Central Texas College has been ranked the second-best 2-year college for veterans by the Military Times.
For decades the college has been a go-to for veterans and active-duty military. Central Texas College officially opened its doors in 1965 and since then it has been dedicated to serving the community as well as the veterans and active-duty military within it.
In fact, that dedication to U.S service members extends well beyond our borders.
”We have an overseas program," said Jim Yeonopolus, chancellor of Central Texas College and a Vietnam Veteran. "We’re in Europe, all though, Europe is shrinking in size with the military. We still offer programs in Europe meaning, Germany is where the preponderance of them are.”
It was in Germany that retired Army veteran and CTC graduate, Gary Emmert, said he first began his journey with the school when he was stationed there in 1991.
”I kid you not when I was a private I signed up for a history class with Central Texas College," Emmert said. "So this was 30 years ago so I was a CTC student when I was a private in 1991.”
Emmert went on to serve 21 years in the Army and after retiring, he chose to go back to CTC and chase his dream of becoming a broadcaster.
A dream that has brought him right back to CTC, after graduating, to become the program director for KNCT-FM a radio station located on campus.
Emmert said he credits a lot of that decision to their dedication to veterans.
”The whole experience from 1991 to now as an employee here in 2021, you know 30 years," said Emmert. "That’s one of the nicest things about working here, is because you still got that familiarity.”
It is a sense of camaraderie, that he missed when he was transitioning out of the military, that makes CTC feel like a home.
”It’s a comfort and you still have the sense that the brothers and sisters that you served are walking around," Emmert said. "Even if, they might be the children of the brothers and sisters that you served with.”
CTC has been rated the second-best 2-year college for veterans. That’s a spot the Chancellor, who is also a Vietnam veteran, is happy with for now.
”It would be nice to be number one but number two, we like number two, because we can continue to strive to be number one,” said Chancellor Yeonpolus.
Central Texas College has given veterans and active-duty military life out of uniform for close to 60 years, and they’re not stopping anytime soon.