- The Veterans Center is a result of Federal legislation, HR4057, providing educational/job training support to vets as they transition from active duty to civilian life.
- FTCC is nationally recognized for its veteran program, “Providing everything that’s essential for a successful transition.”
- Grand opening scheduled for 2:00 PM, Monday, June 16, on Fayetteville Campus in the General Classroom Building
- Importantly: June 22 marks the 70th Anniversary of the GI Bill
FAYETTEVILLE, NC – June 10, 2014 – Fayetteville Technical Community College will officially open its on-campus All American Veterans Center on Monday, June 16, with a ribbon cutting ceremony, remarks from state and federal officials and a dedication of the facility to those who made the ultimate sacrifice. The Veterans Center reflects the school administration’s commitment to support fully those who served their country and are now transitioning from active duty to civilian life. In a one-stop-shop, the Center provides veterans access to up-to-date, personalized information and the best possible resources to support their making informed, intelligent decisions regarding their higher education, job training and career track. The All American Veterans Center is reflective of a Federal commitment to assure veterans are able to make the most of their Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits. HR 4057, passed in September, 2012, specifically required the VA to implement a comprehensive policy that aids veterans in making informed decisions about their choices in pursuit of higher education. FTCC’s Veterans Center is recognized by the Student Veterans of America as among the top 10 such programs across the country. And, Military Times has ranked FTCC as second highest on their list of Best for Vets for Career and Technical Colleges in 2014.
What’s provided at the Veterans Center
“At FTCC, we are committed to helping our veterans remain competitive in today’s job market,” said Dr. Larry Keen, president of FTCC, adding, “It is critical that our nation’s channels to higher education and job training stand ready to put our veterans to work.” The Center offers customized veteran tutoring and success coaching. Resume writing, interview preparation and job placement assistance are all veteran-specific. Networking opportunities are scheduled with military-friendly employers and veteran’s organizations, while other off-campus providers are given a space and schedule to avail themselves to vets on a regular accessible basis. The college’s Small Business Center, together with Innovation Fund North Carolina, offers on-campus business coaching to those wanting to start a new business or who simply need help developing their business plan. A computer lab, furnished with a generous grant from The Home Depot Foundation, provides an accessible academic environment for veteran students to complete homework, search for jobs or apply for benefits. And a lounge area is available simply so vets have a place to call their own on campus.
Meeting veteran-specific needs helps assure their success
Many veterans, through their service, have received the necessary training to earn licenses in some occupations or college credit for certain courses. FTCC’s Veterans Center helps student veterans navigate that process and receive the credit and credentialing they’re due. Additionally, veterans face numerous challenges, from a missing sense of camaraderie to feeling like an outsider among 18-year-old traditional students to a lack of understanding by university faculty. Taken together, with the visible and invisible wounds of war, a college education can prove a tremendous challenge for men and women returning from military service. FTCC’s Veterans Center works to address these issues at a number of levels. First, program administrators engage early with active duty military, National Guard and Reservists, well before they begin their transition to civilian life. FTCC helps identify the skills and knowledge that will be needed, based on a desired or projected career path, assuring transitioning military personnel make informed and intelligent decisions about their education and training opportunities.
And, importantly, the Veterans’ Center is managed and staffed by veterans, thereby immediately earning comfort and confidence among veteran students. John Bristow served seven years in the Army, retiring as an E6 Staff Sargeant. He’s now in the Army Reserves and looking to complete his associate degree in General Education, and thereafter earn a BS in Business and Human Resources. Through advisers at FTCC’s Veterans Center, he was able to claim 34 credits for his military service, and also identify a number of benefits that might have gone unclaimed without guidance. “They helped me access a lot of information I didn’t even know to ask for,” he said. Now, Mr. Bristow serves as a Work/Study Manager for the Center, and he says, “I help solve problems every single day for vets and their families. It’s so nice to be the guy looking out for vets just like they looked out for me.”
D. Wayne Robinson, president and CEO of Student Veterans of America, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing veterans with the resources, support, and advocacy needed to succeed in higher education, said, “FTCC’s All American Veterans Center is an excellent example of a well-conceived and managed program. It provides a one-stop central location for veterans in the Fayetteville, NC, area, providing access to everything that’s essential for a successful transition to civilian life.”
FTCC’s Student Veteran Graduation Rates
Of the 3,000 enrolled since 2012, 987 graduated in 2012/13 with another 872 graduating in May, 2014. More will graduate at the conclusion of current summer sessions. Of those who graduated in 2013, 13 percent went on to a four-year college or university. The remainder pursued careers in nursing, emergency medical science, funeral services, radiography, human resource management, business management, criminal justice, computer technology fields, building construction, and plumbing. Which is to say, they are all well on their way to a successful civilian transition.
All American Veterans Center Opening Schedule
The celebration of the opening of the All American Veterans Center will occur on Monday, June 16, at 2:00 PM. The Center is located on FTCC’s Fayetteville campus in the General Classroom Building, along Fort Bragg Road. (Actual street address is 2817 Fort Bragg Rd. Fayetteville, NC 28303) The official ribbon cutting will be preceded by remarks from elected officials, the President and CEO of Student Veterans of America D. Wayne Robinson and the Director of the North Carolina Division of Veterans Affairs Ilario Pantano.
About FTCC and its “Best for Vets” Ranking
Fayetteville Technical Community College was ranked #2 by Military Times in its Best for Vets: Career & Technical Colleges list for 2014. The list shows veterans which schools have put the most thought and effort into tailoring programs and policies around their unique experience. By factoring in academic quality, Best for Vets provides service men and women a gauge by which to judge whether a school or degree program will truly benefit them. To qualify for the list, schools were evaluated in five categories: university culture, student support, academic policies, academic quality and financial aid, with university culture and student support carrying the most weight. The extensive evaluation process also factored in statistics commonly used to track student success and academic quality, including student loan default rates, retention rates, graduation rates, student-faculty ratio and percentage of full-time faculty.