Flathead Valley Community College (FVCC) is introducing a new Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) preparatory course this fall as part of its Adult Education programming.
Unaware of any existing ASVAB preparatory programs, Cindy Covarrubias, adult education program coordinator at FVCC and a former military intelligence specialist, believed the community could benefit from such a course and general military guidance.
The program will prepare participants for the ASVAB test, geared toward potential military recruits and those wanting to pursue higher education. The two-week course begins Aug. 23 and will meet Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Curriculum will review different components of the ASVAB test, such as math and word knowledge, as well as technical segments like mechanical comprehension and assembling objects. The free course is available to anyone 17 and older.
After departing the military this past year, Covarrubias sought to create a guidance program for adults considering the military, something she wished she could have taken herself.
“I really wish I had something like this prep course, where I could speak to people who are in the service. It’s really important to have some type of mentorship or guidance in general,” Covarrubias said. “It would be helpful for people interested in joining the service to have some type of plan when they go in, because a lot of people don’t, and I didn’t either.”
In addition to preparing participants for the ASVAB test, Covarrubias hopes the course will offer mentorship to young adults unsure of which career they want to pursue. Taking the ASVAB test does not just reflect one’s aptitude; results inform test takers of potential career paths, not necessarily the military, thatcomplement their skills and score. When test takers view their result online, they can also explore available jobs, existing secondary education opportunities and their costs.
After arriving at FVCC in May, Covarrubias discovered a handful of veterans from different branches of service on staff. Inspired, she sought to create a partnership between students and veterans that could reinforce a positive relationship with the military. In June, she approached Jacqueline Wroble, director of Adult Education, with the idea of creating a supportive, military-oriented program. Wroble, who is also from a military family, believed that as students prep for the ASVAB test, veterans at FVCC could participate in classroom visits and Q&As for insightful guidance.
Covarrubias describes herself as a “military brat” and grew up in a military family (her stepfather and brother both serve). During undergrad, she spent time abroad in China teaching English, and afterward joined the army as a Chinese linguist. In 2015, she enlisted in the U.S. Army at 23 years old and served as an Arabic Cryptologic Linguist for six years.
After leaving the military, Covarrubias is pursuing a teaching career in the valley. In addition to the ASVAB prep course, she will also teach English as a Second Language (ESL), and as a former ESL student herself with Spanish as her native language, Covarrubias is aware of the need in the Spanish-speaking community.
“I remember my first day of third grade was at a new school in an English-speaking classroom,” Covarrubias said. “I went home crying that day because I had no idea what the teacher was saying. And I remember that experience.”
Her passion for languages and serving the community comes from growing up in a military family, which she describes as eye opening as she moved around a lot during her childhood.
“Seeing so many cultures and different ways of life makes me want to give back to not just my own people but immigrants in general,” Covarrubias said. “I love helping them because they play such an integral part in our communities all over the states.”
As she prepares students for the ASVAB test, Covarrubias hopes to build partnerships between veterans and possible recruits. She also believes the entire community can benefit from the course.
To learn more about the ASVAB Preparatory Course and upcoming course dates, visit https://www.fvcc.edu/what-we-offer/adult-education-program/asvab/.
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