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TCC’s Center for Military & Veterans Education awarded $500,000 by Office of Naval Research

Tidewater Community College’s Center for Military and Veterans Education (CMVE) has been awarded $508,702 from the Office of Naval Research to fund a new initiative for military-related students to enter the workforce in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics – the STEM fields.

STEM Fleet Forward (STEM-FFI) is a pilot program aimed at increasing the academic achievement and employability of military-related individuals by raising awareness of STEM-related civilian occupations, linking military occupations to academic programs and civilian careers, and addressing barriers to success in the STEM fields.

“This is an outstanding opportunity for military-related students to enter the workforce in high wage, high demand occupations utilizing STEM skills,” said Bruce Brunson, executive director of the CMVE. “STEM-FFI will add to economic growth by providing Hampton Roads employers with military-related workers who have the skills set for STEM occupations.”

STEM-FFI will be an online platform that functions as a dynamic communication and career-readiness resource center. The key focus areas are:

  • promoting STEM career pathways through webinars, events, speakers and collaborative programs that promote information sharing, networking and opportunities for military-related individuals in STEM fields;
  • awarding college credit for prior military experience;
  • enhancing academic support through focused academic advisement for STEM careers, structured math pre-placement preparation and academic financial planning; and
  • providing STEM employment support through military-focused soft-skill training, internships, on-the-job training, entrepreneurship training, apprenticeships, mentoring, education fairs and employment opportunities to include campus-based job fairs and electronic employment placement.

TCC offers 10 STEM degree and certificate programs that align with the Office of Naval Research in engineering, information technology and sciences.

STEM-FFI will focus on civil, mechanical and electrical engineering; information technology and cybersecurity; and other STEM-based programs offered by TCC and other Virginia community colleges.

STEM-FFI will provide the Office of Naval Research with a nationally scalable model that can be used to improve the employment readiness of transitioning military to STEM-related civilian careers.