"I was a 49-year-old injured construction worker. Now I'm a 50-year-old college graduate," says Harley Taylor with pride.
In just one year, Harley has made a mid-life career change by obtaining his diploma in medical billing and coding at American National University's $$Danville Campus and subsequently finding employment with Danville Medical Specialist. He is involved in almost every aspect of medical office operations including scheduling, billing and coding, and the digital conversion of medical records.
Harley visited a local community college when he began researching his options in career training but he was just directed to a brochure on the wall when he inquired about the programs that they offered.
He found the experience different at National where he received personal attention from the admissions staff. "I told her that I hadn't been to school in 30-something years and they made it really good for me," he recalled.
He also found personal attention in the classroom. "One of the things that made me pick National was the small class size," he explained. "The teachers here, the opportunities and the tools they have given me have absolutely changed everything. Schools like U of K and EKU have nothing for me. It takes colleges like National to give somebody like me an opportunity."
Harley is continuing on with his education at National and will graduate with his associate's degree in business administration-management in the Spring of 2012. While he hopes to continue his career in a medical office setting, he feels that continuing his education will give him flexibility in the future.
He also likes the fact that he can take free refresher courses for life after graduating from National. "I can come back if I want to and refresh classes and it doesn't cost me anything."
Harley encourages older adults not to be intimidated by the prospect of returning to school. "I have flourished here," he said. "If I can come out of that and do as good as I've done then anybody can do it."