An educated military is critical to the defense of the nation, said Brig. Gen. Ferdinand Irizarry II.
To that end, UNC Pembroke and Fayetteville Technical Community College (FTCC) signed an agreement to pave the way for Special Forces members to earn four-year degrees from UNCP.
Agreement Signing -- With UNCP, FTCC and Army officials looking on, Chancellor Carter, Brig. General Ferdinand Irizarry and FTCC President Larry Keen sign agreements to make higher education more accessible for Special Forces soldiers.
In the library of the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School on Fort Bragg, the deputy commanding general made it so. Irizarry looked on as UNCP Chancellor Kyle R. Carter and FTCC President J. Larry Keen signed articulation agreements.
“We have a precious resource,” the general said. “Any way we can help our men and women get education is a good investment. A well-educated country is a well defended one.”
Irizarry thanked FTCC and UNCP. He said the fruits of the agreement are already being realized, with approximately 2,500 soldiers enrolled in associate degree programs at FTCC. The new pact ensures that those soldiers can seamlessly transfer to UNCP for bachelor’s degrees.
All UNCP degrees in the agreement will be 100 percent online to meet the needs of a mobile military. UNCP offers several degree programs, including criminal justice, exercise and sports science and interdisciplinary studies, which is a program developed for qualified community college graduates that offers tracks in business, information technology, public and nonprofit administration and criminal justice (www.uncp.edu/bis).
Special Forces students who successfully complete the prescribed general education program at FTCC by January 2014 can transfer to UNCP with 60 hours of credit. UNCP has the option to renew the articulation agreement.
UNCP has an office and classroom space on Fort Bragg and was participating in an education fair as the documents were being signed. Both the university and FTCC were named “Military Friendly Schools” by GI Jobs magazine in 2011.
Chancellor Carter said UNCP is pleased to “serve our country by helping soldiers get an education.
College Fair -- On the day of the agreement signing, Special Forces sponsored an education fair. Pictured here from left Tiffany Dalmida, UNCP@Fort Bragg administrator, and Dr. Warren Eller, director of the MPA program, discuss college and graduate education with Chief Warrant Office Dion Hopkins and his daughter Kayla, who is a high school senior.
“UNCP prides itself on being pragmatic,… and we saw a good thing developing at FTCC,” Chancellor Carter said. “When you ask our faculty what kind of student they like in their classroom, it is a motivated and mature student – like we see here.”
President Keen said the articulation agreement was a significant undertaking. “Eighteen months ago, we started working on this agreement with 25 people at the table,” President Keen said. “I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished here.
“We went out to see who wanted to participate, and UNCP stepped up,” he continued. “This is about making life better for our soldiers. It’s a special day.”
Dr. Cammie Hunt, associate vice chancellor for Engaged Outreach, was responsible for working out the details on UNCP’s end. The first soldier has already been admitted and will begin classes this summer.
“This is a very, very good agreement for everyone,” Dr. Hunt said. “We started work on it in September after Chancellor Carter made the initial contact. A lot of department heads and administrators worked on this project.”
FTCC and the military were looking for a UNC institution that is flexible enough to meet the special needs of the military, Dr. Hunt said. “These will be top notch students, and we’re very pleased to be a partner. Having an office on base was also important,” she added.
UNCP will waive applications fees for all active duty soldiers, National Guardsman, Army Reservists and veterans. In most cases, the high school transcript requirement will also be waived.
“We are streamlining the admissions process for this group,” Dr. Hunt continued. “This will answer the needs of our soldiers.”
For more information, contact UNCP at Fort Bragg at 910.436.4296, email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact UNCP’s Distance Education program at 910.521.6367.