By: Bradley Pearson, Production Manager | Photo Courtesy: Pamela Brady
Liberal Arts major Pamela Brady said she received her degree at the end of the spring term in a mailbox more than 8,000 miles away from CNM in Incirlik, Turkey.
Originally an Engineering major, and the wife of an Air Force officer, she had to find a way to graduate in spite of being relocated, she said in an interview via Facebook.
“Since I found out that I wouldn’t be able to continue my engineering degree while I was out here, I looked at what classes I did have in order to make up a degree,” said Brady.
Many of the upper-level math and science classes for an engineering degree are not offered through CNM’s Distance Learning Program, she said.
“The main reason we have not offered the highest level math classes online is because there is only a small demand for these classes and, as a result, we offer few sections of these classes,” said Philip Carmen, interim associate dean of MSE.
Carmen said he has had several students that have been either in the military or the spouse of a military service person.
“Being cognizant of the challenges and often unpredictable circumstances that these students face, I have always tried to accommodate these students when the need has arisen,” said Carmen.
Brady moved to Turkey after her husband, Tech Sergeant Rene Brady, was stationed at the Incirlik Air Base.
“We found out in November of 2011 and our report-no-later-than date was set for March 10, 2012. I immediately started researching my options for school,” Brady said.
Brady said that the help she sought at CNM connected her with little information on military resources.
“I had to do a lot of research on my own on schooling for military spouses,” she said. After researching her options, Brady decided to obtain a degree that would fit her credits. “I only needed the IT 1010 class to obtain my associates in liberal arts, thankfully I was able to take it online which helped a lot,” she said.
According to the Incirlik Air Base website, there are various incentives and resources for active duty members of the military as well as their spouses.
Some of these include tuition assistance, career counseling and connections with various colleges offered directly through the base. Brady said that her husband’s rank is too high for her to qualify for tuition assistance, and most of the engineering degrees offered are aeronautical.
In the meantime Brady said that she would continue to look for a college overseas that can offer the program she wants.
Assistance Centers for Education supervisor Randy Crandall said there are many resources for distance learning students in most programs, but no particular ACE representative for veterans or military personnel.
“I think that CNM’s work with veterans and military members will only improve,” said Crandall. With the recent visit from the Secretary of Veterans Affairs and the hiring of a Veteran’s Success counselor, students associated with the military should have an easier time finding what they need, said Crandall.
The Office of Veteran Affairs at CNM helps veterans and their families connect with the various resources available, according to Louis Adams who is in charge of the veteran affairs program.
“Students must be enrolled in a degree-seeking program at CNM. We go over information that is available to them and now we can get them in touch with the Vet Success counselor,” said Adams.
The Office of Veterans Affairs is located within the Financial Aid Department. Adams said he has been helping veterans through his department for the last seven years. The recent hiring of the Veteran Success counselor will open up more opportunity for veterans and their families, Adams said.
“We’re really excited about helping veterans understand their resources and we’re hoping to get a veteran’s resource center,” said Veteran Success counselor Gwendolyn Nutter. “We want to make sure veterans don’t fall through the cracks,” said Nutter
Gwendolyn Nutter has been full time since June 4 and the program itself was started about a year ago, said Adams.
For more information on Veteran Success counseling contact Gwendolyn Nutter at 224-3265. The Office of Veterans Affairs at CNM can be reached at 224-3098.