The U.S. Coast Guard and Chicago State University have partnered to increase the diversity of the agency’s military officers, provide students with scholarship and research opportunities and prepare them for the workforce.
Rear Adm. Joanna Nunan, commander, Ninth Coast Guard District, and Zaldwaynaka Scott, Esq., president of Chicago State University, signed the memorandum of agreement on November 30.
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 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.
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.