MILITARY GRADUATE INTERVIEW WITH STEVEN STANDIFORD
ICDC Life™ sits down with Steven Standiford, a U.S. Army®* Veteran from Lodi Wisconsin, who maintained an A average as a student at ICDC College and graduated with an Associate Degree in Homeland Security.** Mr. Standiford takes the time to discuss the benefits of online education, celebrating 21 years of marriage, his love of fishing, and the pride of seeing his son and nephews serving in the military.
Why did you choose ICDC College’s Homeland Security program. Did you feel that there is a connection between the program and aspects of the military?
I decided to pursue the Homeland Security Associate degree online after speaking with a military online admissions representative who discussed the various programs that might be appealing to me because of my military background. To answer your question, I do think that there are components of the Homeland Security program that are definitely relatable to the military experience.
What aspects of ICDC’s Homeland Security online program appealed to you?
Well first of all, I live in Lodi Wisconsin, north of Madison, near Lake Wisconsin. It’s a very small town of approximately 3,000 people in a rural area. Because of this reason, I found taking online classes worked well for me. I didn’t have to drive to a physical location, wait for class to start, and then drive home. Also, because I worked full time, I was able to come right home, start my computer, access my classes, and start studying right away. ICDC College afforded me that flexibility.
In terms of what appealed to me about the actual Homeland Security Associate Degree program, I especially liked the fact that I learned a lot about our federal government, security procedures, and law enforcement. We were taught the psychology of terrorism, chemical and biological hazards – a lot of information to learn.
Tell us about the online experience, do you feel that earning a degree online is in any way easier than taking traditional classes at a brick and mortar location?
Deciding to earn a college degree online takes a certain amount of discipline, because you have to stay in control of your schedule. What I did like about being a student at ICDC, was that I was in constant contact with my instructor, and I always felt connected throughout the program. I had to study very hard to get high grades. I worked all day and then came home and started studying. It’s not easy, but as a student you have to consistently decide and remind yourself this is what you want to do and put in the effort to make it work.
You served in the U.S. Army® Reserves. Tell us more about your military background.
I enlisted in the U.S. Army® Reserves in November 1983 and was Honorably Discharged in 1989. My friend was the one who encouraged me to enlist under the buddy system. During my time of service, my military occupation was a Motor Transport Operator. I was assigned to operate 40-ton vehicles to transport and manage landscaping cargo.
Tell us about your life now. What do you enjoy doing in your spare time.
Now that I’ve graduated, I have a lot more free time. I love to watch movies with my wife of 21 years and family. I have three grown children – three boys and a daughter. When I get home now after work, I have time to sit down, then start supper and work on my computer too. Lodi and Lake Wisconsin is a great place to live. We’ve got over 50 miles of shoreline and I love to fish – Bass and Northern Pike are my favorites.
You have a number of family members that are continuing your tradition of serving in the military.
Yes. I have a son that is currently serving. I have two nephews in active duty. My wife’s nephew is also in the military. I’m really proud of all of them.
If you could sum up in a few sentences, what you feel about serving our country, what would you say?
I’m proud to be an American, that I served our country and joined the ranks of men and women who have sacrificed their lives so we can all be free.
*ICDC College is not endorsed, sponsored by or otherwise affiliated with the U.S. Army®. U.S. Army® is a registered trademark of the Department of the Army agency of the United States Government.
**For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed the program, and other important information, please visit our program page at http://ww2.icdccollege.edu/icdccollege.edu/homeland-security-degree
ICDC College Joins Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges Consortium
ICDC College now joins the Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges Consortium, which includes a number of academic institutions dedicated to increasing the availability of quality educational opportunities for all members of the U.S. Armed Forces, Veterans, and their families.
See the original posting of this press release here http://www.prweb.com/releases/2013/9/prweb11157715.htm.
ICDC College Receives 2014 Military Friendly School® Designation
Written by Lisa McGloiry
ICDC College has been recently named to the 2014 Military Friendly® list which honors the top 20 percent of colleges, universities, and trade schools that are doing the most to embrace America’s Military Service Members, Veterans, and Spouses as students, and ensure their success on campus.
See the original posting of this press release here.
ICDC College Attends Ventura County's Military & Veteran Expo
Written by Lisa McGloiry
ICDC College attended the Military & Veteran Expo sponsored by the Ventura County Military Collaborative (VCMilC)* on August 24th. The VCMilC goal is to serve the Military community of Ventura County, including Active Duty, Reserves, National Guard, Veterans, Military Spouses, and their Families.
Joining more than 50 agencies, and a number of vendors represented at over 90 booths, ICDC College’s Military Outreach team was on hand to assist all those who were interested in learning more information about achieving higher education and transitioning into new careers. Attendees were able to learn more about ICDC College’s 20+ career programs** –– including addiction counseling, security, healthcare, business, accounting –– and have their questions answered about how to best utilize Military educational benefits. In addition to reviewing a number of educational materials at the ICDC College booth, attendees were able pick up some exciting giveaways, including Yellow Ribbon key chains, magnets, and more!
“ICDC College is proud to be a Ventura County Military Collaborative partner and take part in the Military & Veteran Expo this year,” said ICDC College’s National Director of Community and Military Relations. “It’s exciting to help our nation’s heroes realize their career and educational goals.”
ICDC College is designated as a 2014 Military Friendly School® by GI Jobs magazine and included in the top 20% of colleges, universities, and trade schools in the country that are doing the most to embrace America’s Military Service Members, Veterans, and Spouses, to ensure their success on campus.1 ICDC College has received this distinction for the past three consecutive years. ICDC College is also a member of the Service Members Opportunity Colleges (SOC) Consortium.
At this year’s Expo, Military Service Members, Veterans, and their Families were able to enjoy the entertainment provided by a concert band, a motorcycle show, events specifically tailored for children, and the presence of SWAT team and bomb squad.
In addition, a free mobile health clinic, mental health services, and other programs designed especially for Military Families and senior citizens were on hand. Attendees were also able to take advantage of complimentary benefits including transportation to and from the event and free kid-friendly supplies. For those Military members with a huge appetite, free meals were provided, with various food trucks stationed throughout the event.
ICDC College wishes to thank VCMilC for their support of Ventura County’s Military, Veterans, and their Families to reaffirm our continued commitment in this important effort!
*ICDC College is not endorsed, sponsored by or otherwise affiliated with Ventura County Military Collaborative.
**For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed the program, and other important information, please visit our program page at http://ww2.icdccollege.edu/icdccollege.edu/fields-of-study.
1Victoria Media Inc. website (Data extracted September 10, 2013) Retrieved from http://www.Militaryfriendlyschools.com/.
ICDC College Graduate Review – Rudolph Nobles, III
Written by Lisa McGloiry
Rudolph Nobles III, a Veteran of the United States Navy* completed his Military service and returned home to pursue his lifelong dream of going back to school. Read his review of ICDC College as a graduate of ICDC College’s Computerized Accounting1 Diploma and Paralegal2 Associate Degree programs, and his unique perspective about taking classes both on campus and online.
1. First of all, thank you so much for serving our country. Tell us a little more about what it was like to transition from the Military into civilian life?
The experience was very challenging for me. I had served multiple tours overseas while serving in the United States Navy. Once a soldier completes his/her Military service we have many mixed emotions. On the one hand you’re excited to be going home, but at the same time, the Military has been your family for a number of years.
2. You said that you had a lifelong goal to go back to school and earn a college degree. What kept you strong especially when you suffered a traumatic injury while serving our country?
The Military teaches you to be strong and prepare for any challenge. My faith kept me strong and I had people around me that were able to encourage me to keep going.
3. One of your supporters was a friend of yours that recommended you attend ICDC College?
That’s correct. My friend encouraged me to go back to school. He had heard about ICDC College and recommended the school. So I decided to change gears and enroll in ICDC’s Computerized Accounting program that would help prepare me for opening a business one day.
4. You enrolled in the Computerized Accounting Fast-Track Diploma program at ICDC College’s South Bay campus. What was appealing to you about the program?
Well first of all, the Computerized Accounting program was only nine-months. That was appealing to me because with all the challenges I was facing, I knew that whatever I was going to do, mentally and physically, I would have to do it in small steps. I liked the fact that ICDC’s Computerized Accounting nine-month program really gave me the basic fundamentals I needed to understand finances and accounting in general. I mean let’s face it, every business, could use an employee trained in bookkeeping.
5. Tell me how ICDC College helped you with understanding your Military benefits in order to go back to school.
I’m glad you asked me that, because many Veterans know that they have Military benefits available, but don’t understand the different qualifications of each one. I think what people fail to understand is that once a soldier transitions out of the Military, there’s so many things for us to think about, that the last thing we need is the added stress about figuring out our benefits all by ourselves. ICDC College was great with helping me understand that I could qualify for Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E), a Military benefit that assists Veterans like me with service-connected disabilities to go back to school. I like the fact that they took their time to answer all my questions, and through the entire process wanted to let me know they appreciated my service to our country.
6. Tell me a little about life as a student at the South Bay campus.
Well, my instructor was very knowledgeable about the subject and also had practical experience. I like the fact that the classes were small so we had individualized attention.
7. You have a unique perspective in that after you graduated from the Computerized Accounting program in 2009, you decided to enroll in ICDC College’s Paralegal Associate Degree program online. Why?
I’ve always been business-minded, and I thought that pursuing legal studies would be a great compliment to what I had learned in ICDC College’s Computerized Accounting program. When I learned that ICDC College offered a Paralegal Associate Degree online, I jumped onboard. While I enjoyed taking classes on campus, ICDC College’s online program made it very easy for me to continue my studies with my disability.
8. Did you feel that you received the same quality education online that you did at campus?
Definitely. In fact, as an online student I was able to interact with students from all over the world. I loved this aspect of taking classes online, because its similar to the Military in that you get to meet people from all over the world. Secondly, I want to get across that you’re not studying without support. I was able to remain in constant contact with my instructor and interact with my classmates through a discussion board. Another plus is that as part of my tuition, ICDC College gave me a computer to start my classes, so that enabled me to start studying immediately.** Also, because of my disability, frequent trips to a law library would have made it difficult for me to keep up with my studies, so that was another benefit of having the computer, so I could do legal research right from my home.
9. You are using the training you received at ICDC College to help mentor inner city students in Los Angeles, is that correct?
Yes, I am a mentor to at-risk teens. I use my training to teach these young people the importance of opening up and balancing a checking account, and even saving for college. I coach them to have a vision in mind. Maybe they can think about opening their own businesses, or becoming a paralegal or attorney one day.
10. Well, one thing that’s great is that you are really Chef Nobles because you cook them gourmet meals during their study sessions as a way to motivate them.
Yes. People don’t understand that young people aren’t going to focus on their studies if they are hungry. How can anyone really study if they haven’t eaten breakfast or dinner from the night before? I also teach them about eating right and staying away from junk foods because they need to eat quality foods to feed their brains.
11. Chef Nobles, I want to thank you for taking the time to speak with us today and being such an inspiration to our community as a whole.
Thank you, I enjoyed speaking with you too.
*ICDC College is not endorsed, sponsored by or otherwise affiliated with the U.S. Navy.
**Laptop and books/e-books included with tuition. Online students only. Conditions apply, limited time offer.
1For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed the program, and other important information, please visit our program page at http://ww2.icdccollege.edu/computerized-accounting-fast-track-diploma.
2For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed the program, and other important information, please visit our program page at http://ww2.icdccollege.edu/paralegal-associate-degree.
Purple Heart Month at ICDC College
Written by Lisa McGloiry
During the month of August, our nation has the opportunity to recognize members of the U.S. Armed Forces who have been decorated with the nation’s oldest Military award: the Purple Heart award.
The Purple Heart is a United States Military decoration given to combat soldiers who have been wounded or killed in action while serving on or after April 5, 19171. ICDC College will conduct a special fundraiser to benefit wounded Veterans during the month of August in recognition of Purple Heart Day.
On August 7, 1782, General George Washington, commander and chief of the Continental Army and the first President of the United States created the original Purple Heart and designated it as a “Badge for Military Merit.” During the Revolutionary War, three soldiers were decorated with this Military medal for “any singularly meritorious action” and their name and regiment were later inscribed in a “Book of Merit.” 2 The decoration was mostly forgotten until many years later when General Douglas MacArthur championed to reinstate the medal in time for the bicentennial of George Washington’s birth. On Washington’s 200th birthday (February 22, 1932) the U.S. War Department created the “Order of the Purple Heart.”
The Purple Heart was designed to honor George Washington’s achievements and as a result, the heart-shaped medal displays Washington’s coat of arms with the inscription “for Military merit.” As of June 5, 2010, approximately 1,910, 162 soldiers have qualified for the Purple Heart which includes honorees that have served in World War I through the Iraq War.3
Soldiers may not be recommended for the Purple Heart decoration but must meet certain criteria for their injuries sustained during Military operations. All injuries are not considered justifiable in order to qualify for the Purple Heart. Soldier injuries must be enemy-related and include those received by enemy fire, land mines, traps, chemical or biological or nuclear agents, explosions, and vehicle or aircraft accidents. Soldier injuries that do not qualify for the Purple Heart decoration include those received from frostbite, heat stroke, food poisoning, battle fatigue, and post-traumatic stress disorder. However, Commanders have the authority to take into consideration various circumstances so that deserving soldiers may qualify for Purple Heart decoration.4
Did you know?
Shortly after the terrorist attacks of 9/11/2001, a special medal was made to award civilian employees of the U.S. Department of Defense. While the Purple Heart is reserved for only men and women in uniform, the “Secretary of Defense Medal for the Defense of Freedom” is a decoration to acknowledge Department of Defense civilian employees who were wounded in the line of duty5. The medal includes the red, white, and blue colors of the United States. There are four stripes on the medal to represent the four terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001.
We Say “Thank You!”
ICDC College salutes all soldiers who have received the Purple Heart decoration now and in the future. Thank you for your bravery and resilience in the face of impending death and injury. We wish to continue to thank all our men and women in uniform for their dedication and service while serving to protect the great United States of America!
1Wikipedia website (Data extracted from August 1, 2013) Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purple_Heart.
2History website August 7th, This Day In History (Data extracted on July 31, 2013) Retrieved from http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/washington-creates-the-purple-heart.
3Wikipedia website (Data extracted from August 1, 2013) Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purple_Heart#cite_note-natgeo-1.
4Recognize the Sacrifice website Purple Heart Criteria (Data extracted from August 12, 2013) Retrieved from http://www.recognizethesacrifice.org/purple-heart-criteria.html.
5Wikipedia(Data extracted from August 1, 2013) Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secretary_of_Defense_Medal_for_the_Defense_of_Freedom.