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Newsletter February/March 2011

by admin on February 25, 2011

News, Information and Career Advice

Feb./March 2011

Newsletter February/March 2011 - Veterinary Assistant

Blackstone Announces Its New Veterinary Assistant Program

Blackstone is proud to announce its latest career training program: Veterinary Assistant. If you have ever thought about working with animals in a rewarding career, then becoming a member of the veterinary office team could be the path for you! Veterinary assistants tend to the basic needs of the animal patients, including their health, safety and nutrition. They work closely with veterinary technicians and veterinarians to provide excellence in care and client satisfaction.  Veterinary assistants have the ability to work in laboratories, research facilities, animal hospitals, and clinics.

The employment outlook for veterinary assistants is better than the average for all occupations; according to O*Net Online, the number of veterinary assistants and laboratory animal caretakers employed in the United States is expected to grow by 20% or more through 2018. Many factors are considered when calculating salary for veterinary assistants such as location, type of facility, education level and years of experience. According to O*Net Online, the occupational network database, the median wage for Veterinary Assistants was $21,700 (or $10.43 per hour) in 2009.

Approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Division of Private Licensed Schools, and the Accrediting Commission of the Distance Education and Training Council, the new program meets the quality educational and business standards of both of these organizations. Like Blackstone’s other career training programs in the allied health and paralegal fields, the Veterinary Assistant Program offers the convenience of studying at home at your own pace and on your own schedule. Our Online Student Center gives you 24-hour access to your records, study materials, payment history and an opportunity to chat with other students.

For more information on this new program, visit our web site, e-mail us at or call 1-800-826-9228.

Reward Yourself, Reward Your Friend!

Here at Blackstone, we are pleased to announce our Refer A Friend Program to current BCI students and graduates (you simply need a Blackstone Student ID Number). The Refer a Friend Program is our way of saying “thank you” for choosing Blackstone Career Institute.

By referring a friend to BCI you’ll give the gift of education and you will receive a gift of your own in return.

Here’s How it Works

  1. You must be a student or graduate of Blackstone to be eligible for the Refer A Friend Program.
  2. You will receive a $50 Visa gift card for every person you refer to Blackstone who enrolls.
  3. Your $50 Visa gift card will be issued to you after your friend has enrolled.
  4. YES─you can earn a gift card for any friend you refer who enrolls with Blackstone. There is no limit on how many $50 gift cards you may earn.
  5. Anyone you refer to Blackstone must give us your name at the time they enroll in order for you to receive your $50 Visa gift card. Or simply complete this form and we will contact your friend(s) for you. It’s that easy! And Blackstone respects your friend’s privacy. Information you provide will only be used for the purpose of informing your friend about online career training opportunities available through Blackstone.

Don’t forget!

There is no limit to how many $50 Visa gift cards you can receive!

Careers That Pay

Despite slow economic growth, there are career fields that will continue to expand in the coming years. Employers aren’t just willing to hire in these fields, they are also willing to pay based on experience and qualifications. This means that picking the right education in the right field will be one of the best investments you can make for your future! The following career fields will continue to add jobs that pay a good salary.


Learn to do legal research, help prepare legal cases for hearings and trials, and work with legal documents. Work in a law firm, bank, court, government agency, or one of dozens of organizations who are depending more on legal assistants and paralegals today. There is a steadily increasing need for paralegals in the private sector as well as in various government offices. Even when other elements of the economy slow down, the need for paralegals will continue to grow. This is because paralegals can provide many of the same services as lawyers, but at a lower cost. The U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, predicts a growth rate of 28 percent through 2018.

According to the National Association of Legal Assistants, paralegals had an average salary of $48,211 in 2008. In addition to a salary, many paralegals received a bonus, which averaged about $3,808. In 2008, full-time, wage and salary paralegals and legal assistants had median annual earnings of $46,120. The middle 50 percent earned between $36,080 and $59,310. The top 10 percent earned more than $73,450.

Medical Billing & Coding

Payments in the healthcare system depend on proper medical coding, so billing and coding job opportunities abound. Medical billers and coders (often called health information technicians) can utilize their skills in a variety of healthcare facilities including hospitals, nursing homes, medical group practices, clinics and home health agencies. Other settings that may employ health information technicians are insurance firms, public health departments, government agencies and educational institutions. Some job opportunities also exist for home employment.

Health information technology is one of the 20 fastest growing occupations in the United States. This career field is expected to grow by 20 percent, or much faster than the average for all occupations through 2018, due to rapid growth in the number of medical tests, treatments, and procedures which will be increasingly scrutinized by third-party payers, regulators, courts, and consumers.

Many factors are considered when calculating salary for medical billing and coding specialists such as location, job title, education level and years of experience. According to the U.S. Dept. of Labor, Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the middle 50 percent of medical billers and coders earn up to $39,490.

Medical Transcription

Medical transcription is a growing field with great employment prospects for accurate and efficient workers. The demand for professionals trained in medical transcription is expected to increase in the future, reflecting the rapid growth in the health care industry due to a population that is increasing in number as well as climbing in age.

Medical transcriptionists use their talents in a variety of healthcare settings, including doctors’ offices, public and private hospitals, teaching hospitals, medical transcription businesses, clinics, laboratories, radiology and pathology departments, insurance companies, medical libraries, government medical facilities, rehabilitation centers, legal offices, research centers, veterinary medical facilities, and associations representing the healthcare industry. Some transcriptionists choose to work from home as employees of transcription businesses or hospitals. Others provide services as independent contractors by starting a medical transcription home business. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the number of medical transcriptionists employed in the United States is expected to grow up to 11% by 2018.

The U.S. Department of Labor Statistics lists the middle 50 percent of medical transcriptionists earning up to $38,584. High production employees have the potential of earning more in this field.

For more information on these career training programs, use the links on the right.

In This Issue


More News from Blackstone

For more news from Blackstone as well as an archive of recent news items, visit our web site.

Join Our Community

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Did You Know?

Prediction According to Punxsutawney Phil─An Early Spring for 2011!

  • The earliest American reference to Groundhog Day can be found at the Pennsylvania Dutch Folklore Center at Franklin and Marshall College:
  • February 4, 1841─from Morgantown, Berks County (Pennsylvania) storekeeper James Morris’ diary…”Last Tuesday, the 2nd, was Candlemas day, the day on which, according to the Germans, the Groundhog peeps out of his winter quarters and if he sees his shadow he pops back for another six weeks nap, but if the day be cloudy he remains out, as the weather is to be moderate.”
  • When German settlers arrived in the 1700s, they brought a tradition known as Candlemas Day. It came at the mid-point between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. Superstition held that if the weather was fair, the second half of winter would be stormy and cold.
  • Groundhog Day is celebrated on February 2 in the United States and Canada. According to folklore, if it is cloudy when a groundhog emerges from its burrow on this day, it will leave the burrow, signifying that winter-like weather will soon end. If it is sunny, the groundhog will supposedly see its shadow and retreat back into its burrow, and the winter weather will continue for six more weeks.
  • In Alaska, February 2 is observed as Marmot Day rather than Groundhog Day because few groundhogs exist in the state. The holiday was created by a bill passed in 2009 and signed by then-Governor Sarah Palin.
  • The largest and most famous Groundhog Day celebration is held in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, where crowds as large as 40,000 have gathered to celebrate the holiday since at least 1886. The groundhog, named Punxsutawney Phil, has his predictions covered by local and national news broadcasts.
  • While Punxsutawney Phil is the most recognized groundhog, many other areas have their own groundhog, such as Sir Walter Wally in North Carolina, Holtsville Hal in New York and Buckeye Chuck in Ohio.
  • Groundhog Day proponents state that the rodents’ forecasts are accurate 75%-90% of the time. Phil’s winter prognostications have been correct 39% of the time.
  • In popular culture, the phrase “Groundhog Day” has come to represent going through a phenomenon over and over until one spiritually transcends it.
  • The groundhog, also known as a woodchuck (Marmota monax), is a member of the squirrel family.  Groundhogs in the wild eat succulent green plants, such as dandelion, clover, and grasses.

For Your Information

Want to learn more about Blackstone programs? Use the links below to explore BCI’s career programs and continuing education opportunities:

Frequently Asked Questions

Visit our FAQs page to learn more about enrolling in any of our programs. If you have additional questions, contact our friendly staff at

Enroll Now

Ready to enroll right now in a Blackstone program? Go directly to our online enrollment form.

Keep Us Informed

If you are a current Blackstone student or graduate, we ask for your cooperation in keeping our staff informed of changes in your contact information, whether it is your mailing address, e-mail address, or phone number. If you do not provide advance notice of a change of address, we will be unable to get your shipments to you on a timely basis and you will be responsible for the costs associated with re-shipping materials.

For those who pay for their course monthly via automatic credit card or checking account debits, we also ask you to keep our records up-to-date if you have any changes to your account information.

Current e-mail address information is also vital since many of our student communications, such as important reminders from our Education Department and this newsletter, are sent via e-mail in an effort to save paper, trees and money. In addition to helping protect the environment, reducing paper mailings to students offers another benefit as well: it allows Blackstone to control costs and continue to offer our programs at an affordable tuition rate, which we know is important in this economic climate.
You can update your contact information when you log in to your student account by clicking on “Edit Your Student Information” at the bottom of the screen.

You can also send address changes to us at

The staff of Blackstone looks forward to communicating with our graduates, students and prospective students electronically and we welcome your feedback!

Thank you for your cooperation.

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