OCtech to Host Special Veterans Information Session


On Tuesday, November 13, OCtech will host a Special Veterans Information Session. Veterans who are looking to further their education or make a career change are encouraged to drop in any time from 10:00am-2:00pm or 4:00pm–7:00pm in the Atrium of Building S. Academic Deans will be there to review any copies of existing credentials of prior education such as an American Council on Education Registry Transcript or a Military Transcript. Staff will be available to discuss any of the 80 different degree, diploma and certificate programs OCtech has to offer. Admissions Counselors, Financial Aid Counselors and a VA Official will be available to discuss testing, the admissions process, financial aid benefits, and much more. Tours will be given of the college for those interested.

OCtech offers several programs to help make the transition to college as easy as possible for Veterans. Two of the most popular programs are the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP) and the Post-9/11 GI Bill. The VRAP provides eligible Veterans, ages 35-60, with education benefits for up to 12 months of training. The VRAP is helping Veterans like Nathaniel Blacks. “I retired after 25 years of service to the military in 1999 and in August of this year, I decided to attend OCtech and enroll in the Automotive Technology program,” said Blacks. “I always said if I ever had any free time, I wanted to go back to college. I am one of the oldest in my class and I hope I can be an inspiration for young people. I came back to school after 32 years. If I can do it, anyone can.”

VRAP Participants must attend full-time in order to receive up to 12 months of assistance equal to the monthly full-time payment rate under the Montgomery GI Bill–Active Duty program ($1,564 effective October 1, 2012). Participants must be enrolled in a VA approved program of education offered by a community college or technical school. The program must lead to an Associate Degree, Non-College Degree, or a Certificate, and train the Veteran for a high demand occupation. Veterans will receive employment assistance upon completion of the program.

The Post-9/11 GI Bill is the most extensive educational assistance program authorized since the original GI Bill was signed into law in 1944. The bill allows eligible veterans who served at least 90 days active duty since September 11, 2001, to receive an in-state, undergraduate education at a public institution at no cost. Under this new GI Bill, certain members of the armed forces may transfer benefits to a spouse or dependent children. Approved training under the Post-9/11 GI Bill includes graduate and undergraduate degrees, vocational/technical training, on-the-job training, flight training, correspondence training, licensing and national testing programs, entrepreneurship training, and tutorial assistance. All training programs must be approved for GI Bill benefits. This benefit provides up to 36 months of education benefits, generally benefits are payable for 15 years following your release from active duty.

For Veterans who are unable to attend the Information Session on Tuesday, a specially trained counselor will be on hand every Wednesday from 11:30am-12:30pm in the Academic Success and Career Center on campus to assist them with their education and employment goals. This effort is in conjunction with SC Works.

For more information about the event or Veterans benefits, please call 803.535.1224 or email askme@octech.edu.

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