The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) recently announced the award of over $1 million to support four new accelerated certificate or degree programs through its College Credit for Heroes (CCH) program, a statewide effort designed to maximize the award of college credit to veterans and service members for their military experience.
Since the program’s inception, more than 85,000 veterans have created accounts at CollegeCreditforHeroes.org. An estimated 27,000 veterans have received evaluations with an average of 16 credit hours awarded per student from participating colleges and universities.
Nick St. Clair served as a medical specialist, practical nurse and field artillery officer in the U.S. Army. After leaving the service, he applied for the nursing school program at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC), a College Credit for Heroes partner school, and was referred to the program. St. Clair was awarded nine service credit hours and used the credit to obtain his Bachelor of Science in nursing in 2016.
“I began my adult life as a medic, practical nurse and hospital educator in the Army and absolutely loved it,” said St. Clair. “After some time away from patients, I’m fortunate to have had the opportunity to return to my first professional love.”
St. Clair is currently employed as a registered nurse at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth. He credits his success to the College Credit for Heroes program and TTUHSC’s unique program for veterans with his military background.
“With the College Credit for Heroes grant, the university created the Veteran to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (VBSN) track, an accelerated program for veterans with prior military medical training and experiences who want to obtain a nursing degree,” said TTUHSC VBSN Director Debbie Sikes.
“Nick was among our first VBSN graduating class, which included six other students. Success of the VBSN track was demonstrated by all seven students passing the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) on their first attempt and becoming employed as registered nurses,” she said.
New 2017 programs that received funding through College Credit for Heroes
- Dallas County Community College District — $262,977 to develop the Veterans Education Transition program, designed to create an accelerated transition to a civilian career by replicating existing programs developed by Grayson College and Lee College.
- Houston Community College — $472,687 to develop a veterans academy for veterans and service members to assess prior military experiences and provide employment.
- Lee College — $145,457 to establish an accelerated emergency medical technician program.
- Texas State University — $145,495 to create Accelerate TXState, an online prior learning assessment curriculum
For more information about College Credit for Heroes partner schools or to register for the program, visit CollegeCreditForHeroes.org.
For more information on workforce programs available for Texas veterans, visit the TWC veterans’ resource page.