On May 11, the first graduate of the Synchronous Training and Academic Credit program received an associate’s degree from Salina Area Technical College, validating the partnership between the school and the Kansas National Guard.
This partnership is the first of its kind to give Soldier attending the Allied Trades course at the Regional Training Site Maintenance the opportunity to earn college credits toward an associate’s degree while they receive their military training. To date, there have been 17 students enrolled into the STAC program from military installations around the globe with plans to expand the program to include more specialties from the Ordnance Corps.
Staff Sgt. Tracy Marble, an instructor at the Kansas RTS-M in Salina, volunteered to join the program and serve as both troubleshooter and liaison during the initial stages. Working hand in hand, Salina Tech Staff and Marble developed procedures and standards that satisfied both military and civilian academic criteria.
After completing the Advanced Leaders Course and submitting his military and civilian transcripts, Marble was awarded nearly enough credits to earn his degree. Once all of his training and education were accepted, he enrolled in online classes to finish the remaining credits required in his degree plan.
After roughly one year, Marble earned an associate’s degree in applied technical studies, graduating magna cum laude and was inducted into the National Technical Honors Society. Through an agreement with Fort Hays State University, Marble intends to transfer his credits and pursue a bachelor’s degree in technical studies and leadership.