By Amanda Sotelo, TSTC Staff
For the first time Texas State Technical College has been recognized as a Military Spouse Friendly school for 2019-2020 by Viqtory.
Viqtory is a service-disabled, veteran-owned small business that connects the military community to civilian employment, education and entrepreneurial opportunities through its G.I. Jobs, Military Spouse and Military Friendly brands.
TSTC Veterans Center Director Steve Guevara said this award reinforces the college’s commitment to military service members, veterans and their families.
“This is the first year we receive the Military Spouse Friendly recognition, and it’s a great honor,” said Guevara. “We continuously work to improve our services and ensure that we provide the best resources and assistance for veterans and their families.”
A press release released by Viqtory states that since 2009, the Military Spouse Friendly schools list has been a reliable resource for military spouses and has set a standard for higher education institutions to provide the best post-secondary education experiences for spouses of service members.
“The Military Spouse Friendly Schools designation helps military spouses select schools that will support them in their education journey by meeting their unique needs as a part of a military family,” said Brian Hucik, National Program Manager, Military Friendly. “Schools that are selected for the list are at the forefront of supporting the goals of military spouses.”
TSTC’s Veterans Center serves more than 850 military service members, veterans and their dependents including TSTC alumna and spouse to a veteran Stephanie Garcia.
Garcia, who graduated with an associate degree in Business Management Technology, now works for TSTC as a student recruitment representative and said that she would not be where she is today without TSTC’s Veteran Center.
“The veteran center is a support system for veterans and their families,” said Garcia, who was also a student worker employee at the center. “I knew that when I was there I was never alone.”
Garcia said that Guevara and his colleague, Veteran Program Officer Jose Villegas, assisted her with the application process for her educational benefits.
She would also use the Veterans Center for its computer lab and printer and for studying and relaxing.
“I got to experience the difference the center makes in someone’s life first hand,” said Garcia. “There, everyone is going through the same thing and everyone is understood. I encourage every veteran, dependent and family member to utilize its resources. Because without the Veterans Center I don’t think I could have gone through school.”
Guevara said it is stories like Garcia’s that make everything they do worthwhile.
“This award reinforces our commitment to our service members, veterans and their families,” said Guevara. “A military family can find peace of mind that TSTC supports their educational interests and goals.”
TSTC is one of only 196 schools that were awarded this designation for 2019-2020.
The Military Spouse Friendly lists are created using data and sources from federal agencies and survey information completed by participating organizations to create a guide for military spouses looking to further their education.
TSTC, for the fourth consecutive year, has also been designated as a Military Friendly School by the same organization
“To be recognized as both a Military Friendly School and a Military Spouse Friendly School speaks volumes of our support to military families,” said Guevara.
The TSTC Veterans Center assists military service members, veterans and their families statewide with internal and external resources to ensure their educational success at TSTC.
The TSTC Veterans Center serves as a centralized, one-stop shop for prospective and current students who are veterans, as well as their dependents. The center assists with admissions, financial aid, GI Bill and Hazlewood applications.
In addition to the Veterans Center, TSTC also offers self-paced, competency-based learning for veterans who have gained applicable skills through their service in the military. Veterans can receive credit for these skills to move ahead on their certificate or degree plan quicker.
For more information on the services offered by TSTC’s Veteran Center, call 956-364-4387 or visit tstc.edu/veterans.