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Student Spotlight

Eric Thompson

Upper Marlboro, MD

Journey from Duty to Degree

Eric Thompson (ASCJ ’18, BSCJ ’19, MSCJ ‘20)'s educational journey with UMT was inspired by witnessing a co-worker working on UMT coursework.

For Eric, UMT wasn't merely a school; it stood out as an "AWESOME" institution. What caught his attention was the unique blend of a self-paced curriculum and an "AMAZING" book loan program. For someone balancing the demands of active duty, the flexibility to progress through courses at his own pace was a game-changer. The book loan program, which alleviated the financial burden of purchasing textbooks, was an added bonus that significantly eased his learning journey.

The impact of completing degrees at UMT rippled through Eric's military career. Achieving academic milestones while actively serving enhanced his competitiveness for promotions. His degrees, in conjunction with a strong military record, set him apart from his peers. As he transitioned into civilian life, the influence of his UMT education continued to resonate. Eric shared: "Obtaining my degrees while still serving on active duty had an impact on my military career because those degrees made me more competitive for promotion advancement. Now that I’ve retired, having a degree opens the pool for the amounts of jobs that deem me as 'highly qualified.'"

Reflecting on his UMT experience, Eric emphasized three key aspects that stood out: the self-paced nature of the programs, the invaluable book loan program, and the consistently responsive and professional staff. These elements collectively shaped an educational environment that catered to his unique needs and contributed to his success.

Grateful for discovering UMT, Eric shared valuable suggestions for enhancement. He emphasized the opportunity to extend UMT's accessibility to more service members and the importance of informing and attracting service members. In the realm of military duties, where schedules govern the pace of academic pursuits, UMT provides an ideal solution for efficiently achieving off-duty education. “The school is PERFECT for those military members who want to complete off-duty education. The majority of Marines that I know, it takes them on average about 15 years to complete their Bachelor’s degree because they have to fit it into their schedules depending on if their duty assignment would allow for school. The self-paced courses are a game-changer!” Eric remarked.

"UMT is not just a school; it's an AWESOME institution that understands the rhythm of military life. The self-paced courses and book loan program made education seamlessly blend with my service."

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