Medical Certificate Programs & Classes
1025 Old Farm Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91360••••• Main, 805-497-2761Fax, 805-374-1167•••••• www.ConejoAdultEd.org••••••WASC-accredited


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Brenda Morales
Congratulations to Brenda Morales, right, who won a Medical Certificate Program for her essay on why she should be awarded a chance at a new career. She is pictured with coordinators Loredana Carson & Daren Iezza. Ms. Iezza heads the medical dept.
Taylor Cassidy
Could car restoration be tangentially related to the medical field? Possibly. Rejuvenating cars, rejuvenating the human body…not so incredibly different. Maybe that’s why Adult Ed’s Taylor Cassidy, a nationally certified car show judge, car collector, racer, and restorer, is also working her way into healthcare.

She started off with a training program in Seattle, eventually doing front office work as a health unit coordinator for the cardiac unit of a hospital. A year was spent at Moorpark College studying telecommunications. Then she followed the asphalt here, where she is currently enrolled in the Medical Assistant Front/Back Office program, a 16-week training course with a 4-week externship. It is providing the hands-on practice she didn’t receive through a different training experience
“[My instructor] explains not just the why, but the how of a procedure,” Taylor said.  “All of the instructors [here] are experienced professionals, either currently working in or retired from the medical field.  They are generous with their time, sharing the key points of what they know from their work experience, bringing that to their students in the classroom.”

With the knowledge she acquires, Taylor would like to work for a private practice or medical group that specializes in cardiology, ophthalmology, optometry, or phlebotomy. Working in privatized medicine would allow her regular hours instead of the unpredictable work shifts typical of hospital settings.

After all, Taylor can’t be hindered by an odd work schedule when there’s her fire engine red 2009 Mustang GT to drive…
Susan Lundgren

Susan Lundgren shares this letter that she wrote to one of her teachers after receiving her certification from the Medical Department at Conejo Valley Adult School:

"Just wanted you to know that I got a job! I am so excited. I got a job as an Administrative Assistant for the Corporate Offices of Quest Diagnostics in West Hills.  This is such a great opportunity I am still pinching myself.  There are about 1,000 employees in the facility I will be working at and there are many opportunites for advancement. The building is beautiful and the benefits package is terrific! It is my "dream" job...incorporating my past experience and my recent training.

It is a really tough time out there in the job market so I am really glad that I took the NCCT -my supervisor was really impressed with that during the interview.

I am so grateful for all you...you did to help me achieve this goal! THANK YOU... I will keep you updated. I start this Monday. Best wishes...."



Student Spotlight
More testimonials in these programs:
Student... Computer Medical Adult Basic Ed Learning Center
Staff... Computer Medical Adult Basic Ed Community
Congratulations to these Clinical Medical Assistant graduates, from left: Auria Garay, Jacki Platt, Aramina Nava, Lena Berghoudian, Sari Mutalib, Kimmie Zuran, Josefina Tamayo, Lindsay Garcia, Catherine Carrasco. Middle row: Monica Tamayo, Brianna Rodriguez, Vanessa Lopez, Dory Pitcher (instructor), Monica Schulberg, Kimberly Atkins, Michelle Tan. Front row: Alisha Luxton, Denise Nation.

Wendy Leon

Born in Maryland, Wendy Leon and her family later moved to Colorado and subsequently to Southern California when she was 7 years old. She and her younger brother and sister grew up in Thousand Oaks, still home to her parents, and attended Conejo Adventist Elementary in Newbury Park through 8th grade and went on to Adventist Academy for high school. It has been 19 years since Wendy was in school, but she’s back, both determined and destined to earn a certificate of completion through Adult Education's accelerated seven-week-long pharmacy technician program.

It’s a change of pace for 38-year-old Wendy, mother to Michael, 12, and Stephanie, 17. After all, she has been working a variety of jobs since initially leaving school, including turns in the real estate and chiropractic fields. Now, after successfully completing her pharmacy courses, she will be able to pursue an internship or externship that will prepare her for the pharmacy tech board exam, which will advance her toward a career working at either a retail pharmacy or a hospital inpatient pharmaceutical facility.

While she’s not studying for class, Wendy spends time with her boyfriend, kids, and French bull mastiffs. She enjoys traveling, riding her chestnut Arabian horse, beach trips, cooking, entertaining, and her daily fitness routine. Her ongoing collection of Lucille Ball memorabilia is something Wendy finds satisfying, such that she visited the tribute to Lucy exhibit at Universal Studios. Textbooks are balanced out with self-motivational literature and Women’s Health or First magazines. Maybe reading into the future wouldn’t be such a bad idea, either: if anything, it is safe to say that Wendy is this much closer to a steady job, benefits, and a health plan for herself and children.

Steven Sebring

Steven Sebring is one of many students enrolled in Adult Ed’s popular Front Office, Back Office, and Phlebotomy program. Through his classes, he has learned the medical terminology, procedures, and safety protocols necessary to advance in his field. He has appreciated the variety of classes his program offers.

“It’s awesome,” he says. There's so much to choose from, and you can try out a class for a day to see if you like it.  I'm learning just what I need to know, which makes it relevant to what I'll be doing.”

His goal is to work in a hospital or pediatric clinic.

Steven was born in Tijuana, Mexico and then lived in San Diego for many years before moving to Thousand Oaks and attending Westlake High School.

In his spare time, he enjoys playing video games and hanging out with friends.

Debbie Ortega

Debbie Ortega shares this letter that she wrote to one of her teachers after receiving her certification from the Medical Department at Conejo Valley Adult School:

"...I have some very good news. I started a job for a Gynecologist, who specializes in Urogynecology. His wife is in the same office and she specializes in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. I am doing a little bit more than I was trained in. Right now I am learning the back office so that I will be better equipped to handle the front office. Once I learn the front office, I will then do some billing. I'm getting a little bit of everything. That's not a bad thing. And I must say, I can now take a blood pressure!

They use Medisoft for their billing and Athena for appointments.

It is a nice office. I think I will be happy here.

Thank you again...."


Interviews by B. Kane
Articles by E. Kane & B. Kane

'The [program] gives me hands-on experience.... The instructor went out of her way, giving extra information, explaining medical terms, anatomy, etc. She simplifies the explanations...to make them clearer and gives examples of her past experience. I loved all of this from day one.'
--Marilyn Simon,
Adult School student

Marilyn Simon

Marilyn Simon has been on her way, as we all are, to the present moment. This moment means for her enrollment in the Medical Assistant Front/Back Office program so she can work in a hospital setting.

She’s comfortable with big work environments, having been in the airline and travel industry for 12 years. That’s where Glendale College, Pacific Airline Travel Academy, and Ohio’s Stark Technical College led her. Now it’s Adult Ed that will take her someplace new. What with learning how to give injections, perform phlebotomy, and set up exam rooms for doctors, she’ll be equipped to earn a certification and carry on into a healthcare career. She’s presently enjoying the learning process.

“I really like the program and actually wish it was a little longer to help me reinforce what I am learning,” she said.

Marilyn especially appreciates her teacher’s thoroughness with the subject matter.

“The instructor [goes] out of her way, giving extra information, explaining medical terms [and] anatomy,” she said. “She simplifies the explanations from the book to make them clearer and gives examples of her past experience. I've loved the program from day one.”

Jannell Boyle

Jannell Boyle is taking evening classes at Adult School to earn her medical assistant certification. She has worked for a dermatologist for over two years, doing medical aesthetics, and hopes to work for a plastic surgeon after completing her studies.

Her original schooling took place at Ventura College, then at Lou Ross Academy, where she earned her aesthetician certification and license.
At present, she is finding the Adult School curriculum just right for her new goal.

“It is very concentrated but organized,” she says.  “There is a lot of hands-on learning.  My instructor gives extra insights so we can be prepared for the workforce.”

Jannell is married and has a son and daughter, two cats, and a bulldog. In her freetime, she enjoys cooking, gardening, hiking, and reading.

Deanna Gress

Born an East Coast girl, Adult Ed student Deanna Gress moved from Columbus, Georgia to North Hollywood at age 5, then to Simi Valley at age 10. She graduated from Simi Valley High School and then attended Anthony’s School of Real Estate. She worked in the real estate field for years, processing residential and commercial loans. Her current goal is to work with children in a hospital setting.

To reach that goal, Deanna has been working her way through the Front Office, Back Office, Billing and Coding, and Advanced Phlebotomy curriculum.

“With this program, I have everything covered,” she says. “All of this education makes me invaluable.”

Deanna has the support of her family to keep her going.  Her husband, Brian, and her children, Brianna and Kyle, are right behind her.  The three family dogs might voice their encouragement if they could.

Most importantly, Deanna is enjoying herself.

“I love it,” she says. “[My] instructors are great, encouraging, and supportive.  Their knowledge and experience has been [essential] in preparing me."

Dayne Jervis

How do you make retirement fulfilling? Make a career of it.

Former entertainment attorney Dayne Jervis is, anyway—this in addition to an extracurricular life directing, producing, and designing for Conejo Players theatre group. He is currently taking the Pharmacy Tech course, a rigorous four-and-a-half hours per day, four days per week class that leads to board certification after seven weeks. The alternative would be three years of pharmacy school.

Dayne’s vocational journey started at Florida Atlantic University, where he studied Philosophy. After earning a B.A., he attended law school at Pepperdine. He practiced law and dabbled in producing and film work. After 31 years of marriage to wife Lucien and 32 years living in Thousand Oaks, the path led to Adult Ed. Ahead along the road is the Medical Spanish for Healthcare Professionals class.

“It is important to be able to communicate with people who speak the language,” he said.  “They have to know what type of medication they are taking, how often, and understand how to take it.”

With this type of concern for patients, Dayne could surely be more than a pharmacy tech, but that is not his aspiration. Filling in for others will satisfy just fine, leaving enough time for him to enjoy his hobby—cooking—and read-throughs of foodie magazine favorites Food and Wine, Bon Apetit and Saveur.

“Being a pharmacy assistant to a pharmacist is analogous to a paralegal working with a lawyer,” he said. “Having my name on a ‘sub’ list, I would be able to work on a per diem basis, as needed—for instance, if someone goes on vacation or has to be out for other reasons.”

Dayne is appreciating his Adult Ed. experience to date.

“The part of the course that I've done so far, I've found the instructor to be highly professional and knowledgeable,” he said. “They have 20 years of experience in the field and are preparing you not only for certification, but also for a career." 


Randall Richman

Randall Richman traveled around the world for years as a magician, and now he’s pulling a new career out of his hat. 

He has already earned his state and national phlebotomy and paramedical licenses via the Adult Ed Basic and Advanced Phlebotomy program and an externship at Kaiser, and is currently enrolled in the Back Office Medical Assisting program.

He currently works as a phlebotomist and as a paramedical examiner, his responsibilities including  collection and processing of bodily specimens,  processing of EKGs, performance of short medical examinations, and other duties. His goal is to become a Physician’s Assistant, which will require more years of schooling.  He has greatly valued his experiece at Adult School.

“Dollar for dollar, this is a great program,” he says. “The small classes allow for personalized attention … I highly recommend it.”

Randall grew up in Los Angeles and then moved to Agoura in 1980. He graduated from Agoura High in 1986 and attended Pierce College before enrolling full time in the Magic Castle’s Junior Magician Program.  He graduated from the program five years later, on his 21st birthday, and within the week appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. He made subsequent television appearances and performed in over 20 countries before retiring from showbiz.

He lives in Thousand Oaks with his wife, Wendy, and a dog and cat. In his spare time he enjoys flying his micro-light airplane and reading geography and history books, textbooks, and encyclopedias.


Questions about our Medical Programs? Contact Professional Development coordinator Wendy Summerfield:
805-497-2761 x1011 or WendyS@ConejoAdultEd.org She will give you complete information about our programs,
as well as arrange for a tour of our beautiful, safe campus.
Questions about Medical Dept. classes?
Contact dept. coordinator Daren Iezza:
805-497-2761 x1401, DarenI@ConejoAdultEd.org
Medical Billing questions?
Call 805-497-2761 x1402 ..... Externship questions? Call 805-497-2761 x1404
Questions for the Waverly Wellness Center?
Phone 805-497-2761 x1403.

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