Dallas College News Update

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Army veteran Catherine Kim is pursuing a college degree thanks in part to support from Dallas College. “It made me feel like I could do this,” she said.

Contact: Debra Dennis; ddennis@dcccd.edu

For immediate release — July 7, 2021

(DALLAS) — As the general manager for a mobile phone company, Catherine Kim knew how to run 10 stores and supervise 50 employees.

But something was missing. She knew she needed to equip herself with a college degree if she planned to advance. A college degree would bring authenticity and credibility to her already-impressive work ethic that includes 10 years of military service. While in the Army, Kim was a truck driver for an aviation unit. She also fueled and loaded rockets onto helicopters.

“I took a 10-year break from school,” said Kim, who joined the Army in 2010 — a couple of months after graduating high school.

After her general discharge under honorable conditions, Kim took at a job where she was responsible for others but felt she wanted more heft in her resume.

“I realized I could have this position, but still I need to know more. Something was lacking. I had the experience to get a decent job, but to really advance, I knew that I would have to get a degree,” said Kim, who enrolled in Dallas College in 2019.

The hardest part about her journey to college was taking the first step, Kim said.

“At first it was tough because of the verbiage, but after that — and once you’ve got the basics — you’re building on what you’ve learned, and I feel I’m doing that,” said Kim, who is taking a summer course at Dallas College North Lake Campus while also pursuing a degree at the University of North Texas. “Dallas College is reaching out to veterans and giving them stipends, materials, instructors and other support. It made me feel like I could do this.”

Kim is like many veterans who are reluctant about stepping out of their comfort zones, said Duane Davis, program director for the Dallas College Veterans Upward Bound program.

Dallas College offers four federally funded outreach programs, including TRIO Veterans Upward Bound, that provide resources as well as assistance with applications, financial aid and counseling. “The goal is to prepare students for academic success,” Davis said. Veterans are encouraged to brush up on basics like mathematics, English and science so that they can move forward with their education.

Dallas College serves the needs of many veterans who have been out of college or who are trying to re-enter. These services help nontraditional students gain both confidence and skills.

For instance, TRIO Veterans Upward Bound assists with applications, financial aid and counseling. The courses are online and on campus and free of charge. The goal is to prepare students for academic success while easing the path to getting into college. Students in TRIO Veterans Upward Bound do not need to enroll at Dallas College, although potential students are encouraged to reach out for assistance and consider an education at Dallas College.

“Some veterans need this program to bridge them to getting into school,” Davis said. “With this program, they can pursue careers in a lot of different areas.“

All seven Dallas College campuses offer military-connected services, including spaces where veterans can find support and community.

The grant for TRIO Veterans Upward Bound ends in 2022, Davis said. To be eligible for programs, applicants need to be veterans with a discharge above dishonorable.

In addition to TRIO Veterans Upward Bound, Dallas College offers other programs including TRIO Educational Talent Search (ETS), TRIO Upward Bound (UB) and TRIO Student Support Services (SSS).

To learn more about veterans programs at Dallas College, contact Duane Davis at 972-860-7054 or DuaneDavis@dcccd.edu, or Keelah Wilson at 972-860-7262 or keelahw@dcccd.edu.

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