Army training to college credit; Education Services supports Soldiers

Dec 1, 2011

By Andrea Sutherland (Fort Carson)
FORT CARSON, Colo. -- Pfc. Chrys Papachristou is close to earning his degree in exercise science with a concentration in physical education.
"I only need four credits to finish," said Papachristou, 64th Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division. "I'm almost done."
Papachristou attended the Nov. 18 Military Evaluation Day, which paired Soldiers with Education Services counselors to help determine if Army training translated into college credit.
"It was very helpful speaking one-on-one," said Papachristou, who met with both counselors and representatives from local colleges and universities.
"We wanted to reach out to Soldiers before the spring semester," said Ursula Miller-Waldrip, operations manager for Education Services. 
"It might be that little extra Soldiers need to get into school."
Miller-Waldrip said the event, held in support of American Education Week, was the first of its kind at Fort Carson. 
"It was supposed to start at 10 a.m., but Soldiers were lining up outside at 9:30 a.m. so we started early," she said.
Eight counselors met with 117 Soldiers, discussing everything from G.I. Bill benefits to which area schools offer the most benefits to servicemembers.
"It was very beneficial … finding information on paying for colleges. I wanted to see if colleges offer benefits for dog and animal training programs," said Sgt. 1st Class Troy Gapko, 10th Combat Support Hospital.
Eleven schools, including University of Phoenix, Regis University, Colorado Christian University, National American University, Colorado Technical University, Devry University, Colorado State University and University of Colorado Colorado Springs, sent representatives to talk with prospective students.
Miller-Waldrip said officials at Education Services plan to hold future Military Evaluation days, but dates will be confirmed at a later time.
The Education Services center offers year-round opportunities for Soldiers, Family members as well as Department of the Army civilians and retirees. Counselors can assist with information on area schools and programs, tuition assistance, Veterans Affairs education benefits and Army and American Council on Education Registry Transcript System requirements. No appointments are required.

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