Many of you are probably aware of the opportunities that exist for members of the Canadian Armed Forces to have their education paid for in return for a certain amount of active service. The Royal Military College in Kingston, Ontario grants degrees to military bound young people from across the country every year,along with military training.
What some of you might not be familiar with is the fact that a similar program exists for students interested in certain community college programs. The Subsidized Education plan, or SEP, is designed for qualified students who are interested in Canadian Forces associated trades, and who are interested in enlisting in the military. In return, the CF will pay students a full time salary while they are in school, along with all tuition and associated costs (books, supplies, etc...) and ultimately, the students will walk into a full time job the minute they graduate. For each month of school that the military pays for, the student owes two months of service in return. Roughly speaking, a two year program will require four years of service after graduation.
Recently, my colleague, Jenn Craig and I were invited, along with representatives from various other community colleges across the country, to participate in an information session at CFB Esquimault, in Victoria BC. We were given in depth tours of the fleet school, the base, and were taken out to sea on the HMS Calgary, where we were treated to an incredible display of the kinds of things our navy personnel are up to these days.
Over a whirlwind two day experience, we watched a simulated rescue at sea, rappelling maneuvers from Cormorant and Sea King helicopters, weapons displays, and dozens of other amazing sophisticated displays of our military capabilities. Along the way, we spoke to several enlisted members who had gone through the Subsidized Education Program and were now continuing their careers in the military. We heard a lot of great stories about people who had travelled the world, met amazing people, and made good money in a stable career environment.
Programs at NSCC that the military will fund include Electrical Engineering Technology, Cooking, Aircraft Maintenance Technician, and Dental Assisting Level II - for more information, go to www.forces.ca