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Medical Education and Training Campus adds USUHS to degree partnership program

By David DeKunder | 502nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs | Jan. 26, 2017

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO, Texas —

Students who complete their training at the Medical Education and Training Campus at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston will have the opportunity to earn an associate degree under an agreement between METC and the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, or USUHS.

USUHS, located in Bethesda, Md., is a graduate-level military medical institution that educates, trains and prepares health professionals, officers and leaders serving in the armed forces and who support the Department of Defense Military Health System.

Under its degree partnership program, METC has agreements with 60 institutions which include 1,000 degree pathways for former METC students to further their education. Colleges and universities who participate in the degree partnership program give METC graduates credit for portions of the training they received at METC.

Lt. Col. Melanie Ellis, METC Chief of Strategic Planning and Partnerships, said USUHS was given the authority to issue undergraduate degrees in a provision of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2017.

Obtaining an associate degree from USUHS will allow METC students who complete their training to further their education, said Ellis.

“Our USUHS affiliation will help our servicemembers achieve their educational goals,” Ellis said.

To earn the associate degree, METC students who complete their training will need to submit a transcript of general education courses they have completed to meet the degree requirements to USUHS.

Once a METC student has obtained an associate degree, Ellis said they can use it to put them on a pathway toward earning a bachelor’s or post-graduate level degree.

Currently, the agreement sets ups a pilot program in which students from four METC programs – medical laboratory technician, neurodiagnostic technologist, nuclear medicine technologist and surgical technologist – will be able to obtain an associate degree from USUHS if they meet the requirements set by the school. Ellis said METC plans to add more of their programs to the USUHS affiliation in the future.

“We want to get servicemembers on the quickest pathway to a degree by giving them credit for the training they have already accomplished,” Ellis said.  

Since METC was established in 2010, more than 100,000 students have completed training at the medical campus. METC includes 48 medical training programs and trains Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard medics, corpsmen and technicians. METC is the world’s largest enlisted medical training education campus, graduating an average of 20,000 students per year, and is the largest consolidation of military training in Department of Defense history. Ninety-five percent of enlisted medical technical education in the armed forces occurs at METC.

For more information on the degree pathway programs, visit http://www.metc.mil/degreebridge/.