TSA Associates Program allows employees to earn college credit

Monday, April 19, 2021
Officers photo

“I decided to attend the TSA Associates Program after overhearing two officers discussing their assignments and their class,” said Brunswick Golden Isles Airport Lead TSA officer Jeannette Reeves. The 16-year TSA veteran thought she “knew a great deal about TSA.” However, after hearing the two officers discuss their assignments, “I realized there was more out there to learn,” said Reeves.

Officer Reeves photo

A curious Reeves and two of her Georgia colleagues recently completed coursework and received the TSA Certificate of Achievement, bringing to life the Administrator’s Intent 2.0 principle of cultivating a skilled workforce.

Intelligence Analysis and Security Management was Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport (SAV) Master Security Training Instructor Candi Singley’s favorite class. A single parent, her motivation for enrolling originally stemmed from wanting to be a positive role model to her children. “I was always too shy or really not sure how to ask the questions to get started,” said Singley. “Three years ago, I decided I wanted to prove to my high school kids that I too could complete a college program.”

Singley took classes only in the fall semesters. “This past December as I was finishing up my very last assignment for my very last course, I thought to myself, wow I actually finished,” said Singley. “I am very proud to have accomplished this.”

Candi photo

Introduction to Homeland Security and Transportation and Border Security are the other two courses offered in the TSA Associates Program, for a total of nine hours of college credit.

“The program’s curriculum is set up to keep you on pace and the interaction with fellow classmates is an added bonus for support throughout the program,” said SAV TSA officer Christopher Carbery. “I also found the communication from the education coordinator and the instructors to be excellent.”

Transportation and Border Security was Reeves’ favorite class. “The TSA Associates Program was a great experience for me and I will continue my education with the Government Reimbursement for Academic Degree (GRAD) program.” GRAD, a tuition program that invests in TSA employees, reimburses up to $5,000 of tuition expenses on eligible coursework within a calendar year depending on available funding. 

Officer Carbery photo

For those who have thought about applying and doing these courses, you should,” urged Singley. “It’s a great way to start college and also to continue.  My goal is to continue my education in Homeland Security and in Intelligence and Analysis.”

“There’s no doubt that the knowledge and skills I learned throughout the program has greatly contributed in making me a better officer to the public, my fellow TSOs, as well as new hire TSOs as they onboard,” said Carbery. “I wholeheartedly recommend this education opportunity.”

Transportation Security Officers, or TSOs, ensure the security of air travelers by preventing dangerous objects from being transported or used on aircraft.

“These officers serve as the example for others as they have gained invaluable education through their Homeland Security studies,” said Georgia Federal Security Director Robert Spinden. “TSA Georgia is very proud of their accomplishment and hopes this serves as an inspiration to others to take advantage of the educational opportunities offered by TSA.”

Do you or someone you know have the qualities to be a successful TSA officer? TSA is hiring full and part-time Transportation Security Officers nationwide. Join us and support a mission that matters. Visit jobs.tsa.gov/tso to learn more and search open positions.