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One of the most exciting things about a new year is the potential to try new things, meet new people, and achieve new goals. With so much to accomplish and do, why not choose a goal that has clear steps and serious benefits?

Getting your GED, or General Educational Development, opens so many doors on your path to having financial and professional success. Today, with a growing job market and a growing number of graduates with advanced degrees, the competition for a new career can be serious.

The GED puts you on a path towards a skilled position, where you can learn, grow, and lead a fulfilling life. Without a high school diploma or equivalent, many people find themselves shut out of job opportunities.

If you feel like you are capable of more and deserve a better career, consider putting “get my GED” onto your resolution list!

What is the GED?

The General Educational Development test began in World War II as a way to help soldiers who had served in the War earn their high school degree and begin a new career.

Since then, the GED test has remained important for high school dropouts or those who were unable to attend high school and earn their diploma. The exam covers some of the most crucial subjects taught in the high school classroom: social studies, science, language arts (reading and writing sections), and mathematics.

The Social Studies section is 50 questions, multiple choice, which covers topics like history (American, Canadian, and World), geography, civics and government, and economics.

The Science section is 50 multiple choice questions, covering physical science (physics and chemistry), life science, and earth and space science.

The Language Arts, Reading section is 40 questions, in multiple choice format, with 75% of the test covering fictional literature and 25% focused on non-fiction. Subjects covered can range from poetry and drama to visual and performing arts reviews.

The Language Arts, Writing section has two parts. The first is 50 questions on grammatical aspects of writing, including organization, sentence structure, usage, and mechanics. The second part of the Writing section is a written essay. You will be given a prompt and then must present your views about the topic, writing in a clear, concise manner.

Finally, the Mathematics section is 50 multiple choice questions, ranging from number operations and geometry to statistics and algebra. This section blends practical knowledge such as formulas and methods with larger concepts like probability and patterns.

Why is the GED Important?

The GED is viewed as the equivalent of a high school diploma. For whatever reason you did not complete high school, now is your chance to accomplish that goal!

For many jobs, a high school diploma is the entry you need to begin a new career. Without a diploma, you can feel stuck in a job that does not pay well or does not make you happy. Or, you can find yourself unable to find any job at all. If you have ever had a regret about not getting a high school diploma, the GED is here to help.

Not only does the GED position you for a better, higher-paying job, but it also instills a sense of accomplishment, self-worth, and pride for achieving this goal. By learning all the information the test covers, you are better prepared to take on a new job and to understand the world around you.

As the saying goes, knowledge is power! Taking the time to invest in yourself and your knowledge of history, literature, science, math, and the world around you makes you a well-rounded, educated person. Plus, taking the time to study and take the exam impresses many hiring managers. Knowing that you are a hard worker and are dedicated to being more shows that you can succeed in any career!

What Opportunities Can My GED Give Me?

Getting your GED isn’t just the end of the journey; it’s the beginning! Once you have earned your GED, the opportunities for new jobs open up and the ability to advance is possible.

Did you know that getting your GED doesn’t just help you in the job market, but it also positions you to keep learning in higher education? The GED is the prerequisite you need to attend college and get an advanced degree or certificate.

At IntelliTec College, a high school diploma or GED is required to begin training at our career college. Once you have your GED and apply with us, you are well on your way to a great new career path.

Our wide range of programs are all focused on teaching that is focused on learning and doing. Our instructors give the latest information about the field, while also giving students hands-on experiences to truly be job-ready.

Interested in some of the career paths we offer at IntelliTec? Click here to browse all of our programs and find one that is right for you! All of our programs are geared towards careers that are necessary, hiring, and in need of a hard worker like you.

How Do I Prepare for the GED?

When reviewing the many topics that are on the GED exam, you may have started to feel a little overwhelmed. World history? Sentence structure? Geometry? It is a lot of information to remember, re-learn, or learn for the first time.

But don’t panic. The GED, like any other standardized test, can be taught. Courses, books, and practice tests are all available to help you feel prepared and succeed!

Since we know how valuable the GED can be for so many, we offer GED preparation classes at our IntelliTec College of Pueblo campus. In the classes, you learn the material that you will be tested on, while also getting practice in taking the computer version of the test.

The computer version of the GED is preferred for many, since it allows for easy, online registration and instant test results (with the exception of the written essay portion). In the class, you will get a feel for taking the exam on a computer, while also getting up to speed on the exam material.

How Much Does the GED Cost?

The GED costs $150, breaking down to $37.50 per section. When you schedule your test, you will need to pay for the exam upfront.

If you end up needing to retake a portion of the test, you can simply make up your section by paying $37.50, rather than taking the entire exam again!

Registration and payment for the test is accepted through the GED’s website; check the website for further information or price changes for your area.

Where and When Do I Take the GED?

Just as our Pueblo campus offers GED preparation classes, our Grand Junction campus is a GED test-taking facility. The Grand Junction campus hosts online, computer testing of the GED for your convenience.

Although you can take the test at our Grand Junction campus, you must first register, schedule, and pay for your test at GED.com. Once you have done this, you can come to us on your scheduled date to take the test.

The Grand Junction campus offers GED exams on Tuesdays, 1:30-5PM, and Fridays, 9AM-5PM. Schedule the time that is best for you online, and we look forward to seeing you on test day.

Take the GED Exam in Colorado in 2018!

Resolve to do more, learn more, and be more in the new year. Earning your GED is the beginning of an important step for yourself and your future career!

Taking the time to invest in yourself in this important way will bring you pride and confidence that you can do anything. Challenge yourself this year and become a better version of yourself in the years ahead.
Click here to learn more about the GED, with the preparation classes and test day offered by IntelliTec College campuses in Colorado.

Wondering what doors your GED can open for you? Explore the programs IntelliTec offers to see how one test can change your entire life.

Automotive Technician Graduate Marc Quini Learned More than Just How to Repair Cars at IntelliTec College of Pueblo

Automotive Technician program graduate, Marc Quini, lands a job at Spradley Chevrolet and is quickly promoted to Lead Technician.
Automotive Technician program graduate, Marc Quini, lands a job at Spradley Chevrolet and is quickly promoted to Lead Technician.

Marc Quini applies the same core principles in his life as he does at his job: create structure and prioritize daily tasks. These served him well in the military and are pillars when it comes to managing a work schedule and a home life.

“This may sound simplistic, but if you check and double-check your work, you can address issues that could have easily been avoided,” explains Quini.

Former Blackhawk Pilot Determines a New Flight Plan for His Life

During his military career, Quini’s stress levels were high as he was constantly preparing for deployment. Once he left the military and enrolled at IntelliTec College in Pueblo, Quini felt he could relax and completely focus on his classes. The G.I. Bill covered tuition and living expenses, relieving the financial burden.

“I felt pretty lucky I could put 100% into school and not worry about having to work while going to school and taking care of my kids. For the most part my classes corresponded with the girls’ schedule, allowing me time with them in the evenings,” says Quini.

Automotive Grad Grateful to Career Service Exceptional Job Preparation

Automotive Technician graduate Marc Quini celebrates military retirement and getting his Associate’s degree in a big way – with the purchase of a new car!

Quini participated in three mock interviews through IntelliTec’s Career Services department, and unbeknownst to him, the service manager from Spradley Chevrolet in Pueblo sat on the last interview panel. Quini was hired on the spot.

“I enjoy working with my coworkers and dealing with some of the challenges that come through the door. Each vehicle that comes in has the potential to test my limits, providing me with so much opportunity to master my skills on a wide variety of issues,” says Quini.

Quini Advises Auto Techs to Create a Process, Follow it Every Time, and Check Mark Tasks Once Completed

He attributes his conscientious work ethic to his instructors and program supervisor. All provided a complete academic experience, but they went beyond classroom lessons and promoted traits such as organization, respect and professionalism. Quini appreciates that his academic career was more than about tests.

“IntelliTec had the tools and the facility to train me on all the new technology, but it’s the small pieces of advice that stuck with me most. Things like ‘clean up after yourself, treat vehicles as your own, and that all actions (professional or otherwise) count as part of the customer’s experience,’” Quini says.

IntelliTec College Donates to Boys and Girls Cubs of Pueblo County
IntelliTec College Donates to Boys and Girls Cubs of Pueblo County with Funds from 2016 Car Expo.

IntelliTec College Donates Funds from Annual Car Expo and Pin-Up Contest to Two Pueblo Community Charities

Press Release – For Immediate Release

Pueblo, CO – This year’s 2016 Auto Show at IntelliTec College of Pueblo raised $2550 for two deserving charities: Posada of Pueblo and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Pueblo County. This annual fundraising event continues to emphasize the importance of community partnerships and the need for funds for deserving charities, while bringing attention to organizations that do so much for the community.

Anne Stattelman, Executive Director for Posada of Pueblo is grateful for the relationship.

“IntelliTec becomes part of our organization via its advocacy during fundraisers such as this. They help to spread the word about what we do, and that’s always beneficial.”

IntelliTec College Donates to Posada of Pueblo
IntelliTec College Donates to Posada of Pueblo with Funds from 2016 Car Show.

Automotive Technology Students Generate the “Fun” in Fundraising

According to Campus Director Dave Scott, IntelliTec College of Pueblo  instills in its students the value of giving back to its community, and giving support to worthy local charities such as Posada and the Boys and Girls Clubs is just one example.

“This is a fun and exciting event for the entire Pueblo campus, but it’s clear the automotive students are some of the most excited. Those who display their vehicles take great pride in them,” recognizes Scott.

Planning and Preparation Pave the Way for a Successful Auto Show

Jason Ontiveros, Automotive Technician Program Supervisor at Pueblo’s campus, who has helped organize this fundraiser for a number of years, denotes,

IntelliTec College of Pueblo Pin-Up Contest at 2016 Car Expo Fundraiser
IntelliTec College of Pueblo Pin-Up Contest at 2016 Car Expo Fundraiser.

“There were 51 cars with all types of makes and models from a 1931 Ford to a 2014 Dodge. IntelliTec’s Student Ambassadors served refreshments, and Victory Outreach of Pueblo provided games such as a bounce house and a dunk tank.”

Months before the date approaches, staff and students begin the preparations for the auto show. The event entails a tremendous amount of planning and organization, but it is also fun and rewarding. Scott notes volunteers arrive at the break of dawn to set up, and they do not leave until “every last water bottle is picked up.”

Pin-Ups and Classic Cars Create a Timeless Pair at Annual Event

For the second year, the College’s Automotive Technician program introduced additional fun and fashion with a 50’s themed pin-up contest where ten young ladies competed for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place prizes.

Winners took home gift baskets filled with a variety of Matrix beauty supply products and gift cards. Contestants were judged based upon their execution of hairstyles, outfits, and overall presentation of the 50’s pin-up style. Students at IntelliTec College of Pueblo’s Cosmetology program were on hand to style with hair and makeup for the models of the contest.

Pin-Up Contest Contestants at IntelliTec College of Pueblo's 2016 Car Expo Fundraiser.
Pin-Up Contest Contestants at IntelliTec College of Pueblo’s 2016 Car Expo Fundraiser.

Contestants posed for a photo shoot with several of the cars on display, and the car owners were thrilled to have their vehicles photographed with the fashionable 50’s pin-up ladies. “The contest is done very tastefully and everyone has a great time with it. Hot cars and pretty girls have always gone together in the automotive world. We take great strides to ensure it is all part of the family-oriented fun of the event,” says Scott.

About IntelliTec College of Pueblo

IntelliTec College of Pueblo, CO offers hands-on career training in the technical trades, cosmetology, allied healthcare, and massage therapy fields. These programs award either associate degrees or certificates and are designed to be completed in as little as 18 months or less. IntelliTec provides a supportive learning environment with small classes sizes and caring instructors. Learn how you can improve your life with a meaningful career by requesting information at www.IntelliTec.edu or calling 719-542-3181.

Contacts:

Jason Ontiveros
Automotive Program Supervisor
IntelliTec College of Pueblo
jontiveros@intellitec.edu
(719) 542-3181

Dave Scott
Campus Director
IntelliTec College of Pueblo
dscott@intellitec.edu
(719) 542-3181

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Michael Ybarra - Medical Assistant at Sangre de Cristo Internal Medicine (SDCIM) in Pueblo, CO.
Michael Ybarra – IntelliTec College Medical Assisting program graduate – “pays it forward” at Sangre de Cristo Internal Medicine (SDCIM) in Pueblo, assisting the elderly and veterans with their medical needs.

Young father sets an academic example for his children by going back to school for medical assisting degree.

Michael Ybarra wouldn’t exactly describe himself as someone excited to return to the classroom. His previous challenges at school left him fearful of the idea of returning to the classroom, but his desire to leave his minimum wage job was even greater. After 10 years serving fast food, his wife and children inspired him to face his fears and enroll in the Medical Assistant program at IntelliTec College of Pueblo.

“My wife signed up for the same program at the same time. She was instrumental in convincing me that I could do this. Plus, I wanted my kids to know that I take my responsibilities as a father seriously, and that going back to school was the only way I could get ahead in life,” explains Ybarra.

Ybarra’s desire to become a medical assistant overshadowed his academic insecurities.

When Ybarra finished high school, he was certain it was the last he would ever see of a school environment. He is self-described as “anti-social” and always felt that other students judged him because he was not part of the popular crowd. However, Peggy Johnson, Medical Assistant Program Supervisor at IntelliTec College of Pueblo, describes Ybarra quite differently.

“Michael is a kind and respectful young man of character. He keeps to himself most times, remaining responsible to his school and his work, and it’s obvious he cares deeply for his family,” remarks Johnson.

His desire to become a medical assistant stems from a yearning to provide compassionate healthcare to the elderly and to give back to America’s military veterans. He believes both groups deserve a type of “pay it forward” approach as these individuals have contributed to our country in their own unique ways.

medical assisting school pueblo graduates
Husband and wife celebrate simultaneous graduations, completing their Medical Assistant degrees (occupational) from IntelliTec College of Pueblo.

Medical Assisting program graduate lands full-time work with professionalism, a strong work ethic and initiative.

Ybarra served his externship with Sangre de Cristo Internal Medicine (SDCIM) in Pueblo while completing his Medical Assistant degree, and he was immediately offered a full-time position once completing classes and his externship. Johnson is not a bit surprised at the offer.

“Michael’s ability to maintain a level of professionalism and respect in the workplace makes him a desirable employee. I can absolutely see how he is both equally liked and admired for his manner and hard work,” says Johnson.

Dr. Douglas Duffee, MD, maintains SDCIM’s small staff and believes it is imperative for the medical assistant to fit seamlessly into the culture of the office. According to Duffee, Ybarra was the clear choice.

“Michael communicates well on the phone and in the office, and he is able to manage a myriad of tasks. He’s dependable, conscientious, learns quickly, and takes initiative – a very important trait in a smaller, multi-functional office,” explains Duffee.

gradaute of medical assisting program in pueblo
An extended family has always played an important role in Michael’s life. (Medical Assisting graduate from IntelliTec College of Pueblo is pictured in red, back right.)

IntelliTec graduate credits parents in preventing him from following a potentially tragic path.

Michael gives a lot of credit for his work ethic to his mom and dad, who parented with equal parts of love and discipline. Ybarra is all too clear how his life could have taken a completely different path. Born and raised on the eastside of Pueblo came with inherent challenges of gang violence, and he witnessed first hand how children lacking proper parental modeling ended up on the streets or worse.

“My parents were my number one support through it all. I always knew I could count on them to step in whenever things became challenging,” says Ybarra.

And step in they did, assisting with daycare and offering an incredible amount of help and comfort during the birth of his son, and the death of his mother-in-law. As Ybarra explains, it sure “put the brakes on things”.

Pueblo dad hopes to have a positive influence on his children.

A lot has changed for Ybarra. He no longer has only five dollars left in his wallet after each pay period’s bills. He looks to the future, particularly his children’s futures, with confidence and determination.

“I want them to not be afraid of failure, because with failure comes opportunity. I really believe it’s better to have failed than to have never tried at all,” concludes Ybarra.

About IntelliTec College of Pueblo

IntelliTec College of Pueblo, CO offers hands-on career training in the technical trades, cosmetology, allied healthcare, massage therapy, and personal training fields. These programs award either associate degrees or certificates and are designed to be completed in as little as 18 months or less. IntelliTec provides a supportive learning environment with small classes sizes and caring instructors. Learn how you can improve your life with a meaningful career by requesting information at www.IntelliTec.edu or calling 719-542-3181.

The GED certificate proves that the holder has educational skills that are similar to those of a high school graduate.
The GED certificate proves that the holder has educational skills that are similar to those of a high school graduate. (Image Credit: © dolgachov – 123RF.com)

If you do not have a high school diploma, one option for you is to get your GED certificate. GED training holds the key to a better future, for instance:

  • Getting your GED certificate will open doors to jobs.
  • If you want to go to college, you must have a high school diploma or a GED certificate to get in.
  • If your GED scores are good, you also may be able to apply for scholarships and other sources of money to help pay for college classes or trade school training.

Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Get Your GED Certificate Now

Getting your GED will help you for your entire life. It may help others, too.

Here are five powerful reasons to get your GED now:

  1. The job market has changed. In today’s world, most employers will not hire anyone who does not have either a high school diploma or a GED.
  2. A GED can make a big difference in future earnings. For example, a study by the National Center for Education Statistics revealed a difference of more than $6,800 per year in average earnings between non-graduates and persons who held either a high school diploma or a GED. This study included annual earnings from 2000 through 2013 and covered full-time workers ages 25-34. The total difference for those 13 years of earnings comes to $88,400.
  3. The more you learn, the more you can learn. The skills you gain in studying for your GED make it possible for you to be successful in other studies. Your self-confidence grows. You become aware that you have the ability to set career goals and figure out steps to reach those goals.
  4. Getting your GED helps you meet requirements to go to college or join a branch of the armed forces. Although military career opportunities are limited when you have only a GED, the GED makes it possible for you to take college or trade courses that expand your choices.
  5. You set an example for others to follow. Family members who are still in school see that education is important. Your determination to make your life better influences others who are struggling. The ripple effect of your efforts can have far-reaching results, doing much good.
How long will it take you to earn your GED? You might be able to earn your GED in less than three months. Read our suggestions on how to study for the GED.
How long will it take you to earn your GED? You might be able to earn your GED in less than three months. Read our suggestions on how to study for the GED. (Image Credit: 123RF.com)

What Is the GED?

“GED” stands for general educational development. “GED” also refers to the certificate that you earn by passing certain tests. Each state oversees testing in that state and determines the test sites. The GED certificate proves that the holder has educational skills that are similar to those of a high school graduate.

You will be tested in these four subjects:

  • Math
  • Science
  • Social Studies
  • Reasoning through Language Arts (RLA)

Who can take the GED Test?

  • Anyone who is not attending high school and is age 17 or older may register to take the GED tests.
  • Sometimes, the age restriction is lowered to 16.
  • Certain students who are enrolled in school also may be able to test.
Do you have what it takes to get your GED? GED study materials and the testing program itself are designed to help you succeed.
Do you have what it takes to get your GED? GED study materials and the testing program itself are designed to help you succeed. (Image Credit: © dolgachov – 123RF.com)

How Hard Is It To Get Your GED?

Among other questions, you probably wonder whether you have what it takes to earn your GED. Because you dropped out of high school, you may doubt your abilities. People become high school dropouts for many reasons.

  • Perhaps you left school to help your family.
  • Perhaps you got in with the wrong crowd or quit because you didn’t like the classroom environment.

No matter why you dropped out of school, you know more now than you did then.

  • You learned a little about how education helps grown-ups make good lives for themselves and their families.
  • This knowledge will motivate you to do well in your efforts to earn your GED.
  • Also, the study materials and the testing program itself are designed to help you succeed.
Getting your GED will help you - and those who depend on you - for your entire life.
Getting your GED will help you – and those who depend on you – for your entire life. (Image Credit: Bigstock.com)

How Long Does It Take to Get Your GED?

You might be able to earn your GED in less than three months. How long it takes to get your GED depends on what skills you already have. It also depends on the number of hours you study each week.

Take practice tests to find out what you know and what you don’t. Then, study only what you need to learn.

Each of the four content areas is tested and scored separately. If you do not pass one test, you only need to retake that test, not all four. Some states allow you to retake a test as many as eight times in one year.

National statistics for July 2014 through June 2015 showed that:

  • 77 percent of all GED tests taken received passing scores.
  • The pass rate for the GED test in New Mexico was 74 percent.
  • The Colorado GED test pass rate was 88 percent.
Getting your GED does not need to be expensive. Here are a few pointers. The GED testing fees vary from state to state. Read here for our tips.
Getting your GED does not need to be expensive. Here are a few pointers. The GED testing fees vary from state to state. Read here for our tips. (Image Credit: © pogonici – 123RF.com)

How Much Does It Cost to Get Your GED?

Getting your GED does not need to be expensive. Here are a few pointers:

  • Testing fees vary from state to state. The average fee for taking the complete battery of all four tests is $120. Contact the GED Testing Administrator in your state to find out the exact cost for you to take the GED Test.
  • You do not need to schedule and pay for all four tests at the same time.
  • Free study materials are available at your local library.
  • Tutorials and practice tests are available at no cost through the GED Testing Service web site.
  • If you need to take classes or work with a tutor in order to succeed, costs may be a bit higher. Earning your GED, however, will make the results well worth the costs.
You must appear in person in order to take the GED test. You will use a computer to take your tests, but you cannot test online instead of at an approved testing site.
You must appear in person in order to take the GED test. You will use a computer to take your tests, but you cannot test online instead of at an approved testing site. (Image Credit: © georgejmclittle – 123RF.com)

Can You Take The GED Online?

However, if you see an ad stating that you can take the actual GED tests online, run!

  • Legitimate testing takes place only at state-approved locations.
  • You must appear in person in order to test.
  • You will use a computer to take your tests, but you cannot test online instead of at an approved testing site.
How long does it take to get your GED? If you follow certain steps, you will have your GED faster than you thought possible.
How long does it take to get your GED? If you follow certain steps, you will have your GED faster than you thought possible. (Image Credit: © PaylessImages – 123RF.com)

Learn the 5 Quickest Steps to Getting Your GED

If you follow certain steps, you will have your GED faster than you thought possible.

  1. Choose a state-approved location that provides GED testing. Ask your local librarian, or Check out GED Testing Service’s information page.
  2. Decide how to study for the GED. The best method will depend on your learning style. Sign up for help if needed.
  3. Obtain study materials and schedule time to study without interruptions.
  4. Take practice tests, then brush up on weak areas.
  5. Register for and take the tests. If needed, retake tests until you have passed each and are satisfied with the scores.

Various IntelliTec College campuses in Colorado provide GED training classes or GED testing.

At the time this blog was written:

Click here for more information: IntelliTec College GED Classes & Testing: Get Your GED

Additional Resources

  • U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics: Education Matters
    http://www.bls.gov/careeroutlook/2016/data-on-display/education-matters.htm
  • Pew Research Center: The Rising Cost of Not Going to College
    http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2014/02/11/the-rising-cost-of-not-going-to-college/
  • Colorado Department of Education: GED Participation and Outcomes FY 2014-15 Report http://www.cde.state.co.us/postsecondary/geddatafy1415
  • New Mexico Public Education Department: GED Home
    http://ped.state.nm.us/ped/GED_index.html

Sources Used

  • National Center for Education Statistics: Fast Facts – Income of Young Adults
    https://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=77
  • GED Testing Service: Protect Yourself From Fraud
    http://www.gedtestingservice.com/testers/test-fraud
  • GED Testing Service: There’s Never Been a Better Time to Test
    http://www.GED.com
  • IntelliTec Colleges: Get Your GED
    https://www.intelliteccollege.com/community/ged-classes-testing.php
  • IntelliTec Colleges Blog: IntelliTec College Offers Improved Online GED Testing to Grand Junction
    https://www.intelliteccollege.com/blog/3429/intellitec-college-offers-improved-online-ged-testing-to-grand-junction/

Valerie Valdez has a whole new outlook on her future as a Medical Assistant
Valerie Valdez – recent graduate of IntelliTec College of Pueblo – has a whole new outlook on her future with a new career as a Medical Assistant.

Pursuing a Medical Assistant Degree from IntelliTec College Runs in the Family

After eight years of struggling to make ends meet on a minimum wage salary, Valerie Valdez had enough. It was time to pursue a career: one that offered a better income now and and professional advancement and financial stability in the future.

“I wanted to provide a better future for my children,” says Valdez, “and I knew everyday I remained in fast food was one day less that I was doing the right thing for me and my family.”

Tragic Endings and a Blessed New Beginning Challenges Valdez During Her Medical Assisting Classes

Valdez’ mother pushed and encouraged her to enroll in IntelliTec College’s Medical Assistant Program in Pueblo, but she sadly passed away before she could attend her daughter’s graduation. Valdez knew the best way to honor her mother’s wishes was to finish what she started.

Coincidentally, Valdez’s mother attended the medical assistant program [tragically she did not complete it due to her illness and subsequent death], as did several other relatives, so a belief in the college ran several generations deep.

“She was my rock,” explains Valdez regarding her mother. “She always pushed me to do my very best, and even after I dropped out of high school, she believed I’d find my way back to school.”

About halfway through her Medical Assistant classes, Valdez found out she was pregnant, and while overjoyed, it meant missing some school. She soon discovered teachers and staff did more than teach and support at IntelliTec. One teacher made graduation not just possible but likely even in the midst of having a baby:

“They emailed me missed homework assignments and even threw me a baby shower,” Valerie remembers.

Valerie Valdez Medical Assisting College Pueblo and her family
Valdez celebrates Christmas with her husband, Michael, and their children, McKenzy (4) and Michael (almost 2).

Valdez Learns to Juggle Full-Time School in Medical Assisting and Full-Time Work

Valdez may have taken a short break to deliver her son, Michael, but for the most part, she worked a full workweek while attending Medical Assisting school. Her perseverance then helped her as she pursued a number of employment opportunities.

After several interviews she finally landed not just a job, but the right job. Family members recommended Valdez apply at the Pueblo Community Health Center, and after interviewing, Valdez knew immediately this was the place for her.

She was originally assigned to fill in with different medical providers, but Virginia Gillispie, FNP (Family Nurse Practitioner) was so impressed with Valdez’s organizational skills and interactions with patients, she requested that Valdez be assigned to Gillispie’s own panel.

“Patients of all ages really appreciate her smile and warm demeanor.  She is calmly able to multi-task on hectic days, and is a very quick learner,” remarked Gillispie.

Valdez Turns Tragedy Into Opportunity

Though her mother may no longer be with her, her unwavering belief in Valdez’s dedication endures long after her passing. When life became challenging, Valdez knew that her mother was looking down upon her with an unshakeable confidence. And it is with this belief that she had the conviction to change her life.

“Now everyday I look forward to going to the health center, and working with professionals who encourage me to pursue my dreams. I’m thinking about going back to school to become a registered nurse and maybe even a nurse in the near future,” exclaimed Valdez.

Celebrating is a pair of IntelliTec College of Pueblo Medical Assistant program graduates - Valerie Valdex and her husband Michael Ybarra.
Valerie Valdez and her husband, Michael Ybarra, celebrate graduating from IntelliTec College of Pueblo to become Medical Assistants.

Family Support Means the World to Valdez

Valdez recognizes her journey was possible with the help of family members, who stepped in to help care for her children while enrolled in school and even now while pursuing her career. She no longer lives paycheck-to-paycheck, and credits her husband’s family for helping make it all happen.

“They had my back when I returned to school and now while I work several 12 hour days. Quite simply, they’re a gift from God,” admitted Valdez.

About IntelliTec College of Pueblo

IntelliTec College of Pueblo, CO offers hands-on career training in the technical trades, cosmetology, allied healthcare, massage therapy, and personal training fields. These programs award either associate degrees or certificates and are designed to be completed in as little as 18 months or less. IntelliTec provides a supportive learning environment with small classes sizes and caring instructors. Learn how you can improve your life with a meaningful career by requesting information at www.IntelliTec.edu or calling 719-542-3181.

Dear IntelliTec Student:

We are writing to inform you that our current and former students (and even their families) recently have been targets of online and telephone advertising programs that purport to offer student loan repayment assistance and/or debt forgiveness. You may have seen such advertisements on Facebook or on the Internet. Many of these advertisements prominently use IntelliTec’s name and photographs of IntelliTec’s campuses in their ads.

Please be aware that IntelliTec College is not affiliated or involved in any way with any such loan repayment or debt forgiveness offers, nor does IntelliTec College endorse or approve any of these entities.

None of the companies and offers are legitimate. There have been many reports in the last few years of scams in the student loan industry whereby companies charge significant fees (often hidden or undisclosed) for performing tasks that can be done easily or for free without the need for assistance. In worse cases, the people behind the scams are actually just out to obtain social security number and other private personal and financial information.

These “offers” are not just targeting IntelliTec students, but are targeting students from colleges and universities around the country. We are actively taking steps to stop these companies from targeting our students and alumni, including reporting these scams to the appropriate federal and state agencies.

Please always exercise care and caution when receiving or responding to any inquiries or offers concerning student loans or debt consolidation or forgiveness.

WHERE STUDENTS CAN GO FOR INFORMATION ABOUT STUDENT LOANS

  • All currently enrolled students should contact one of our Financial Services Representatives at their campus with any questions regarding their student loans
  • Former IntelliTec students should contact IntelliTec Colleges loan repayment advisor, Evelyn Mestas at emestas@intellitec.edu or 719-632-7626.

Evelyn can quickly identify a student’s current loan circumstances and steer you

towards the appropriate official entity for further assistance.

  • Intellitec Colleges has also partnered with USA Funds to provide free loan counseling assistance and budget planning information.

Students can contact USA Funds at 1-866-497-8723, or at www.repaymyloans.org

  • All students can find information about their existing loans, by contacting their loan servicer (official entity hired by the Department of Education to service federal loans). The Department has currently 11 loan servicers. If a student is not sure who their loan servicer is, they can find that information nslds.ed.gov
  • For additional federal student-loan repayment resources, visit

https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans

HOW TO AVOID BECOMING THE VICTIM OF A SCAM

Scammers are constantly changing their scams, and sometimes it can be very hard to tell a scam from a legitimate offer. These guidelines may be helpful you. Before giving out your personal or financial information:

  • Treat all solicitations for debt relief or loan consolidation services as suspect until you can be sure they are legitimate.
  • Ask for the company’s physical address, direct phone number, and website. Check to make sure they exist and appear legitimate.
  • Check out the company’s listing with the Better Business Bureau bbb.org to see if they have a record of complaints or if they are registered at all.
  • For debt management providers, see if they are registered with Colorado Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Section, and consider any disciplinary history in the list posted at coloradoattorneygeneral.gov/dm/consumer
  • NEVER give out usernames or passwords.

WHAT TO DO IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE BEEN THE TARGET OF A SCAM

If you already have been the target of a scam, in addition to any money you may have lost, you might be at risk for identity theft. You may want to consider doing the following:

  • Review your credit reports from all three credit reporting bureaus for fraudulent activity. You may obtain a free copy of your credit report each year from AnnualCreditReport.com
  • Place a fraud alert with each of the major credit reporting bureaus, Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. Get more information at consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0275-place-fraud-alert
  • Report the scam to the Federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau at consumerfinance.gov
  • Report the scam to your attorney general’s office. Colorado residents may do so at stopfraudcolorado.gov

IntelliTec College Cosmetology Graduate Brings Newly Earned Skills to Family-Owned Salon

IntelliTec College in Pueblo Cosmetology graduate Evany Andrews puts her new skills to work at a family owned business
IntelliTec College in Pueblo Cosmetology graduate Evany Andrews puts her new skills to work at a family owned business.

PHOTO: IntelliTec College in Pueblo Cosmetology graduate Evany Andrews puts her new skills to work at a family owned business.

Evany Andrews knew there was no fast and easy way to reach her professional goal. This graduate from IntelliTec College of Pueblo understands it’s really about staying focused every day in order to keep things constantly moving forward. When she began Cosmetology classes at IntelliTec, she was already working full time and single parenting two children. As if that wasn’t enough, her car broke down just to test her limits. But Andrews is no quitter.

“I struggled – no doubt about it. But I was determined,” she said.

Cosmetology Graduate Focuses on Styling African American Hair in Pueblo

The struggle paid off, first with  her professional cosmetology certificate and next with a job at her brother’s salon, Evan’s Heaven in Pueblo. Their specialty is African American hair, and Andrews credits one teacher in particular who challenged her with learning specific cutting and styling techniques on African American hair.

“As an African American, I felt that [styling African American hair] was something I really needed to know,” Andrews maintained.

She’s had an ongoing love affair with make-up since childhood and knew that in order to pursue her passion she’d have to first complete her Cosmetology certificate.

“I chose IntelliTec because I’d heard lots of positive things about it from my boyfriend who was in the auto program at the Colorado Springs campus. Plus, I really believe they have the best school for cosmetology with the most qualified instructors,” said Andrews.

Andrews plans a future for herself and for her kids

PHOTO: Andrews plans a future for herself and for her kids.

She also liked that there were no prerequisites to complete and that she could immediately learn the necessary content and practical application to help her begin working in the cosmetology industry.

“They offer so many opportunities while you’re there and help you find jobs even after you finish. They even help you find daycare for your kiddos if you need it!” commented Andrews.

Skilled Cosmetologists Can Look to a Variety of Opportunities

What Andrews has noticed is that the whole cosmetology vibe has changed in the last several years, and she no longer feels she has to choose between hair and make-up; Andrew’s wants to do it all! Her goal is to be a respected businesswoman in the community where one day she’s recognized for her on-trend skills as well as possibly her own cosmetic line.

“I know it’s a very ‘in the future’ goal, but I think it’s important to professionally evolve every five years. When corporate trainers presented on campus, I learned to look ahead at what lay in the future for cosmetology and think in broader terms,” said Andrews.

Evany Andrews - Professional Cosmetologist, IntelliTec College of Pueblo graduate.

PHOTO: Evany Andrews – Professional Cosmetologist, IntelliTec College of Pueblo graduate.

After high school it was eight years before she decided she needed a career and not just a job. At that point she had two children to support, and it was tough to get back into the groove of classes and homework. But from the moment she enrolled she found an incredible amount of support from all the teachers at IntelliTec College of Pueblo.

“Peggy Gunther was instrumental in helping me with anything I needed. It really felt like every teacher was invested in my success,” Evany recalled.

Andrews Encourages Others with Her Contagious Laugh and Welcoming Smile

Cosmetology Program Supervisor Peggy Gunther knew there was something special about Andrews that couldn’t be taught in the classroom. Gunther noted how Andrews made people feel instantly welcome, which in turn made people want to be around her. And when she came to IntelliTec, she came prepared.

“She recorded a number of tutorials and created a portfolio on make-up applications long before attending IntelliTec. These are just a couple of examples of how Evany actively sought out educational opportunities to always improve her skills,” added Gunther.

Andrews felt like she had many positive messages from teachers at IntelliTec. These were the ones she turned to most when times got hard and she struggled to keep her focus.

“Life happens and even though you might get discouraged, keep your head up and your goals in mind. Look toward graduation so you can envision life in the real world. And keep it moving forward – always forward,” she said.

About IntelliTec College of Pueblo

IntelliTec’s Cosmetologist certification program is designed to be completed in 15 months. The program will prepare you to sit for the Colorado State Board of Cosmetology exam. Students learn the value of clear client communication and how to apply styling techniques on real clients in the College’s own cosmetology school salon.

IntelliTec College of Pueblo offers hands-on career training in the cosmetologist, automotive technician, medical assistant, nursing assistant, business office administration and accounting, and personal trainer fields with associate degree (occupational) and professional certificate programs. Request information at www.IntelliTec.edu or call 800-724-9636.

New Diesel Truck delivered to the Auto Dept. by IntelliTec’s own CEO, Mike Schranz.

Earlier this year, IntelliTec College CEO Mike Schranz personally delivered a black diesel truck as a surprise addition to the automotive department in Pueblo, Colorado. The truck came on the last day of the term as the students were cleaning up the shop and preparing for their end of term pot luck.

Mr. Schranz arrived at the campus along with a large diesel truck and announced, “Here is your new truck for the diesel program.” Automotive Technology Program Supervisor Jason Ontiveros commented, “My jaw dropped, and I had a smile from ear to ear –  I was super excited for the delivery that was made.” 

Artie Loredo, one of the Automotive Technician program students, decided to purchase sodas, steaks, hot links and tortillas to cook on his authentic Mexican style grill for all the students and staff. No one knew that the truck was coming. Mr. Schranz and some others joined in on the BBQ, and the diesel truck was brought around for the students to see. 

The diesel truck is a great training tool for the Automotive students. They are learning hands-on how a diesel truck runs and how to perform the preventative maintenance needed to keep it running. Light diesel engine repair is part of the Automotive Technician curriculum at IntelliTec College in Pueblo as well as at the Albuquerque and Grand Junction campuses.

Learn more about IntelliTec’s Automotive Technician program today!

Greg in the Cosmo Salon at IntelliTec College in Puebo
Father and Admissions Rep Greg Wickherst in the Cosmetology School Salon at IntelliTec College in Pueblo (Image credit: http://www.buzzfeed.com)

IntelliTec College of Pueblo’s own Greg Wickherst has become an internet sensation by being an awesome dad!

When he couldn’t figure out how to handle his daughter Izzy’s growing locks, he decided to seek some help from the cosmetology training program and beauty school salon  at IntelliTec College, where he works as an admissions representative.

The story has spread across the internet like wild fire and has gained national exposure – including Today.com and CNN.com!

Here are a few links to some of the articles:

Single dad takes class to learn how to braid daughter’s hair
(KRDO.com)

Pueblo dad is internet star after taking beauty school lesson on styling hair
(KOAA.com)

This single dad asked a cosmetologist to teach him how to do his daughter’s hair (Today.com)

Single dad creates salon-worthy braids
(CNN.com)

Single Dad Was Concerned About Daughter’s Hair So He Took Some Time To Learn The Trade And Now Can Style It Just Right!
(perezhilton.com)

This single dad asked a cosmetologist to teach him how to do his daughter’s hair
(NBC26)

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