TNCC Alum Credits Success to the College’s Career Studies Certificate Program

Published: September 10, 2010

When Jason Pell enrolled at Thomas Nelson Community College (TNCC) in 2006, he already had a Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary History Education. TNCC’s Career Studies Certificate Program gave the 1999 Appalachian State University graduate an affordable way to learn about computer programming and databases. Before finishing his last class at Thomas Nelson, Pell was hired as a Database Technician for Williamsburg-James City County Public Schools. Earlier this month, he became an Analyst Programmer for the school district.

He credits much of his success to the Career Studies Certificate offerings at TNCC. “The career certificates are a great way for a person to expand their horizons,” Pell said.

In just two years, Pell earned a Career Studies Certificate in Database Development, and another in Software Programming. The in-class experience allowed him to meet other nontraditional students, and the online classes were instrumental in his ability to juggle school with work and family. “To anyone not satisfied with their current position, go back to school and learn more skills. Today’s employers are looking for skills, and the more skills you have, the better. The investment made in going to TNCC and learning about something new will definitely be one of your best financial decisions,” Pell said.

Pell lives in Williamsburg with his wife and two daughters, ages 1 and 2, and his 16-year-old stepson. In his new position, he updates and maintains databases that contain financial and student information.

TNCC offers more than 60 Career Studies Certificates in an array of disciplines, including Accounting, Fire Science, Modeling and Simulation, and several areas of Information Systems Technology.

For more information about TNCC’s various programs, call 757-825-2700 or visit the website at


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