TCC’s new program guides military students

Photo courtesy of WTXL.

Tallahassee Community College hs started a new program called The Pathfinders to aid active duty, retired and affiliated military officers into transitioning as a student at the college. The Pathfinders program employs and provides service veterans with instruction, assistance, opportunities, activism, financial planning as well as a sense of belonging.

The term Pathfinders at TCC is an individual in the military who goes ahead of the platoon or squad and seeks a secure path for all to follow. The Pathfinders program is directed toward military individuals by first determining their majors and than leading them down their path that eventually produces lucrative jobs.

Danny James, the Veterans Success Center coordinator for TCC, said his office provides numerous resources to the military students. 

“The Pathfinders program was designed to see our students from applications to graduation. From the time a student applies to TCC, they will be sent to us at the veteran’s center to make sure they know the things we provide. For instance, the use of the Veteran’s Success Center. Another thing we do is help them out with the application process if needed. As well as get their GI Bill benefits started and provide academic advisement,” James said.

The Pathfinders offers tutoring services and can teach career growth while ensuring that military students understand their excellent ability and build a professional resume that can stand out from others.

The Pathfinders aim to assure military students that they have a clear path by the time they graduate by offering internships, helping them meet their educational potential, career aspirations, and assisting military students in becoming the best version of themselves.

Frank Brown, a military student at TCC, said The Pathfinders program allowed him to push forward with his dream of going back to school.

“I was in the military for 20 years going from the military to civilian life is a  different ball game. It is easy to feel out of place and lost. Meeting with the people here at the Veterans Center Pathfinders program gave me the confidence to find my direction and where I was going. It was a bit daunting, I was almost tempted to go back to work, knowing that my dream was to go back to school and get a degree. Leaders of The Pathfinders program pointed me in the right direction and put a hand to my back,” Brown said. 

The Pathfinders has taken the initiative to create a lounge area for military students to relax in called stars for stripes, including a TV, couches, foot and leg massagers. The lounge was  approved by the president last week and is scheduled to be up and running by the fall semester.

Pamela Johnston, a career and academic planner at TCC, said The Pathfinders program has an assessment called Super Strong that allows leaders to see their military students’ interests. 

“Besides creating the new lounge room, we also have a program called Super Strong. Super Strong is part of the application process to TCC. It is just an assessment to see what individual interests are based on their personality type. It’s a pretty long assessment, very thorough. By utilizing Super Strong, we can guide military students in the direction they want to go,” Johnston said.

The Pathfinders program is located in the college’s Veterans Success Center, which serves as a one-stop-shop for military students and their family members.