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American National University's Campus Director to Announce New Initiatives for Regional Business & Industry Workforce Growth

May 05, 2016


Contact: Jill Sluss/540-283-6651


American National University’s Campus Director to Announce
New Initiatives for Regional Business & Industry Workforce Growth

PARKERSBURG, WVa.– Mechelle Drake, new campus director of American National University’s Parkersburg Campus, will be announcing new initiatives for enhancing and growing the region’s business and industry workforce.  Drake will be the featured speaker at the Parkersburg Rotary Club on Monday, May 9 at the Blennerhassett Hotel.  The meeting begins at noon.

Drake, a Parkersburg native, was previously the area vice president of Everest University in Florida.  While at Everest, Drake managed the financial and admission strategy of a 15,000+ student population with total revenue of $325 million.

“Moving back to the Parkersburg area just felt right,” said Drake.  “I see so many opportunities here in the Mid-Ohio Valley.  As part of American National University’s strategic vision, I want to immediately begin working with the business and industry leaders in this area.”

“Every business in our area is vitally important to the overall success of our region,” said Drake.  “I believe this with all my heart and that is why I am committed to providing all businesses – small, medium, large, global, and start-ups with the resources and tools that they will need to keep their workforce operating at peak performance levels.  This means providing re-training skills for those who need it; providing mid-level leadership training; executive level training; specialty training; executive level coaching; project management certifications; and basic, intermediate, and advanced information technology training.”

One of the programs that the University offers is medical assisting.  Graduates of the medical assisting program are eligible to sit for nationally administered certifying examinations and earn the designations of Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) and/or Registered Medical Assistant (RMA).  Within weeks of Drake taking the campus director position at ANU, she was able to work out an agreement with a large local medical facility to allow all of American National University’s medical assisting students to perform 10-week externship programs.

The University also offers short-term diploma, associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degree programs, either on-campus or through the university’s online division.

Drake plans to meet with regional business and industry leaders to begin formulating the educational and training needs of the region. 

“American National University has a vast array of training and educational tools, not just our diploma, associate, and bachelor’s degree programs, but programs that can help every industry in some way,” said Drake.  “We can provide entry level training programs like customer service, basic accounting, and soft skills all the way to highly specific programs such as the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification.   One of the topics I am excited about offering for the first time in this area is ‘Critical Thinking for Business Leaders.’  We have a wonderful instructor who does an exceptional job in providing this much needed training.”

Drake is known for her expertise in developing leaders of tomorrow.  While at Everest University, 28% of those students that she worked with received promotions to director and presidential roles in their industry. Her keen insight into the highly complex and regulated marketplace of higher education has produced unprecedented outcomes and results for all of her student populations.

Drake holds a bachelor’s degree in social work from West Virginia University and a bachelor’s degree in information technology from DeVry University.  Currently she is pursuing her master’s degree in management from Webster University.

The Parkersburg Campus has been offering a career-oriented education to area students since 2011.  The next term begins June 6th, with classes now forming for associate’s degrees in business administration—management, medical assisting and pharmacy technician.  In addition, there is a short term program available in business administration.

Founded in 1886, American National University is dedicated to the training and education of men and women for a full life and a successful career in a number of fields in business, information technology, and health care. ANU offers more than 45 academic programs, including numerous master’s, bachelor’s, and associate degree programs, short-term diploma programs, English as a Second Language, and corporate training.  Serving 30 communities through campus locations in Virginia, West Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, and Indiana, as well as a growing online student body nationwide, ANU currently serves approximately 5,000 students annually.


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