Published: Wed Oct 7, 2009After serving two deployments in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom as a machinery repairman onboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier, Andrew Moore’s service to his country is complete.
Now, there’s a program that’s serving him and his family with the same commitment as he studies at Tennessee Tech University to be a mechanical engineer.
He’s taking advantage of the America’s Veterans to Tennessee Engineers Science, Technology, Engineering and Math initiative for military members just completing their service but still on active duty who want to be nuclear, chemical, mechanical, electrical or civil engineers.
The Kingston resident began his studies at Roane State Community College, where a glitch turned into an opportunity.
“I was talking with the VA rep at Roane State about an issue with my GI Bill when she told me I should take advantage of the program,” said Moore. “We pulled the application up online and filled it out. I was taken off guard, but this was perfect for me.”
Moore says he joined the U.S. Navy to learn a trade and had little motivation for furthering his formal education. But experience and family helped him decide education would be valuable. His wife, Morgan, a Tennessee Tech secondary education graduate, and his family encouraged him to pursue engineering.
The America’s Veterans to Tennessee Engineers program requires participants to attend Roane State or Pellissippi State Technical Community College for at least one term to establish or verify the needed technical foundation for an engineering degree.
Once students meet university criteria for their engineering programs they can transfer to Tennessee Tech or The University of Tennessee. Veterans in the program are given an additional weighting factor in the acceptance process to a university program.
STEM will hold service member security clearances active, offer supporting part-time employment, provide community sponsors, offer academic mentors and match graduates with engineering jobs.
“The amazing part of the program is you are guaranteed a part-time job while you are in school and a job offer after you graduate,” said Moore, who received a part-time job with TVA.
Some Tennessee Tech participants may directly enter their four-year program depending on their qualifications. Tennessee Tech also has the flexibility to accept students from the Roane State STEM curriculum at several points in their academic progress.
For more information, visit http://www.y12.doe.gov/jobs/stem/ or contact TTU’s College of Engineering at 931-372-3172.