HARRISBURG, Pa. – After being out of school for more than 20 years and losing his job over a decade ago, veteran James Truitt followed his Veterans Affairs (VA) counselor’s advice. He applied at HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College, to earn his associate degree.
“After losing my job over a decade ago and coming to a sort of acceptance that friends and family have a valid point that I’m well-suited to help others…I decided it was time to start working with my heart and mind,” Truitt said.
Truitt started at HACC’s York Campus in spring 2013. As HACC and the country celebrate Veterans Day on Nov. 11, Truitt is also celebrating being about halfway toward completion of his first goal as a social science major. “I’ve lived through a great many forms of abuse in my life and learned to not let those tragedies define me. I want to help people who struggle with abuse issues. I’m interested in being a life coach with other veterans. I’m a social science major with the goal of transferring to a four-year program,” he said.
HACC, the only college in Pennsylvania participating in the VetSuccess on Campus program, provides on-site support to any veteran exploring higher education offerings. Since November 2013, VA vocational rehabilitation counselors have been housed at HACC as a liaison between the student-veteran and departments in the VA. HACC also has the second largest active military/veteran population among colleges and universities in Pennsylvania.
According to Truitt, there are many great attributes at HACC. “...the wide range of class schedules, great professors, helpful tutors and affordability are just a few. I’ve received the Ruth McCullough Walzer Scholarship through HACC, which has helped ease some of the financial burden of being a disabled, unemployed veteran.”
Veterans and military personnel also can receive three physical education credits or two physical education credits and one wellness credit if the basic training date occurred after 1993. Also, dependents of veterans and military personnel who are high school juniors or seniors can use military benefits for dual enrollment at HACC to earn high school and college credit simultaneously.
Starting in March 2015, HACC will provide course scheduling preference to veteran students. Course scheduling for approved veteran students will start one week prior to HACC’s priority scheduling for returning students. Visit HACC’s veterans’ webpage for the guidelines.
Find YOUR degree at HACC by visiting hacc.edu/supportmilitary to get started with a VA education briefing. You’ll learn about VA student eligibility, VA education payment, HACC’s certification process and student responsibility and academic progress.
In honor of Veterans Day, HACC’s Military and Veterans Affairs Office (MVAO) and HACC’s Student Government Association (SGA) offices are collecting items on Nov. 11 for the Lebanon VA Medical Center Collection Drive. Individuals can drop off donated items, such as body lotion, lip balm, white t-shirts (men’s only), men’s underwear and large-print, puzzle books to any of HACC’s MVAO offices from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.. Monetary donations also will be accepted at each office to support the Wounded Warrior Project. For each monetary donation, individuals will receive a Wounded Warrior Project giveaway.
For additional questions, please contact 800-ABC-HACC.
HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College, offers more than 150 career and transfer associate degree, certificate and diploma programs to nearly 20,000 students at campuses in Gettysburg, Harrisburg, Lancaster, Lebanon and York and through online classes. In addition, HACC serves more than 29,000 students in noncredit workforce development, public safety, adult basic education and continuing education programs offered at all campuses and off-site locations in many communities in Central Pennsylvania. For more information on how HACC is uniquely YOURS, visit www.hacc.edu.