Photo by Michelle Harris. When Patsy Mintz finished high school, she entered the world of work. Always in the back of her mind was her dream to get a college degree. In 2018, she fulfilled the dream by completing the Medical Office Administration program at Haywood Community College.

When Patsy Mintz, 2018 Haywood Community College Medical Office Administration graduate, finished high school, she entered the world of work. Always in the back of her mind was her dream to get a college degree.

However, doubts and fears kept her away from the classroom. Mintz didn’t think she could afford college. She also didn’t think it was possible to attend school while juggling both a full-time and part-time job, as well as maintaining a home and caring for elderly parents.

While still toying with the thought of getting a degree, Mintz would recall how her mom walked across the stage at HCC years before getting an Early Childhood Education degree the exact same day she retired from her job.

“My mom was my inspiration,” Mintz explains. “I wanted her to see me walk across that same stage.”

Turns out that all the questions Mintz had were easily answered. With the help of her husband, parents and scholarships, she was able to afford college. As far as juggling her busy schedule, Mintz was able to take all her classes online, making them easily accessible at whatever time was convenient.

One of the things she enjoyed at HCC was her instructors. According to Mintz, they were encouraging and there to listen to students.

With all obstacles out of the way, Mintz realized that after many years out of school, she had a learning curve. “As I entered my first semester, the long nights of studying became longer,” she explains. “The exhaustion was setting in. I kept telling myself I could do this. With a backbone of support from my husband, family, friends and employer, those nights became shorter, easier and more tolerable to make it through to the last semester and graduation day.”

This fall, Mintz completed a six-week study session to prepare her for the Certified Coding Associate exam, which she handily passed.

“My educational journey was not an easy one,” Mintz says. “It was a vision, a goal, an accomplishment that I wanted to achieve since high school.”

Mintz is office manager at Mountain Environmental Services, Inc. and works part-time as a personal care assistant at Silver Bluff.

HCC offers an associate degree, diploma or certificate in Medical Office Administration. Graduates should qualify for employment opportunities in a variety of medical office positions in medical and dental offices, hospitals, insurance companies, laboratories and other healthcare-related organizations. For more information, please visit haywood.edu or call 828-565-4016.