Education at Any Age:
Amanda Hanawahine McKeague’s Time at ANU
Earning your higher education has no time limit, and for current student, Amanda Hanawahine McKeague, that reigns true. The time for college never worked for her as life and responsibilities prevented her from being able to focus her time on studies. However, now that her children have grown and American National University’s Health Information Management associate degree program is all online, Amanda is able to earn the education she’s always wanted. She has proven that any student can receive their higher education at any age. Her dedication to her studies and hard work have paid off as Amanda is term 230’s Health Information Management Student of the Term!
Amanda originally joined ANU for the Medical Billing and Coding diploma program, however, she stayed to earn her associate degree. On this decision, she says, “at the end of the term, I was like ‘well, I came this far, might as well push a little harder and get the rest!’” She pushed to continue earning her education to be an example for her teen children, “at any age, you can go back [to school].” Her seamless movement from Medical Billing and Coding to Health Information Management was due in part of ANU’s stackable degree programs. And the choice to continue earning was also in part because:
“It made it easier to not have to start all over again and learn a different way of doing things.”
With terms starting every ten weeks at ANU, Amanda knew she could fast track her education – and that is a major reason why she chose our programs. Her decision to choose ANU was “the fact that I could accelerate the courses… I wanted to achieve [my education] as fast as I could.” Amanda always wanted to be within a healthcare role, and she always wanted to work with veterans. “I live in a military town, so there’s a lot of veterans around here, and I see what they go through to just get a visit with a specialist,” she describes. “Maybe there’s something in Health Information Management background that I can help spearhead it so that it’s not as hard for them to get through. They’ve already been through enough.”
Through her experience at ANU, Amanda will always remember program director, Patricia Vander Hoff.
“She’s to the point, she doesn’t sugar coat anything, it helps the way I learn,” she says. “If you don’t remember something, she calls you out. And it’s not to pick on you, it’s to help you learn, as these are things you have to remember because they’re important to your job.”
She describes that Patricia treats her students like human beings and not numbers or products. On her overall experience, Amanda says, “it’s been good! I can’t complain. My professors have been amazing and very helpful.” She’s nearing the end of her associate degree education at ANU. She describes this term to be the most influential, “I have [my externship], the training for the RHIT [Registered Health Information Technician] testing class, and I have my statistics class… It’s a lot, but I know I can get through it.”
Her future goals after she finishes her Health Information Management program, she says, “I have already reached out to my advisor to inquire about moving on to my bachelor’s degree. I know that will get my farther than just an associate degree.” She hopes to work with veterans in her future, as previously mentioned, to assist them in their health.
To all those looking for an education in Health Information Management, Amanda whole-heartedly agrees they should attend American National University. “If [students] want a career there, yes, take a chance on ANU.”
Her advice to new students at ANU: “Have questions and reach out, because when you reach out, that’s the only way you get your questions answered. Be open to learning in different ways. Study hard.”