Staff Contact:

Andrea J. Burney, APR

Director of  Public Relations

Teresa Beale
Administrative Support Technology - Medical Office Specialization

Teresa Beale

Teresa Beale thought returning to the classroom full time after an absence for many years would be a huge obstacle for her. Instead the 56-year old Danville resident and grandmother returned to school when her employer closed, plunged right in to her studies, and has been a “straight A? student in every class.

“The biggest obstacle I had to overcome was one I created myself. The thought of attending college at my age, after being out of school for so many years, was terrifying. I was certainly out of my comfort zone and thought there was no way I could do it,? Beale says. “I am so proud to say with a lot of prayer and the support of my family and friends, I now realize that my goal of a college education is achievable.?

Beale lost her job at Dan River, Inc. in March 2008. Using Trade Re-Adjustment Act benefits, Beale enrolled in DCC in January 2009, with a major in Administrative Support Technology – Medical Office Specialization. She is looking forward to later graduation this year and changing careers.

“In researching the job market, I have found many opportunities available in medical administration, such as coding and transcribing. I would love to be involved in the latest in medical advancement,? she adds.

In addition to focusing on academics, which earned her a spot on the President’s Honors List with a 4.0 grade point average, Beale also is active in the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP) and Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society for community college students. She says none of this would be possible without the constant support and encouragement of many others, including DCC faculty and staff, her family, and friends.

“I have an amazing advisor (Richie Robertson, Instructor of Administrative Support Technology) and many instructors who are encouraging and patient. They (DCC faculty) are 100 percent supportive in helping you achieve your goals,? Beale says. “Combined with opportunities to work with other students and I see I am not alone in my fears, I realize anything is achievable if you work hard and want it bad enough.?

One of her biggest supporter, she says, is her 89-year old mother, Rossie Saunders, who wants to see her daughter earn a college degree since Beale is a first-generation college student. Beale’s support base also includes two sons, one daughter, two daughters-in-law, one son-in-law, four grandchildren (plus another due in January 2010), one brother and one sister-in-law.

“They (family) are all amazing and the most precious gifts of my life,? Beale explains. “I received so much encouragement from my children and friends. They knew I would need more education to compete with the many people out of work in our area. I know they want the best for me and I love them so much for giving me the push I needed.?

The Associate of Applied Science Degree in Administrative Support Technology is a two-year program of study with three specializations: General Office, Legal, and Medical Office. The General Office specialization provides the broad-based knowledge and skills needed in many different types of businesses. The Legal specialization is geared specifically to individuals who want a career as a legal secretary or an entry-level paralegal. The Medical Office specialization offers training needed to work in a medical environment with specific instruction in medical insurance coding and medical transcription.

Beale says she is excited about her future and is glad she has the opportunity to attend DCC.

“DCC has something to meet the needs of all interested in training themselves to meet the needs in today’s ever-changing job market. I think it’s important to offer programs that will encourage students, even us non-traditional students, to seek higher education,? she says.“First of all, I strongly encourage everyone to get a college education and DCC is certainly a wonderful place to start,? Beale continues. “The list of courses offered is growing constantly to meet the needs of all who seek an education. Professionalism and dedication of instructors, tutoring programs, financial aid and a career services program are all part of what DCC is all about.?

For more information about the Administrative Support Technology Program, please contact Frances Carter, Assistant Professor of Administrative Support Technology, 434.797.8525, or Richie Robertson, Instructor of Administrative Support Technology, 434.797.8428; or click here.


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