Excelling Through Self Discovery

Valerie Jett’s Story with ANU

Following years of juggling work, childcare, and pursuing education, Valerie Jett embarked on a journey of self-discovery. It was during this journey that she received diagnoses of autism and ADHD, providing her with the understanding and determination necessary to regain control of her life. And through that, she joined American National University’s Health Information Management associate degree program and had the tools she needed to commit and complete the goals she wanted to achieve. And her dedication to her studies earned recognition from her professors to nominate her as a Term Trailblazer for Term 237!

Valerie first started her educational journey when American National University was still known as National College. She was initially in our business administration management program but left due to the struggles of burn-out. However, when she finally found clarity in her diagnoses, she decided to join our Health Information Management program in order to obtain more flexibility in her career.

“With my autism and my ADHD, I wanted something that opened up the doors to work remotely and in office, if need be,” she explains, “and the pay rates, from what I’ve gathered in my research, is really good for starting out jobs.”

Joining the medical field also helps her achieve a goal of helping others find options that would help them when they’re in need.

During the course of earning her degree, Valerie has found the support she needs every step of the way. “[ANU] has been a lot of help, just with answering questions that I have here and there,” she says. She explains that she’s never had an issue getting in contact with anyone – whether by email or text. When it comes to her professors, she describes they “have been really good, no matter if it was in person or online, for National College and American National.” And in their expertise, she has gained a lifetime of knowledge, of trial and error, without having to live it yet. “What they have learned, what they gained, their knowledge and their passing it on to you. Which makes it easier for your life because you don’t have to live it and go through to learn it. It saves time and you can put your time into learning something else, [something] new.”

Her future goals include having financial stability through her career and owning a home, as well as help her father and their family farm. And she wants to obtain those goals by earning her degree and working to help people in the healthcare field.

“I would recommend [ANU], especially if someone has a busy life. It would definitely be easier for them to go to school, to work, and take care of a family,” she explains. She’s even already recommended ANU to those around her, like her daughter in law.

“I think online learning is just as good as in-person learning. It’s not as chaotic, it’s a lot more structured, to be honest,” she says, “it’s structured with flexibility.”

Her advice to new ANU students: “To be productive is to be on top of all of your tasks,” she advises. She describes using tools to help her do better in classes – as she utilizes calendars and an Amazon Alexa to help remind her of her upcoming tasks. She also advises, “don’t be afraid to talk to your professors because they’re there for you.”

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