Faye Johnson works in pre-certifications and referrals at Harbin Clinic Radiation Oncology in Rome, Ga.
Faye Johnson works in pre-certifications and referrals at Harbin Clinic Radiation Oncology in Rome, Ga.

For Faye Johnson the decision to return to school and begin her work towards a career in healthcare started when her father was in home hospice care.

“Just seeing how good the nurses were with my Dad when he was sick, the compassion they had for him, I decided that’s what I wanted to do,” said Johnson. “I wanted to get into the medical field and be able to help somebody like they did for him.”

Johnson’s first step would be to get her General Educational Development® diploma through Georgia Northwestern Technical College’s (GNTC) Adult Education program at the Summerville Adult Education Center in Chattooga County.

“After my Dad passed away one of the nurses with home hospice said ‘You know you are really good with him, why have you not thought about doing this’ and I said ‘well you know I have thought about it, but since I don’t have my GED® diploma or anything I just kind of let it go’ and then after the day he passed away I thought ‘I’m going to do this,’” said Johnson.

After receiving her GED® diploma from Georgia Northwestern, Johnson earned a medical coding certificate and a medical front office certificate from GNTC. While pursuing her GED® diploma and certificates at GNTC, she was the recipient of several scholarships including the Helen Vernon Scholarship, the Shirley Carver Miller Scholarship, and the AT&T Pioneer Scholarship.

“I had a 4.0 GPA at Georgia Northwestern,” said Johnson. “I am very proud of that.”

Today she handles pre-certifications and referrals for Harbin Clinic Radiation Oncology in Rome, Ga. and plans on pursuing a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) degree.

“I am actually back in school now finishing my core classes for my LPN,” said Johnson. “I have been accepted into the nursing programs at GNTC, Georgia Highlands, and Virginia College in Chattanooga so I will attend one of those schools.”

Pat Money, Lead Instructor at the Summerville Adult Education Center, said that Johnson never wavered from getting her GED® diploma and continuing her education despite the obstacles she encountered along the way.

“Faye had a determination about her to get her GED® diploma and attend GNTC classes at the same time. While she was attending both types of classes, she had several personal issues to deal with,” said Money. “Faye is currently a member of our advisory committee and she knows the value of an education.”

Johnson says that Pat Money was the instructor that really made a difference when she was pursuing her GED® diploma.

“Pat was encouraging from the beginning and I could call her at any time,” said Johnson.

According to Johnson, anyone considering getting their GED® diploma should not hesitate to get started.

“I would tell anyone not to wait and it doesn’t matter how old you are,” said Johnson. “It’s a good program, the teachers are great, and they are willing to work with you.”

The Adult Education program at Georgia Northwestern Technical College served 3,245 students and graduated 699 students with a GED® diploma in Fiscal Year 2014. The Adult Education program at GNTC serves students in nine counties with campuses located in Floyd, Gordon, Polk, Walker, and Whitfield counties and off-campus learning centers in Catoosa, Chattooga, Dade, Floyd, Gordon, Murray, Polk, and Walker counties. Classes are also held in five different Correctional facilities. GED® Testing Centers are located on campus in Floyd, Gordon, Walker, and Whitfield counties.

GNTC is an official General Educational Development® Testing Center and a site for computer-based GED® Testing in partnership with Pearson Vue, GED Testing Service®, and the Technical College System of Georgia. The mission of GNTC’s Adult Education program is to enable every adult learner in the service delivery area to acquire the necessary basic skills to be able to compete successfully in today’s workplace, strengthen family foundations, and exercise full citizenship.

Georgia Northwestern Technical College serves Catoosa, Chattooga, Dade, Floyd, Gordon, Murray, Polk, Walker, and Whitfield counties in Georgia with campuses located in Floyd, Gordon, Polk, Walker, and Whitfield counties. Approximately 16,000 people benefit from GNTC’s credit and noncredit programs, making it the largest college in Northwest Georgia and the fifth largest technical college in Georgia.