Recognizing National Military Appreciation Month: Busy Life and College Fit for Navy Veteran

Navy flag

At Excelsior College, approximately 30% of our students are active-duty or reserve military personnel. In recognition of National Military Appreciation Month, Excelsior Life celebrates current students and graduates who have served and continue to serve our country. Today we share a story of a veteran of the U.S. Navy who will be able to finish his degree on the go with distance learning.

Bob Quaas, a veteran of the U.S. Navy, joined the Non Commissioned Officers Association (NCOA) to network, stay current on issues impacting veterans, and retain a link to military life.

Soon after joining, Quaas, who took some classes on active duty and earned an associate’s degree while in the reserves, learned that the NCOA had an educational partnership with Excelsior College, an accredited distance learning institution with a first-rate reputation among the military. Under the agreement, Quaas could pursue a bachelor’s degree at a reduced tuition and fee rate.

Still, cost was just one factor influencing his decision. While he knew several Excelsior graduates including his instructor at the Navy Nuclear Power School, Quaas needed to conduct extensive research for himself.

“Travel was a large part of my job, so I needed to find a quality school that was flexible enough to complete around my hectic work schedule. I needed to be able to finish my degree on the go – just grab my laptop and access my classes from anywhere. Excelsior provided the flexibility to do just that.”

Quaas enrolled in the Bachelor of Science in Technology with area of focus in  electronic/Instrumentation Technologies, transferring in credits from both Navy Nuclear Power School and community college. The ability to transfer credits already mastered elsewhere saved him both time and tuition costs.

“The market was changing,” says Quaas. “Before an employer wanted experience, now it’s both an education and experience. The job pool is so large that those without a bachelor’s degree are getting weeded out. I didn’t want that to happen to me, plus I knew a degree would help me advance in my career.”

While he had taken online courses in the past, Quaas was pleasantly surprised by how challenging Excelsior’s coursework was.

“I’ve taken classes in the military, on traditional campuses and now through Excelsior, and believe me, if you enroll at Excelsior, you should be prepared to work,” said Quaas, who, just a few classes shy of his bachelor’s degree sports a 3.81 GPA.

“I’ve always been someone who enjoyed school. I guess I’m what you would call a lifelong learner, so for me, this was a great choice.”