Breanna Specht – Staff Highlight

Let us introduce one of United Career Institute’s Adult and Nursing Admissions Advisor, Breanna (Bre) Specht. Bre graduated from Seton Hill University in 2019 with her Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education. Before joining the UCI Irwin team in June of 2021, Bre worked as an Early Head Start teacher and as a building substitute in a nearby school district for some time. When asked why she chose to work at UCI, Bre said:

I value education and have always wanted to work in higher education in some capacity. My job as an admissions advisor is to help students decide if United Career Institute is a good fit for them and help them through the entire admissions process. I understand and have felt the pressure of attending a four-year college, but I want students to know other options are available.

The admissions process may seem daunting at first, but Bre says, “My favorite part of working for United Career Institute is working so closely with our students and helping to set them up for success in our school!” Rest assured that Bre, and all of our admissions advisors, are there every step of the way.

Every student thinking of attending UCI meets with one of our admissions advisors either in-person or virtually, where they get to learn more about our programs and United Career Institute as a whole. At in-person campus visits, students are given a tour of the campus and introduced to key faculty and staff members along the way. During that visit, students work with their advisor to determine if UCI is the right fit for them and help them reach their career goals. At the end of each visit, our admissions advisors’ goal is to recommend the student for acceptance into the school.

Upon acceptance, students fill out a formal application and are onto the next step in the admissions process, which looks different depending on the student’s program of interest. Practical Nursing students get set up to take the TEAS entrance exam, a four-part exam that tests English, Science, Reading, and Math. Each section has a minimum required score that students must meet or surpass to be eligible for our nursing program. Once students pass the TEAS test, they are set up for a formal interview with our Nursing Program Director, Marcia Landman, who has the final say in whether students are accepted into the nursing program.

Upon acceptance, allied health students (Medical Assisting and Medical Billing/Administration) get set up for their financial aid meeting, which is also the next step after being accepted for our Practical Nursing students. Read more about our financial aid advisor and the process here.

As if it isn’t obvious already, Bre is passionate about admissions, saying that “Creating a better future for our students” is what motivates her. Thinking long term, Bre is interested in continuing her career in higher education and working with adult students “to make their education and career dreams come true.”

When asked what she is most proud of, Bre says, “I am most proud of graduating college. I’m the first person in my family to attend post-secondary school. Of course, I faced many challenges, but each of those challenges is a lesson I’ve learned along the way. One of the best feelings is accomplishing something you’ve never thought possible and helping others do the same.”

Take the next step on your journey to a career in healthcare by visiting or by requesting information here!

Mt. Braddock Graduation Ceremony

United Career Institute held its 44th annual commencement ceremony for its 2020-2021 graduates on October 7, 2021. The first part of the evening was an intimate ceremony for the pinning of the Practical Nursing graduates. These graduates asked only their closest friends and family members to join them for this most memorable occasion. Each graduate picked one or two important people in their lives to “pin” them. These pins signify the membership of these graduates in the proud and rewarding society of nurses.

The ceremony became a tradition when Florence Nightingale was awarded the Royal Red Cross for her service as a military nurse and presented a medal of excellence to her brightest graduates. The graduates of United Career Institute’s School of Practical Nursing receive thoughtfully designed pins that include the United Career Institute emblem, a caduceus, and a Lamp of Knowledge. The symbol of the lamp is also derived from Florence Nightingale, who made her rounds by lamplight.

The symbolic lamp is also used at the end of the pinning ceremony when Nursing students light their lamps and recite the Florence Nightingale Pledge. The students solemnly promise to practice their profession faithfully and devote themselves to the welfare of those committed to their care.

After a brief intermission, the Medical Assisting and Medical Billing/Administration graduates joined the Practical Nursing graduates for the processional into the auditorium in their blue caps and gowns. Ali Sensabaugh, campus president, opened the commencement ceremony with welcoming remarks to welcome those in attendance and share her gratitude for both the graduates and their friends and family members.

The Medical Assisting and Medical Billing/Administration graduates then took the stage, where Kelly Shriver, Allied Health Program Director, and Kathryn Coddington, Financial Aid Advisor, presented the graduates with their degrees and special pins of their own. These pins, much like the Practical Nursing pins, symbolize the culmination of education and skills these graduates have acquired during their time at United Career Institute.

Practical Nursing graduates took the stage once more to be presented their diplomas by Nursing Program Director Marcia Landman. Once the much-deserved degrees and diplomas were received, they were then conferred by Ali Sensabaugh. These graduates have worked tirelessly throughout their programs to gain the knowledge and skills necessary for a career in the healthcare field. We at UCI are thankful for these graduates and are excited to see what the future holds! Their friends, family, peers, and instructors are all so incredibly proud of their accomplishments and wish them the very best in their future endeavors.

If you are interested in pursuing a career in healthcare and want to learn more about United’s occupational programs, contact an admissions advisor today, or request information here!