The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Program accelerates vet graduation

By Kirsten Mahon/nw/multimedia editor

Beginning next spring, student veterans can speed up their ride to graduation in the College Credit for Heroes program.

The skills veterans learn in the military fall in line with the curriculum of the applied science and technology degree, mainly focusing on fire service training. The program works with the Texas Workforce Commission to create more opportunities for veterans re-entering the workforce after service. Veterans can use the skills they already have to propel themselves through the degree and finish earlier than usual.

NW student Matthew Marks attends three other campuses and said it’s been a rough transition from the Marine Corps for him and his family.

“College Credit for Heroes was perfect because I have a son on the way,” he said. “The sooner, the better for me.”

This semester, Ryan Kelly, NW public service and social behavioral science coordinator, started recruiting veterans to join the program. In November, students can register for classes in the program that starts in January. Program orientation will be Nov. 16. Veterans who start the program in January should graduate December 2014, Kelly said.

“The goal is to use that military experience,” Kelly said.

The program will give students the right tools and resources, he said. With the help of veteran success counselors who work for Veterans Affairs and student veteran groups on all five campuses, students should have no problem building their success at TCC after military service, Kelly said.

Marks said the Marine Corps is structured much like the fire department, so the new program should make the transition easier.

“My plan is to enroll in paramedic school in fall 2014 and then start working as a fireman,” Marks said.

The program’s degree plan includes the basic core classes of any degree. 

Marks has already started school, so he expects to graduate within a year from now. Kelly said studying to be a paramedic would take an additional year and a half of study after students complete the accelerated degree.

However, when they graduate, they will still have the degree under their belt, making them marketable while they keep studying, Kelly said.

For more information, students can contact Arrick Jackson, NW public service and behavioral sciences dean, at 817-515-7770 or Kelly at 817-515-7570.

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