American National University students are working hard to gain the skills they need to succeed in their careers, and they’re proud to share their educational experiences with their legislators as advocates of career college education. Whether through activities with state associations, during campus visits by legislators, or through letter writing campaigns, ANU students are making their voices heard.
“Higher education – as it should be — is regulated both at the state and federal levels, which means that lawmakers have great influence over the student’s access to and choice in higher education opportunities,” explained Roger Dalton, ANU’s vice-president of government affairs. “It is vitally important for students to know who their U.S. and state representatives are, and to make sure those representatives are fully aware of the issues that affect their educational experience and their campus. If you sit on the sidelines, you can’t effect positive change.”
In Ohio, Marcus Bozeman, a student in the business administration-management bachelor’s degree program at the $$Columbus Campus, used his participation in the Ohio Association of Career Colleges and Schools (OACCS) 2015 Legislative Day to voice his opposition to legislation which would set limits on the amount of aid that career college students can receive through the Ohio College Opportunity Grant (OCOG). Marcus, who was joined at the event by ANU Columbus Campus director Joe DeLuca, expressed his belief that career college students should receive funding equal to that of students at public universities. “Having an equal share of the OCOG would benefit students like myself that are reinventing ourselves to make a better life,” Marcus stated.
Dustin Rogers, a student in the paramedic program at the ANU $$Pikeville Campus, also showed his support for career college education when he, along with paramedic program director Cyrus Hess, Pikeville Campus director Tammy Riley, and $$Louisville Campus director Vincent Tinebra, represented ANU at the Kentucky Association of Colleges and Schools (KACCS) Career College Day at the Capitol.
During the event, Dustin demonstrated the skills that he’s learning in class as he used a ZOLL monitor/defibrillator to take pulse and blood pressure readings for legislators who visited the ANU booth. “It’s very important to be here today and represent this program and this school,” he stated. “I feel after they see the rigorous training that we go through, and the numerous fields that we have to study—cardiology, respiratory, and all the others, that they’ll look a little bit higher upon us.”
Dustin has found that there are a number of advantages to career college education that made ANU the perfect fit for him. He enrolled in the paramedic program at the Pikeville Campus because it was one of the few schools in his area that offered a class schedule that would allow him to continue to work full-time while going to school. He was also drawn to ANU by paramedic program director Cyrus Hess, a well-respected veteran of the field.
[img]“I’ve always wanted to help people and I don’t like sitting still. I love being where the action is. I became a firefighter first, and an EMT next, so paramedic is the next logical step,” shared Dustin who currently works as an EMT for Trans-Star Ambulance. “ANU is the only way to go with it. I love all aspects of it. It’s a nice, friendly environment filled with people who actually care about you and your education.”
Representative Leslie Combs, who serves the Pikeville Campus in House District 94, was one of many legislators who visited the ANU booth during the KACCS event. “I think that our schools here are so beneficial to our communities, and I know this particular institution and how important it’s been to Pike County and our students in Pike County,” Representative Combs said. “I support education at all levels and all institutions that are providing it, because our students, and the people of our region and our district, are just begging for more education. I think the better educated they are, the better our region succeeds.”
With Eastern Kentucky facing a critical shortage of emergency medical professionals, Dustin feels that his education at ANU will allow him to become even more effective in serving his community, and Marcus has been inspired to remain active in sharing his opinions with his legislators. “I learned to get involved and know your legislator,” Marcus said of his experience. “The more involved you get, the bigger impact your voice will have.”
Photo A-(left to right) ANU Louisville Campus director Vincent Tinebra, Pikeville Campus paramedic student Dustin Rogers, paramedic program director Cyrus Hess, and Pikeville Campus director Tammy Riley are pictured at the Kentucky State Capitol in Frankfort.
Photo B-ANU Columbus Campus student Marcus Bozeman (right) got the opportunity to speak with House Representative David Leland (left) during the OACCS Legislative Day.