Coast Guard, Chicago State University establish partnership

Rear Adm. Joanna Nunan, commander, Ninth Coast Guard District, and Zaldwaynaka Scott, Esq., president of Chicago State University, sign a Memorandum of Agreement during a ceremony at the university, November 30, 2018. The initiative, part of the Coast Guard's Minority Serving Institution Partnership Program, creates a partnership focused on increasing diversity within the Coast Guard's officer corps while providing scholarship and research opportunities for students. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Master Chief Petty Officer Alan Haraf)

Rear Adm. Joanna Nunan, commander, Ninth Coast Guard District, and Zaldwaynaka Scott, Esq., president of Chicago State University, sign a Memorandum of Agreement during a ceremony at the university, November 30, 2018.  (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Master Chief Petty Officer Alan Haraf)

CHICAGO — The U.S. Coast Guard and Chicago State University partnered together to increase the diversity of the agency’s military officers and provide students with scholarship and research opportunities and prepare them for the workforce, Friday.

Rear Adm. Joanna Nunan, commander, Ninth Coast Guard District, and Zaldwaynaka Scott, Esq., president of Chicago State University, signed a memorandum of agreement during a ceremony in the university’s Gwendolyn Brooks Library, which was attended by members of the Coast Guard and administrative staff and students from the university.

The initiative is part of the Coast Guard’s Minority Serving Institution Partnership Program. Central to the agreement, the Coast Guard offers scholarship and loan forgiveness programs, such as the College Student Pre-Commissioning Initiative (CSPI), which provides selected students with full tuition for up to two academic years and Coast Guard active-duty benefits and pay (up to $3,600 monthly) during their junior and senior years of college. It also provides students with valuable leadership, management, law enforcement, navigation and marine science skills and training. Seniors who enlist in the Coast Guard could also have up to $60,000 in student loan debt forgiven through the CSPI Student Loan Repayment Program.

“The Coast Guard is strong because of our vibrant, diverse and inclusive workforce, and we are laser focused on recruiting the best, most diverse candidates Chicago State University has to offer,” said Rear Adm. Nunan. “I am committed to ensuring this very important initiative is not only successful, but serves as the benchmark for future engagements with other Minority Serving Institutions across the nation.”

Chicago State University is the first four-year institution within the Midwest to partner with the Coast Guard. The students and faculty will be able to have hands-on experiences with Coast Guard operations due to the university’s close proximity to field units including Station Calumet Harbor and Marine Safety Unit Chicago. As part of the agreement, Chicago State University faculty will also have increased opportunities to work with the Coast Guard on projects that could be applied to larger governmental issues such as cybersecurity, marine biology, environmental science and aviation science and technology.

“The U.S. Coast Guard partnership is a great addition to the University’s scholarship initiative and mission to assist students with a debt-free education,” said Zaldwaynaka Scott, Esq., president of Chicago State University. “We are proud to be a premier partner in the Midwest and look forward to the opportunities and exposure that will be provided to our students.

More information about the Coast Guard Minority Serving Institution Partnership Program can be accessed here.

More information about the Coast Guard College Student Pre-Commissioning Initiative Scholarship program can be accessed here.

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