Derek Hadrian and Daniel Champagne are two U.S. Army Reserve soldiers who were deployed during 2016 to Afghanistan. While there, they enrolled in a history class offered through Northwood’s Adult Degree Program, becoming two of the approximately 450 Northwood students around the world with military connections. Hadrian and Champagne shared some of their thoughts as they embarked on a journey of personal growth.
HADRIAN: I chose to enlist in the military Schools-Gold Status after September 11th. I felt it was my duty as a United States citizen to join the fight in defending our country and our beliefs. I carry great pride in being able to mentor and grow the future of our Army.
Northwood offers a range of benefits, including tuition assistance and academic credit for military education, to active-duty military personnel and veterans. Flexible scheduling allows military personnel to plan courses around deployment and temporary duty assignments.
CHAMPAGNE: Northwood University was referred to me by my lifelong friend Derek Hadrian, who also happened to be deployed with me. I chose Northwood because of their success rate as well as their hard work and devotion to veterans and service members.
Northwood has been recognized by several national organizations for its efforts to accommodate military personnel, families and veterans:
• Military Times (Best for Vets) • Victory Media (Military Friendly School) • Military Advanced Education and Transition (Top College or University) • Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency (Veteran Friendly
HADRIAN: As a service member, I've realized that education is key to rising above your peers. Being able to understand the full scope of a mission or plan helps with the performance and execution of the plan. But military service can also hinder the progression, with all the hurdles we face in trying to complete college coursework while deployed.
In addition to online offerings, Northwood makes education as accessible as possible for military personnel with classrooms at three military bases:
• Naval Air Station, Joint Reserve Base, Fort Worth (Texas) • Naval Air Station, Joint Reserve Base, New Orleans (Louisiana) • Selfridge Air National Guard Base (Michigan)
CHAMPAGNE: People are afraid of change. We settle for what we have, because we are comfortable. But the truth is, sometimes we need to take risks and try new things to achieve success. By enrolling in college, I have made that change. I am sacrificing time with my family, while being deployed as well as continuing college when I return, in order to reach my end goal of a better career and better life for my family.
Because of Northwood’s participation in a number of military and federal government programs, military personnel can connect with Northwood at any point of their military life cycle, from recruitment to retirement, and many active military students graduate from the Adult Degree Program with no student debt.
HADRIAN: My advice would be to find time. Don't let the excuse "I don't have the time" hold you back from advancing your future. At the end of the day, it's up to you to make your future bright. Not just for yourself, but for your family.
A special section of Northwood’s website (www.northwood.edu/military) is dedicated to military programs, policies and opportunities.