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The Future is Bright for QCC Student Kyle Nash thanks to Credit for Prior Learning

September, 2018
  • QCC student and veteran Kyle Nash.
    QCC student and veteran Kyle Nash.

As the first one in his family to join the military, QCC student Kyle Nash has a plan that he is working hard to make a reality. A naval reservist and 2017 graduate of Auburn High School, Mr. Nash began he educational career at Quinsigamond Community College this fall looking to earn his associate degree in Electrical Engineering Technology, Mechatronics option, after spending his last year at the U.S. Navy Boot Camp in Great Lakes, Illinois. He came home in mid-July  of this year after attending technical training, as well as Apprentice Technical Training School with the goal of attending college in the fall.

While at technical training school in Illinois, Mr. Nash learned from his instructors that he could obtain college credit for some of the classes he was taking.

“I looked at other state schools that related to what I was doing, but they didn’t have what I was into and what I had knowledge in. I had already been thinking about attending QCC. It was affordable and since I was paying out of pocket (reservists are not eligible for the G.I. Bill® for three years) and QCC had the program I wanted, it was the right choice for me,” he said, adding that he checked out what other schools cost to attend and realized that QCC was a much more affordable way to go.

At QCC, Mr. Nash was able to obtain prior learning credit for five courses, the equivalent of an entire semester.

“I did radar and computer system training in Illinois, and some of what I did was pertinent to what I’m going to school for here,” he continued. “This is a lot of money that I now don’t have to spend.”

Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) provides opportunities for students enrolled in QCC’s degree or certificate programs, to earn academic credit for prior learning. There are numerous ways in which students can obtain CPL that includes competency exams, challenge exams, credentialing and portfolio assessment.

Mr. Nash is currently taking three courses, while working part-time doing auto body work. He said he also is also required to do monthly drills for the Navy Reserves.

“I’m going to college just for me and my plan is to be active duty after I get my associate degree.This way I will have an associate to help me in my career when I get out of the military,” he said.

Mr. Nash said that while he was made aware of earning college credit for life experience through his instructors in the Navy, some people may not know about this.

“At QCC, CPL provides opportunities to earn credit for learning acquired through life experiences such as military training programs. If you were in the United States Army, United States Marine Corps., Department of the Navy or the United States Coast Guard, you can request official transcripts through the American Council of Education then contact the Career Services and CPL office. If you attended the Community College of the Air Force (CCAF), you should request CCAF transcript sent to the Registrar’s Office,” said QCC Career Development Counselor Joseph Whitney, adding that there are no costs associated with all military CPL credit.

 “I encourage any veteran, active or in the reserves, who doesn’t have college experience, to use this opportunity. Use your training and your military career to go to college,” Mr. Nash added.