Amanda Shipley, of St. Charles, Mo., came to St. Charles Community College knowing that she needed the right landing place after high school. Drawn to a career in health care, she wanted to further her education but didn’t feel ready to head to a four-year university.
She started her journey at SCC in 2012 after graduating from Francis Howell High School. Her goal: to complete her general education requirements and focus on science courses, with an exploratory eye towards a health care career.
“I took science classes and realized I wanted to do something more hands-on. I always knew nursing was an option, but I needed to take some science classes here to know that’s what I wanted to do,” she said.
To complement her science coursework and expand her network, Amanda joined and became very involved in Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), the international honor society for community college students. She was vice president of service for SCC’s Alpha Xi Chi chapter, chairing and organizing service events like a canned food drive for the Salvation Army and a pet supply drive for a local animal rescue organization. She put her helping instincts to work gathering volunteers, setting out collection bins and delivering collected goods to the beneficiary organizations.
Amanda’s deep involvement in PTK activities, as well as her stellar academic record, brought her state and national recognition. She was a Missouri Community College (MCCA) All-Missouri academic team member and a Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation Gold Scholar Award recipient, one of only 150 gold, silver and bronze winners nationwide.
“Winning the Coca-Cola award reflects the hard work I put into my studies and into PTK. That’s how I’ve always been: I like to help people and I like to make an impact. That’s why I think nursing will suit me as a career,” she said.
Amanda credits Pam De Ciechi, science adjunct faculty member, for making biology and anatomy and physiology fun and for reaching out to students on a personal level. “Because I like science, I found her class enjoyable,” Amanda said. “Pam made it fun and made the time go by quickly. When I had my lab final, she sent me an email congratulating me on doing well. It says a lot for a teacher to go out of their way and send a personal email.
Amanda looks forward to staying involved during nursing school at UMSL by finding a nursing organization or other philanthropic organization. “I feel like I’ll get bored if I don’t do something.”
Amanda is already working in her field part-time as an admitting representative at Mercy. After she obtains her BSN, Amanda hopes to get her master’s degree and become a nurse practitioner. “I’d like to go into pediatrics or maybe geriatrics. Nurse practitioners spend more time with patients and I like that,” she said. “I got that idea from my godmother, who is a women’s health nurse practitioner.”
For someone who’s apprehensive about going to a four-year university, Amanda recommends SCC as a good place to get general education credits at a good price. Amanda said. “I feel like every time I go forward I solidify one plan, and then at the next step I think about what I want to do next. SCC was that necessary first step on my educational path.”
Last updated: May 28, 2014