When people join the military or get married to someone in the armed forces, they don’t just accept a profession or person, but a way of life. They prepare themselves for a life on the move knowing that every three years they’ll have to leave all that they’re familiar with for a new destination and everything that comes with it.
You won’t hear them complain, but rather make the most of the situation they’re in. With steely resolve that comes with being a military family, they move ahead and design a life around their or their spouse’s profession.
But what happens when they want to prepare for a life beyond the military? What happens when they want to acquire skills for civilian jobs or their spouses are keen to start a career of their own? It’s not so easy to find schools that suit their lifestyle in spite of what many such institutions may claim.
If you ever find yourself in this situation, here’s a complete guide on what makes a vocational school truly military friendly:
One thing is clear, your military status puts you in the category of people with extraordinary circumstances and extraordinary circumstances require extraordinary facilities. One of the facilities that makes a vocational training school military friendly is availability of flexible education or training programs.
This flexibility could be in the form of relaxed attendance; loose scheduling options; classes that are held in the evening or off-duty hours; courses that are self-paced; or use of non-traditional education delivery modes like online or distance learning.
Online learning has special significance because it also ensures that even if a military student needs to move midway through a program, their education can continue uninterrupted from wherever they are deployed next. For this, schools may also provide their military students a laptop that they can use and keep.
If there’s one thing that military members and their families have, it’s ample financial support from the government to pursue education or training that will help them find employment in the civilian world. There are a number of military funding programs that have been instituted by the government for this purpose. Some of them include:
Tuition Assistance Program: This program pays 100 percent tuition expenses of eligible members of the Army, Navy, Coast Guard, Air Force, and Marines for college courses taken during off-duty hours.
VA Vocational Rehabilitation Program: This program is meant for veterans who suffer from service-related disabilities and employment handicaps. Although it includes a gamut of benefits, the one that applies to education seeks to provide financial assistance to such veterans for post-secondary training at a college or a vocational, technical or business school.
MyCAA Program: The MyCAA program covers tuition assistance to the tune of $4000 for eligible military spouses to pursue training, education, and/or certification/licensure in fields leading to portable careers.
Any vocational school that wishes to be recognized as military friendly must participate in one or more of these educational benefit programs for active duty service-members and veterans or offer MyCAA approved programs for military spouses.
This is probably more relevant for individuals who are married to members of the military, but can be applied for active duty service-members as well. Any vocational school that’s military friendly should offer programs that will help find military students gainful employment in the outside world.
For military spouses, this would mean an education or training in portable careers. Portable careers are occupations that can be practiced from anywhere and do not require the physical presence of a professional at a specific location.
Not so long ago, there were only a few such portable careers like nursing, teaching or office administration. But with technology giving shape to incredible interfacing tools like IM, email, VoIP, etc., portability has acquired a whole new meaning altogether.
So, now that you understand what makes a vocational school military friendly, are you ready to take the next step? Because exciting possibilities await those who dare to dream!
Nancy is a 36-year old stay at home mom of two. She worked as a medical assistant for five years before taking a break to be with her children. Her experience as a medical assistant gave her valuable insights in to the Medical industry, which she likes to share with others through her writing. Medical training often finds mention in her writings. Being an SAHM, Nancy is a huge exponent of vocational training programs that provide women like her the power to be their own boss.
Her other interests include gardening and baking. She stays with her husband and two daughters.
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