Jasmine Hodge is a 2019 graduate of the Medical Assisting program. She came to Craven CC because she “didn’t want to not be something.” As a single mother, she knew that finding a career meant furthering her education. She now works for Coastal Carolina Health Care Endoscopy.
Craven CC graduate finds success in medical field
By Holly Desrosier
Craven Community College (Craven CC) graduate Jasmine Hodge has used her success as a student to propel her into the healthcare field. Despite several setbacks, she was able to receive the guidance and assistance she needed to complete her education and join the workforce.
Hodge began her college endeavor in 2011 with the hope of attending East Carolina University. After that didn’t pan out, she realized that Craven CC offered her a perfect alternative that allowed her to continue living with her mother. She first started at Craven CC in the fall of 2011 with the expectation of becoming a nurse. However, after having children, she soon realized that the steep workload of nursing students did not mesh well with motherhood. She sat down with her advisor, Zomar Peter, and figured out a new degree plan in the Medical Assisting (MA) program.
“Advisors provide clarity on students’ academic direction and educational goals,” said Peter. “For example, with Jasmine, her goal was to enter the nursing program, but being a single mother, she was not able to stop working. With the nursing program, students are encouraged not to work or work minimally due to the rigor of the program. Advisors will be able to guide students through the prerequisites for all programs, but specifically health and nursing programs. Medical Assisting was perfect for Jasmine because of the various online options available for her work and personal life.”
Peter, who is now dean of Student Services, also emphasized how important it is for students to talk with an advisor about career choices. Certain competitive programs, including several in the healthcare field, have application deadlines during certain times of the year. It is crucial for students to be aware of these deadlines so they do not have to wait for the next cycle.
Hodge admitted that the workload in the MA program was still very stressful at times, but the bonds she formed with her classmates and the realization that everyone was going through similar situations helped her through it. She also found comfort in assisting other students who were having difficulty, several of whom were mothers as well.
“We all have the same struggle with trying to study but also be a parent,” said Hodge. “We’re trying to come to class and also be a parent; to help your kids with their schoolwork and still having your own workload of school and homework. We had a lot of the same struggles but we also all helped each other.”
Hodge graduated from the MA program in 2019 and is currently employed at Coastal Carolina Health Care Endoscopy Center. She encourages other parents who are in school or thinking about starting to not get discouraged and put forth maximum effort.
Peter suggests all students seek assistance from an advisor to make sure they pursue a career path that is optimal for their interests and circumstances. Advisors can also direct students to various scholarships and financial assistance through the Craven CC Foundation, as well as grants that help community college students complete their education when facing unexpected challenges.
“In order for students like Jasmine to be successful at juggling school and motherhood, we provide not only academic advising but we do provide financial assistance for those who are struggling financially,” said Peter. “It is important for students like Jasmine to have someone who provides continuous encouragement, hope and a very good listening ear. At Craven, that is what we provide.”
Applications for the MA program at Craven CC are now being accepted through May 31, 2021. The program starts in August. For more information, visit cravencc.edu/academics/degrees/medical-assisting or contact Alexa Tarplee, MA program coordinator, at 252-638-1031.
This article was also published in the New Bern Sun Journal.
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