Press - 11/8/2016

Serving the Military

MiraCosta College is on the front lines of serving those who have served us.

With 1,800 active-duty military, military dependents and military veterans enrolled at its campuses, MiraCosta has expanded its already expansive outreach efforts to current and former members of our armed forces. And while many community colleges focus on building the vocational skills of returning servicemen and servicewomen, MiraCosta College also is helping veterans transfer to four-year colleges and universities.

The most recent example: An Oct. 21 workshop featuring UCLA admissions officials working with veterans and active duty military members who are interested in transferring to the prestigious Westwood campus. UCLA specifically partnered with MiraCosta College because of its extensive outreach to veterans and its large population of students who have served or are serving in the armed forces.

“I am a big advocate of outreach to service members and veterans,” said Brendan Duffy, who earned a degree from MiraCosta College in 2006 before transferring to UCLA, and who now works for Major League Baseball’s Advanced Media division in New York. “I think that the community college-to-UC/CSU track is one of the few remaining paths to upward mobility, and I think that members of the military community should do everything they can to take advantage of California's high quality – and highly subsidized – opportunities. Nowhere else in the country can you take classes for under 50 dollars per unit that will provide you with a clear and direct path to a top-30 research university.”

Jerry Borja, a MiraCosta College student whose eight years with the Marine Corps included tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, is planning to transfer to Cal State San Marcos next fall to study nursing. “There are a lot of opportunities here to get you set up to transfer to a four-year college or university,” he said. “I work in the Veterans Center on campus and I’ve seen people go to UCSD, San Diego State, USC, UCLA. If you want to get there, MiraCosta College is going to help.”

Which is one of the reasons MiraCosta College has been designated a Military Friendly School by Victory Media. Among the other reasons it is respected among veterans:

•    MiraCosta College, with the help of a $250,000 grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration, is creating Southern California’s only Veterans Business Outreach Center to support service members from San Diego to Santa Barbara who are leaving the military and embarking on self-employment or entrepreneurship. The Veterans Business Outreach Center is based at the college’s Technology Career Institute in Carlsbad and showcases workshops that provide entrepreneurial training and counseling and assist clients in developing five-year business plans.
 
•    MiraCosta College joined with the Veterans Association of North County and Carlsbad-based ViaSat to create a new electronic assembly course benefitting those who are transitioning from the military for jobs as electronic assemblers at an advanced manufacturing company. The course covers 80 hours of instruction, and those who complete the curriculum will earn certification as an electronic assembler. Cost is $300 per person, a fraction of what a similar course would cost if offered by private industry.

•    MiraCosta College operates a renown High Threat Specialist Program, which was launched in 2012 as a not-for-credit offering targeting Marines returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan who were interested in pursuing a career as a certified armed guard or high threat protection specialist. Over the years, MiraCosta College added a certified Anti-Terrorist/Corporate Protection component to their security program, along with a Celebrity Corporate Protection course and a High Threat Protection course, along with a High Risk Medic Class.

MiraCosta College also offers an expanded Veterans Service Center complete with resources for student success and counseling, along with a Veterans Memorial Garden.

“MiraCosta really is doing a wonderful job in looking out for veterans and active military,” said Borja.

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