NCC Alumna Jenna Stover Takes Non-Traditional Path

Jenna Stover, a 2016 alum of the Radiologic Technology program at Northwest Iowa Community College is no stranger to hard work, determination, or multi-tasking, and her story showcases this.

Jenna’s story begins during her freshman year at Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa. Jenna, a 2003 graduate of Western Christian High School, always pictured herself going to a four-year college. Although she was right where she had always wanted to be, she was extremely undecided about her future career plans. She finished that first year at Northwestern, but then she decided to move back home to Sheldon, get a full-time job, and take courses at Northwest Iowa Community College.

Fast-forward a few months; Jenna was working two full-time jobs and taking general courses at NCC. She enjoyed the work she was doing and didn’t see a need for getting a degree, so she made the decision to quit taking classes and focus on her jobs at Village Northwest Unlimited and Children’s World. The stress of working two full-time jobs did not bother Jenna until she got engaged. It was then that she realized she had been working two full-time jobs for almost ten years! She began to think of how she could cut back to one full-time job and still provide enough financial support for her family.

It was August of 2013. Jenna’s wedding was just around the corner, and fall courses at NCC were beginning in a few short weeks. Jenna and her fiancé had many discussions about Jenna enrolling in the Radiologic Technology program at NCC. Since Jenna still needed to complete some of the pre-requisite courses in order to be accepted into the Radiologic Technology program, she decided to jump right in and begin those courses. Jenna started at NCC for the second time at the age of 28 as a Pre-Radiologic Technology student.

The Introduction to Radiology course she took as part of the admission process fed her excitement toward this career. This course was the turning point for Jenna and helped her realize she was heading in the right direction. She would still be working 40-plus hours while going back to school, but this beat the alternative of working two full-time jobs for the rest of her career.

Jenna successfully navigated through the first semester of the Radiologic Technology program, balancing both work and college. She knew the next couple of semesters would be a challenge, but for a great reason; she and her husband were expecting their first child! Jenna’s instructors allowed her to work ahead in clinical hours and complete some of her coursework as “self-study” so that she was able to stay on track in the program. Jenna remembers how helpful her instructors were during this time. “One of my instructors, Kelsey Van Beek, was in her first year of teaching. She went above and beyond to work ahead in the course content so she could teach me and help me through. My instructors were so helpful, and this was one of the huge benefits of attending NCC.”

Jenna’s favorite part of the program was the required clinical rotations. She even credits the clinical rotations for assisting her in obtaining her current job. “Every clinical experience was a job interview. Without the clinical experiences, I would never have made those connections with my current employer.”

After two years of balancing work, school, and family, Jenna’s graduation day finally arrived, and it was a tremendously exciting milestone for Jenna and her family! May of 2016 may have marked the end of Jenna’s time at NCC, but her success continues today.

Jenna, now a mom of two, is currently a Radiologic Technologist at Sanford Sheldon. Since leaving NCC, she passed her Radiologic Technology boards and has completed additional modalities in Mammography and CT (Computerized Tomography). A small hospital is where Jenna pictures herself for the remainder of her career. She loves the variety of modalities she is able to do each day and the fact that she is always learning something new. “We are all lifetime students. In the Radiology field, we are constantly learning new ways to do things and new technology is coming out every day.”

Jenna has considered continuing her education to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. For now, she is excited to continue learning new modalities. You can tell in speaking with her that Jenna truly loves the work she is able to do every day. She often reminisces on how great it would have been to know about the program sooner, although she jokes that she wasn’t even sure she made the right decision until that first semester taking her pre-requisite courses!

Jenna will never forget all the years she spent working two full-time jobs and balancing work, education and her family. Remembering those times helps her appreciate having only one job and reminds her of how glad she is to have made the decision to attend the Radiologic Technology program at NCC.

Jenna is clearly no stranger to hard work. It was her hard work and a strong support system that got her to where she is today and will continue to pave her road to success.

To find out more call 800-352-4907, email admissions@nwicc.edu, or visit our website at nwicc.edu. At NCC – Your Success is Our Story!

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