FAQ

  • What is Onward to Opportunity (O2O)?

    Supported by grants from JPMorgan Chase & Co. and the Schultz Family Foundation, Onward to Opportunity – formerly known as the Veterans Career Transition Program – utilizes an online learning platform to help active duty, selected reserve, veterans, and military spouses learn business, technology, and other relevant skills to accomplish their personal and professional goals.

    Participants may choose to work towards one of our supported industry certifications administered by globally recognized organizations. O2O combines industry-validated curricula, strong partnerships, comprehensive career coaching and employer relations services to match program participants with job opportunities or professional development – leading to meaningful career opportunities.

    The program started as Veterans Career Transition Program (VCTP) in 2011. In 2015, Onward to Opportunity launched at two installations. We aligned the two programs in spring 2017 under the O2O-VCTP umbrella. The program is now further streamlined and has a single name, Onward to Opportunity (O2O).

  • What happened to VCTP?

    The program started as Veterans Career Transition Program (VCTP) in 2011. In 2015, Onward to Opportunity launched at two installations. We aligned the two programs in spring 2017 under the O2O-VCTP umbrella. The program is now further streamlined and has a single name, Onward to Opportunity (O2O). The aligned program allows participants access to a fuller portfolio of courses, career preparation resources and alumni support services.

    O2O is available at over 20 installations with a rich networking and preparation component, along with the convenient online only option for those not located near an installation.

  • Who is eligible for O2O?

    Due to the grant supported funding involved to plan for successful program completion, each eligible candidate is able to participate ONLY ONCE in the program. When admitted to the program, plan to commit time to complete the coursework within 90 days of program start (your program advisor will outline the expectations at the start of the program).

    Active Duty Military – Any transitioning active duty service member who will transition from military service in the next 6 months with an honorable discharge status.
    Veterans – Any veteran who has separated or retired from the military with at least 180 days of service and an honorable discharge.

    National Guard / Reservists – A member of the National Guard and Reserve that is currently in a part-time status. If the service member is on active duty status in the National Guard or Reserve, they are subject to the active duty eligibility. At least 180 days of active duty is required for eligibility.

    Spouses –Spouses of any active duty military service member, eligible veteran and member of the National Guard or Reserve currently serving.

  • What if I qualify for more than one of the eligibility criteria?

    An Active Duty selection in eligibility criteria takes precedence over all other eligibility choices including veteran, spouse or national guard/reserve status.

    If a service member is a veteran of one service, but currently serves on active duty of another or same service, they fall under the active duty eligibility.

    If a service member is a spouse and currently serves on active duty, that service member falls under the active duty status.

  • What if I am in the National Guard or Reserve AND on Active Duty Status?

    All National Guard and Reserve service members are subject to the restrictions below:

    Past active duty service with honorable discharge is required.

    National Guard and Reserve service members currently serving on a part-time status can take part in O2O with no restrictions if eligible for civilian employment.

    If a National Guard or Reserve service member is on active duty orders (Title 32 or Title 10) for over 6 months or are part of the Active Guard Reserves (AGR), the service member may not eligible for O2O until 6 months (180 days) prior to separation or return to part time status.

  • Can I participate in the Program more than once?

    No. Eligible participants have one opportunity to participate in the O2O due to the grant supported funding involved to plan for successful program completion.

    Program graduates have validated the requirement to plan your time so that your participation in this program can remain among your top priorities. We are happy to work with you plan the start time which will allow you to complete the program successfully.

  • What if I move during program participation?

    We have locations across the U.S. and participants are able to continue course completion online. You just need a computer with a high-speed internet connection.

  • How can I apply to O2O?

    Complete the interest form to begin the application process. Please be sure to select the specific program location closest to you. For those not located near one of our program installations, we do acknowledge your interest to participate in the online only model of the program; please select “Not located near any of the above listed installations” on the interest form (last question on the short interest form).

    Enter your unique non-military email address when completing the interest form. (Do not use a shared email address.)

  • Who can help me if I have questions about the program or my O2O application?

    IVMF’s Enrollment Services team is happy to answer any questions you may have prior to start of program. Please call (315) 443–6898 or fill out our contact form.

    Once you begin the program, the Installation Coordinator or an IVMF Advisor (assigned prior to start of the program) will be your primary point of contact.

  • What resources do I need to participate in O2O?

    A reliable computer with consistent, high-speed internet.

    Time! Are you able to dedicate time to keep your participation in this program among your top priorities, given the current and upcoming demands on your time? [Successful participants dedicate about 6 – 8 hours per week over a period of 90 days to complete the online coursework.]

    Transitioning service members are able to begin the program after separation, if that is better suited for their ability to commit the time. (See “Veteran” eligibility.)

    Focus and drive to plan and realize your goals relating to your personal success.

  • I just submitted my online interest form, and I am located near an installation. What’s next?

    Please expect follow up via email within 5 business days. (Please be sure to check all folders and tabs in your mailbox!)

    You will receive an email from a member of the O2O installation staff within 1 – 5 days to learn more about all the benefits and expectations of participating in the program by taking advantage of the local network and support.

  • I just submitted my online interest form, and I am NOT located near an installation. What’s next?

    We will review your interest to participate in the online only model. Please look for an email from IVMF Enrollment Services within 3 – 5 business days to:

    • Continue the application process for a future* cohort;
      OR
    • Receive request for additional information or notification regarding program eligibility with alternate options.

    *Due to volume of requests, as well as planning process, there is at least a 2 – 3 month waiting period. If you submit an interest form today, and are eligible to participate, your interest form will be considered for eligibility to participate in the program starting in three months.

  • How will I know that I am being invited to continue the application?

    Please refer to responses to preceding two questions, depending on whether you are located near an installation, or not.

    If eligible, you will receive an email inviting you to complete an assessment (this is NOT a test). However, you will need to complete assessment to provide demographic information, your experience, education, career goals and primary course interest. This assessment is important and relevant to your journey in O2O as well as skills related to our partners’ employment opportunities.

    The email with link to the program assessment will arrive from IVMF Education (ivmfeducation@syr.edu). (Please be sure to check all folders in your mailbox!)

  • What purpose does the assessment serve?

    The assessment is NOT a test. There is no pass/fail/ranking determination. The assessment is designed to gauge your interest among the various industries, and asks you to identify your education, professional experience and interests; these are important and relevant to your journey in O2O, as well as skills related to our partners’ employment opportunities.

  • I just submitted my program assessment. What’s next?

    If you are part of an upcoming cohort at one of our installations:

    • A member of the IVMF Enrollment Services team will review your application and follow up via email within three (to four) weeks.
    • The program coordinator at the installation will inform you of the specific requirements for participating in the program and schedule the start date.

    If you are not located near an installation and are being considered for the online only model:

    • You will receive a confirmation email which contains a link to a private program web page which outlines the next steps in the application review and admission processes.
  • What documents do I need to upload with my O2O application?

    You will be asked to provide one or more of the following:

    1. A non-military email address is required for program participation. Do not use shared email address; this needs to be your unique email address.
    2. URL to your LinkedIn Profile page
    3. Documentation to prove military connection (as requested by installation coordinator or Enrollment Services)

    If necessary for application review, Enrollment Services will request your résumé. Please provide a PDF version.

  • Why do I have to have a current LinkedIn Profile to participate in the program?

    Onward to Opportunity is a grant funded program. We are happy you are here today to take advantage of it for your professional development. LinkedIn profile allows us to evaluate your experience and education during application review so we can add value to your investment of time in this program. We share information with you during program participation, as well as continue to provide resources after you complete the program.

    LinkedIn is the primary tool used for networking, professional growth and lifelong employment.

    If you do not have a LinkedIn profile, please follow these guidelines to create one.

  • How long will I have to complete the course?

    Your first course must be completed within a maximum of 90 days of your cohort start date (program advisor will provide the time lines related to your specific course). Stay engaged with your advisor in case of life changes. If you do not complete your first course within the stated time, and not connect in a timely manner with your advisor, we will review the case, and you may be removed from the program.

  • Can I complete more than one course?

    Yes. You can only be enrolled in one course at a time, and the program will ONLY FUND ONE industry certification (one exam fee). Please consult with your program advisor for access, and related program timelines.

    You can also work with your program advisor to change the primary course within the first few weeks if you find that it does not support your career and professional development goals.

    When you receive access to second and subsequent courses, you will also gain access to any related practice exams. Again, the O2O program will ONLY support one exam fee.

  • Do I need to purchase any textbooks or software?

    No, you are not required to purchase any additional course materials. All of the required materials are provided within the online coursework. We do encourage you to explore additional resources to best position yourself for success with certification examinations; however, the program does not cover the cost of purchasing these additional materials, so it is important to stay in touch with your program advisor during your participation in the program to receive guidance on current resources.

  • Will I have weekly assignments and an instructor for the online training portion of the program?

    No. Keep your participation in the program among your priorities, and dedicate the recommended time per week for successful participation and positive outcomes.

    The coursework is delivered 100% online, and it is self-paced, computer-based training. You will have access to industry-specific subject matter experts and your assigned POC (either an IVMF Advisor or Installation Coordinator) during the program.

  • Will I be able to obtain proof of completion for these courses?

    Yes. Upon completion of coursework, you will receive non-credit certificates of completion from the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University.

    The online learning management system also provides proof of completion toward Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for maintaining professional certifications.

    Course completion certificates are separate from industry certifications.

  • How will O2O courses prepare me for industry certification?

    Our courses are designed to prepare transitioning veterans, service members, and spouses for careers in the civilian workforce by teaching useful skills, as well as validating skills you have learned in the military. Many of our courses are also geared toward preparing you for valuable industry certifications.

    For a complete list of what courses are offered and where, as well as the associated certification paths, please visit our Career Tracks & Course Offerings page.

    The program provides you with educational courses that provide specific knowledge and skillsets for associated certification exams. In most cases, the program also provides individuals with practice exams to help gauge their knowledge before taking the actual certification exam. We also encourage students to utilize additional resources to adequately prepare for the certification exam.

  • What do I need to do in order to have the Program pay for my industry certification?

    Step 1 – Complete the required coursework within the stated timeframe.

    Step 2 – Complete the practice exam requirements for the corresponding industry certification exam.

    Step 3 – Contact your IVMF Advisor or Installation Coordinator to confirm you have completed steps 1 & 2 successfully and to request payment for your industry certification exam fee. Do not pay your own exam fee – the program will not reimburse exam fees.

  • Where do I take the certification exam?

    Your program advisor will guide you to locate the closest testing center related to the specific certification you are pursuing. (Testing centers are available across the U.S. and searchable by ZIP code. Testing centers are also available internationally, for those participating from outside the U.S.)

  • What if I fail the industry certification exam?

    Participants are encouraged to retake the certification exam and earn the certification; however, the Onward to Opportunity (O2O) program is only authorized to make one exam payment; any costs associated with retaking the test is paid out-of-pocket by the participant.

  • What resources can my IVMF Advisor or Installation Coordinator provide?

    Your IVMF Advisor and/or Installation Coordinator will be your primary contact(s) during your time in the program. They assist with general questions, provide essential updates on deadlines and opportunities, process registration and practice exam access, and assist with the coordination of industry certification exam fee payment.

    They can also connect you with our partners at Hire Heroes USA for career-coaching opportunities.

    Successful participation tip: Heed the reminders and supporting resources information from your program advisor!

  • What is the Program’s relationship with TAP/Transition GPS?

    This program is complementary to existing transition programs – building upon existing curriculum to provide industry-specific training to connect eligible participants with specific employment opportunities and professional development.

    O2O is a Skill Bridge program.

     

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“The fact that the O2O provides training and professional certifications for military spouses is impressive to me. I cannot say enough good things about the program. From start to finish, wherever it is you want to go, they will get you there…On a near daily basis, we received e-mails of job openings that were relevant to our area of expertise, as well as information regarding upcoming job fairs.”

O2O Site: Puget Sound Naval Shipyard (Bremerton, WA)
Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) Graduate
Independent Representative, Primerica Financial Services

Stirling, Kim

Military Spouse (24 Years)