the total program cost, which we tell you up front so there are no surprises. In addition, the Student Services department at each of the ground campuses can help students locate important outside services, including transportation vouchers. Meanwhile, each student is assigned a financial aid advisor who can help them fill out a FAFSA and search for scholarships that they might qualify to apply for. Don’t know what a FAFSA is? Check out our financial aid blog post for more information.

2. Assist with childcare. Johnson reveals that the “most daunting challenge” facing young moms and dads in college is childcare. Another thing that the Student Services Department at Anthem Education schools and colleges can do is help student parents find available childcare resources in their area.

3. Support them. Did you know that giving a young mom a smile of encouragement or asking about her day when you see her on campus can make a positive difference? As Johnson puts it, “Being a teen mother can be lonely, as it’s difficult to make new friends when you have a baby to care for.” Lending a listening ear or helping hand when you can are two great ways to offer support to young parents in college.

4. Help with housing. If young, student parents do not have the option to live at home, finding affordable housing can be difficult. In fact, another role of Student Services at Anthem Education schools and colleges is to help students in need find nearby, affordable housing.

5. Offer a variety of class options. Obviously, student parents are going to be busy bees. By offering them different options of when they can go to class, it makes it easier for them to schedule college into their already busy lives and around their child’s schedule. A great thing about Anthem Education schools is that we offer both day and evening classes so students can learn when it is most convenient for them. Anthem College Online offers an even more flexible option for students. All learning is done over the Internet, which means students can learn on their own time.

6. Don’t underestimate or pity them. Each student has his or her own unique challenge when it comes to school. Young parents are no different. For the article, Johnson interviewed a woman who had successfully completed college while parenting and now mentors young women in similar situations. She was just as determined as any other student to succeed in school. In fact, she said that compared to other challenges she had faced in her life, going to college was one of the easiest.

Remember, it is never too late to set goals for yourself. No matter what stage of life you are in and no matter what responsibilities you have, with the proper training, support and hard work, you can achieve your educational and career goals. If you are a young parent who is thinking about going to school and would like more information about the career education and training programs at Anthem Education schools and colleges, please call us at 1.866.381.6397 or visit our website.

Picking the right college

Holding the key to college success

We are always happy to read emails from our graduates telling us about their work and how studying at an Anthem Education school made the difference for them.

One thing we’ve noticed is that almost everyone struggles along the way. We know that our students have a life outside of campus and that life can get complicated and messy.

Anthem Education focuses on supporting students, especially those who are having a hard time. Students who are struggling in class can turn to their instructors and the Education Departments for tutoring and resources. Student Services Department staff help students find resources such as childcare and transportation.

We get emails and letters about graduates who overcame major obstacles. Some amaze us. Here are a few:

  • Nikki Gilster, a 2010 graduate of Anthem College Online, was in a near-fatal car accident. She survived but had a long recovery that involved learning to walk again and living with seizures. When she returned to work, she decided to fulfill a personal goal and go to college to earn a bachelor’s degree in business management. It wasn’t easy for her. “I had to push myself harder and farther than I ever had to do before in school,” Nikki wrote to us. Even when she had to make up classes after to a hospitalization and struggled with seizures, she “looked forward to doing my homework and studying. I was still able to learn and expand my mind. I wasn’t stuck in this little box. I was still living because I was in school.”
  • Shevell Flowers, a 2011 graduate from Anthem College-Maryland Heights MO, earned her GED while studying for her Medical Assistant diploma. “Shevell Flowers has had a difficult life; however, you would not know it from the outside,” writes Campus President Heidi Wind. An “optimistic person and a survivor,” Shevell was on her own at age 13 and caring for an infant at 15. In 2007, her daughter was hit by a car and seriously injured. Facing mounting medical bills, Shevell decided to take action and enrolled at Anthem. During her time at Anthem, she faced two evictions but maintained perfect attendance, earned academic honors, passed her GED, and was a runner-up for a prestigious scholarship for medical assistant students. She virtually “shone with an optimism that inspired her peers and instructors.”
  • Nicole Rodgers, a 2011 Dental Assistant associate degree graduate of Anthem College-Fenton, MO, says that her application fee to enter Anthem is the “the best $60 I have ever spent.” The day she applied to Anthem, Nicole had just spent her last $10 on gasoline. She was two months pregnant. Sitting in a Walmart parking lot, she nearly despaired until she noticed students leaving the Anthem College building across the way. She got out of the car, went inside, spoke to admissions staff, and was approved for scholarships and grants. Then she pawned her few belongings to come up with the application fee. Anthem helped her find a part-time job and a student carpool. “I was able to get my life back together,” Nicole says. Earlier this year, Nicole was named RDA Student of the Year by American Medical Technologists, a certification agency for allied health professionals.

What makes people like Nikki, Shevell, and Nicole keep moving forward when everything seems to go against them? Lots of people study this question, and it seems that the key is the ability to bounce back from hardship and refocus on overcoming the problem.

One example comes from KIPP school graduates who have gone to college. (KIPP is a network of college prep schools in communities where few people go to college.) KIPP graduates who finish college are not the ones who had the best grades in high school, but they developed excellent management skills. They took the character strengthening lessons they learned through KIPP to stay focused in college. They stayed home and studied while classmates went out. They asked, and got, extra help from their instructors. Most of them did not have much support from family, but they had the strength to figure out how to get through tough times.

Here is a sample of character strengths KIPP schools work to develop in students:

  • Zest, approaching life with energy and excitement
  • Grit, finishing what you start in spite of obstacles in the way
  • Self-control
  • Love of learning, including learning new skills
  • Bravery, including speaking up for what’s right and not running away from challenges

Here is the full list of the KIPP Character Report Card.