Terrence McCabe graduated from Prince William Sound College (PWSC) in 2017 with an Occupational Endorsement Certificate in Millwright.
While serving in the United States Coast Guard in Valdez, he started taking classes at the college. He became interested in the Millwright program because of a recommendation from a friend. He also thought it would be a chance to learn new skills.
McCabe is currently working at Pogo Mine and states, “I learned a very wide range of skills in the Millwright program that I use here. I’m almost certain without the certification and networking that I received, I would not have been able to get the job I have now.”
Despite working full time, McCabe was able to fit in classes, stating, “It kept me busy during the week, but it is definitely manageable. Most of the students in the class also have full-time jobs and the instructor, Dennis Eastman, is very understanding and is willing to work with you to make sure you learn everything that you need to succeed in class. In the class of 2016, there were several people stationed on boats who still were able to attend class.”
McCabe also developed skills that greatly assisted him with his daily work in the Coast Guard: “I was really able to work on my welding and get much better at it. We also learned a lot about pumps and turbines, which is super beneficial especially for people being stationed on boats.”
He was able to finance his education through the Coast Guard’s tuition assistance program and an education tax credit: “I think I paid $1,500 or so after tuition assistance, so it is reasonable to pay for. Since I was a full-time college student I got an extra $2,500 back on my tax return just for being a student, so I made money attending class.”
McCabe recommends the program to others who may want to transition into a different career in the future: “If you are planning on getting out of the Coast Guard in the near future or trying to learn a new trade, just sign up for it. It’s easy to make excuses not to do it, but for the most part in the winter, there isn’t much going on in the evenings, so you might as well be learning a new trade and getting college credit.”
If you are interested in learning more about millwright classes or earning a degree or certificate from PWSC call us at 834-1600 to set up an academic advising appointment.