Veteran Career Training Questions
What is Onward to Opportunity?
Onward to Opportunity (O2O) — formerly known as the Veterans Career Transition Program (VCTP) — is a new initiative designed to bring tailored, industry-specific skills training and certifications to transitioning active duty service members, National Guard and Reservists, veterans, and their spouses both on and off select U.S. military bases. The objective of the program is to provide program participants with skills training linked to in-demand civilian career opportunities, so as to make them immediately qualified to work for leading U.S. companies. READ MORE.
What is this program’s relationship to TAP/Transition GPS?
This program is complementary to existing transition programs – building upon existing curriculum to provide industry-specific training to connect service members with specific employment opportunities.
Who is eligible for Onward to Opportunity?
- Active Duty Military – Any transitioning active duty service member who will transition from military service to the civilian workforce in the next 6 months with an honorable discharge status.
- Veterans – Any veteran separated or retired from the military with an honorable discharge status.
- National Guard / Reservists – Any active member of the National Guard and Reserve that is currently in a part-time status. If the service member is on active duty status in the National Guard or Reserve, they are subject to the active duty eligibility. See last two FAQs below for more information.
- Spouses –Spouses of any active duty military service member, veteran and active member of the National Guard or Reserve.
How can I apply to the O2O program?
Please complete the interest form located here. After you submit an online interest form, you will be invited to continue the application process for a future cohort or be added to a waitlist. Once you are invited to continue the application process, you will need to complete an online assessment. Please refer to our program’s application page for further information.
What purpose does the assessment serve? Is it a test?
The assessment is not a test. It is designed to gauge your interest in our training tracks, and asks you to identify your professional experience which is relevant to O2O training, as well as your comfort with skills and tasks related to our partners’ employment opportunities.
Who can I talk to if I have questions about the program or my O2O application?
IVMF’s Enrollment Services team is happy to answer any questions you may have prior to starting the program. They can be reached at IVMFeducation@syr.edu or (315) 443 – 6898. Once you begin the program, you will have an IVMF Advisor or Installation Coordinator assigned to you several days before your cohort is scheduled. This will be your primary POC from that point on.
I just submitted my online interest form: What’s next?
As soon as you submit your online interest form, you will receive correspondence to the email address you provided (must be non-military email address). This correspondence will outline the next steps you can expect to take. After completing the online interest form, you can expect to hear from IVMF Enrollment Services within 10 business days.
What documents do I need to upload with my O2O application?
During the application process, you will be asked to upload the most recent version of your resume and to provide you recent employment history in the body of your online assessment. You will also need a copy of your (or your spouse’s) DD-214. If you are still on active duty or if you recently transitioned out of the military and do not have your DD-214 yet, you may submit it at a later time. Click here to get started!
Why do I have to have a current LinkedIn profile in order to apply to the program?
By having a current LinkedIn profile, you set yourself up for success in your professional networking, industry-related research, and job search strategy – whether you are actively seeking employment now or will be in the future. If you do not have a LinkedIn profile yet, and you need guidance creating one, please visit veterans.linkedin.com.
What fees are associated with the O2O program?
There are no fees. All of the coursework, practice exams, one industry certification exam fee, and career services support are free to participants.
Do I have to use my educational benefits?
No, the O2O program is fully funded by JPMorgan Chase & Co. and the Shultz Family Foundation. You will not use any VA educational benefits with our program.
Do I need to purchase any textbooks or software?
No, you are not required to purchase any additional course materials. All of the required materials are provided within the online coursework. We do encourage you to explore additional resources to best position yourself for success with certification examinations; however, the program does not cover the cost of purchasing these additional materials, so it is important to stay in touch with your POC in the program.
What do I need to do in order to have the program pay for my industry certification?
Step 1 – Complete the required coursework.
Step 2 – Complete the practice exam requirements for the corresponding industry certification exam.
Step 3 – Contact your IVMF Advisor or Installation Coordinator to confirm you have completed steps 1 & 2 successfully and to request payment for your industry certification exam fee. Do not pay your own exam fee – the program cannot reimburse exam fees.
How long will I have to complete the course?
Your first course must be completed within 90 days of your cohort start date. If you do not complete your first course within 90 days of the cohort start date, your case will be reviewed and you may be removed from the program.
Will I be able to obtain proof of completion for these courses?
Yes. Upon completion of coursework, you will receive non-credit certificates of completion from the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University. The online learning management system also provides proof of completion that can be used toward Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for maintaining professional certifications.
What kinds of services can my IVMF Advisor or Installation Coordinator provide?
Your IVMF Advisor or Installation Coordinator will be your primary contact during your time in the program. They assist with general questions, provide essential updates on deadlines and opportunities, process registration and practice exam access, and assist with the coordination of industry certification exam fee payment. They can also connect you with our partners at Hire Heroes USA for career-coaching opportunities.
What resources do I need to participate in O2O?
You will need dedicated time set aside for your coursework; we recommend about 5-6 hours per week. You will also need a reliable computer with consistent, high-speed net.
Will I have weekly assignments and an instructor for the online training portion of the program?
No, the coursework is delivered 100% online, and it is self-paced, computer-based training. You will have access to industry-specific subject matter experts and your assigned POC during the program (either an IVMF Advisor or Installation Coordinator).
Do O2O courses prepare me for industry certification?
Our courses are designed to prepare transitioning veterans, service members, and spouses for careers in the civilian workforce by teaching useful skills, as well as validating skills you have learned in the military. Many of our courses are also geared toward preparing you for valuable industry certifications. For a complete list of what courses are offered and where, as well as the associated certification paths, please visit our Career Tracks & Course Offerings page.
How else does the program help me prepare for my industry certification exam?
The program provides you with educational courses that provide specific knowledge and skillsets for associated certification exams. In most cases, the program also provides individuals with a practice exam to help gauge your knowledge before sitting for the actual certification exam. We also encourage students to utilize additional resources to adequately prepare for the certification exam.
Can I participate in the program more than once?
No, participants are allotted one opportunity to participate in the O2O program.
What if I qualify for more than one of the eligibility criteria?
An Active Duty selection in eligibility criteria takes precedence over all other eligibility choices including veteran, spouse or national guard/reserve status.
- If a service member is a veteran of one service, but currently serves on active duty of another service, they fall under the active duty eligibility.
- If a service member is a spouse and currently serves on active duty, that service member falls under the active duty status.
What if I am in the National Guard or Reserve AND on Active Duty status?
All National Guard and Reserve service members are subject to the restrictions below:
- National Guard and Reserve service members can take part in O2O with no restrictions if they are on a part-time status in the National Guard or Reserve and eligible for civilian employment.
- If a National Guard or Reserve service member is on active duty orders (Title 32 or Title 10) for over 6 months or are part of the Active Guard Reserves (AGR), the service member is not eligible for O2O until 6 months (180 days) prior to separation or return to part time status.