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1617 Mission Avenue
Oceanside, CA, 92058
United States


To provide local military veterans the networking opportunities they need to excel in life after deployment, while also providing a unique training experience that can enable them to enter the workforce as stronger decision makers, more active leaders, and efficient problem solvers. 



Blog updates on our program.


What does opportunity look like for many Americans?

Sallay Kim

For many of us, it might involve attending higher education or a trade school that allows us to contribute to our world. Some select individuals choose to serve our country. They put their own needs on hold to serve the greater good. While many of us serve in the public sector and gain experience through years of work in our chosen field, our Military members don't have the same experience of working in the civilian world and may have a hard time making the transition. Our service members average about 15 years in the military. They are in the military world, which is vastly different than civilian work, although parallels exist.

For many of us, we may change jobs, careers or move to another state. All of these things can be stressful for anyone and may be magnified for a service member transitioning from the military to civilian life. Our military members work within a team environment with a particular hierarchy that they must abide by, and have little experience working in the corporate world. They focus on learning leadership, teamwork, and advancement within a highly structured system. Imagine being sent to another planet for two years and instantly trying to assimilate to our "normal" world on the return. Earth could be quite frightening if you stop and think through the details. This is an extreme example, but I think you get the point.

When transitioning members leave the military, there is a loss of identity for a time (for some not all). Letting go of the old and trying to grasp the new. It can be a very lonely road trying to assimilate to the world at hand. And the longer you serve, the harder it can be to digest. That's why we like to connect transitioning or retired military members with a career path that they can move to after their service to our country. Now there are many career paths that our military members can choose when they retire, but we found that emergency services are a more natural progression from service to our country to helping local communities through fire and medical care.

We ask that you stop and think of any transitioning military or veteran that could use a hand up in making the Fire/Paramedics career path a reality and introduce them to our organization. Remind them that their service to our country can and will add value to their new world. "You must look within for value, but must look beyond for perspective."- Denis Waitley

New Year, New Me, New Degree: Part III

Sallay Kim

Part Three:

Here we are at your final stage of starting your new resolution, the “how-to” part.  A lot of you may have been here before and not sure where to start but let me attempt to help you…

Well, did you know that the United States has 2,474 private and public 4-year institutions (UNI) and 1,666 2-year institutions (CC)?  In California alone, there are 264 4-year institutions (UNI) and a whopping 745 2-year institutions (CC) with 8 of them in San Diego County alone.  As you can see, there is a lot to choose from so you should be asking yourself about types of degree programs, location, cost, format (online or in person or even a combo), career opportunities post-graduation, etc.. then ask yourself, when should I get started? And if the answer is not NOW, then I did not do my job.  

It is all about the research and asking questions.  You may find a lot of your questions answered on school’s websites or by contacting their Admissions, Transfer, or Veteran’s Centers.  DO NOT BE AFRAID TO ASK QUESTIONS! In my book, there are no “stupid questions” and I am always pre-warned by students that they have a “stupid question”.  No, it is not stupid- it is my job to give you the answers you need to be successful.

Research financial opportunities like scholarships and financial aid.  Research different degree programs and what types of career paths fit with those specific degrees. Sometimes they may require a 2-year associates degree and some may require a 4-year bachelor degree.  Obviously, the higher the degree the more $$ you should make but that can depend on the type of job you go for. A lot of times you will be able to see starting and ending salaries with specific jobs and if that doesn’t put a fire under you, I am not sure what will! A little Google searching goes a long way!

If you are thinking about starting or going back to school, I know it can be a daunting feeling but try to see the end goal here. Degrees= ideal career paths and desired lifestyles. Remember there a many ways and opportunities to obtain your degree (at any level) and obtaining one could open up so many opportunities for you!  Just think, in 2-4 years’ time, you will be thinking about your 2019 resolution to go back to school and you will be creating a new one for the dream job you want because you now have met the requirements to HAVE that job. It is never too late to start living the life you dream of and having the education and career that fits it!

New Year, New Me, New Degree: Part II

Sallay Kim

Welcome back!  I know you all have been waiting all week for this and are eager to hear more about your new found resolution so, let’s get to it!

Now that I have almost convinced you to start or go back to school, let’s talk about the differences between Universities and Community College.  If you already know, you can skim past this part but I highly suggest that you don’t skim too fast because you might miss some good juicy details. For the purpose of saving my typing fingers from falling off, I am going to refer to a University as UNI and a Community College as a CC.  I currently work for a local CC in San Diego and I get ask a lot of times if I ever attended said CC. The answer is no, I never attended said CC or any CC for that matter. After high school, I wanted to leave my small hometown as soon as possible and experience the world! The world of a 4-year UNI, that is.  Although I never attended a CC, I have been working for one for almost 4 years now and the reality is, what I learned during my first 2 years at the UNI level was pretty much what you would learn at a CC but at a prettier penny.

So, what is the difference? There are MANY but I’ll give you the brief version of the differences between the two and you can make your best judgement.  I don’t know about you, but when I was growing up, CC’s had a bad stereotype around my high school but now looking back, I question why? CC’s have a lot to offer our students and community.  They provide students with 2-year Associate Degrees and/or Certificate programs in a plethora of subjects. They provide degrees and certificates for those white-collar jobs likes plumbing, H-VAC, electrician, paramedic, law enforcement, firefighting, etc.. They provide general education to those who do not know what they want to study yet BUT still want to get started.  Regardless of the degree program (whether it is business or nursing or any other degree) general education is required and a lot of students start at a CC to complete those requirements to eventually complete their associate degree or to transfer those credits to a 4-year UNI to complete their bachelor’s degree. Attending a CC is typically cheaper and more affordable (YAY!) than starting off right at the UNI level.  For California, the state tuition rate at CC’s is $46.00 per unit meaning, a 3-unit History class for general education would be $138.00. At a UNI that could be 3X more the price for ONE single lower-division course. There are also a lot of state and federal funded aid programs and scholarships that can help fund your college courses. CC’s is also known for its flexible schedules and accelerated courses to help you get through some of those “not so interesting” courses you may be dreading…*cough* math. A CC is also really great for those who are not really ready to hop right into a degree program but who like to explore their options before diving deep into their education. In my opinion, CC’s are awesome and they are very much overlooked and that might be because the idea of the “college lifestyle” that lives at those big 4-year UNI’s.  

Why a UNI? Simple answer, to get your bachelor degree. In my personal opinion, attending a UNI was one of the best experiences of my life.  I was embedded into the college atmosphere and loved every single moment of it. But everyone’s goal, road map, and accessibility to education is different and my experience may be different than a million others in the world. The key to this is THAT IT IS OK.  I get a number of students who come in and they look defeated that they are “just now” coming into my office to get started with school and that they “wish they went straight to a UNI after high school”. IT IS OK to have a different road map that leads to your educational goal but the important thing is that you are here and getting started.  Depending on where you are in life, maybe starting right at a UNI is a good idea, if you are ready for that commitment. While attending a 4-year UNI you might find that it is more expensive, the lower-division classes might be a little harder, the transition from your currently lifestyle into a full-speed UNI program might be a hard adjustment but you might also find that there are ways to help pay for school through financial aid and scholarships, that you love a good challenge, and that multitasking isn’t that hard for you.  The ultimate goal of attending a 4-year UNI is to obtain your bachelor degree which in return, like I discussed before, could boost your knowledge and experience to get you that well-paying job you deserve. Whatever the case may be, let me give you a little food for thought…

Although I LOVED everything about attending a 4-year UNI, at the end of the day, it didn’t matter how I obtained my degree, just that I had my bachelor degree. With that being said, I think if I could go back and do it again, I would start at a CC and then transfer to a 4-year UNI to finish my bachelor degree.  By the end of it, I could have had a 2-year associate degree AND my 4-year bachelor degree. Your first 2 years at the UNI level is basically what you would do at the CC, but at a better price with flexible scheduling for all those working and family people out there. For the most part, all CC’s are accredited colleges and are easily transferrable to your dream UNI.  A common misconception of CC’s is that they are a waste of time and they are not transferrable to the UNI level. This is in fact, is wrong. As long as your CC and UNI have matching accreditations or they are both public schools, your credits should transfer. It is not a waste of time and it will save you a lot of money!  

Look at it now, your name on a pretty piece of paper that says, “Bachelor of Science in Business Science – University of California, San Diego”.  It won’t say underneath it “attended CC to obtain this degree”. Whatever way you go about it, you still get that degree and career you earned. YOU DO YOU!

So I convinced you, didn’t I?  Find out next week how to get started with you education!