BlogCareer DevelopmentMilitaryArmy COOL Program: Helping You Find Career Opportunities

Army COOL Program: Helping You Find Career Opportunities

Are you a member of the active-duty Army, Army Reserve, or National Guard who is ready to select or advance your career, enhance the skills that you already have, and find opportunities to move into civilian life? Did you know that you can complete courses and training for certification online and, as an active-duty Army member, you may be eligible for financial assistance?

You Caught My Interest – What Do I Need to Know?

The Army Credentialing Opportunities On-Line (COOL) program is available to active-duty Army military members to obtain certifications, licenses, or associate degrees in fields such as healthcare, legal, and dentistry, or to continue their education.

Offered through the United States Department of Defense, the Army COOL program provides education funding up to $4,000 per individual if they meet the eligibility requirements. Active-duty soldiers are eligible for Credentialing Assistance (CA) if their Basic Combat Training (BCT) is completed.

How Do I Know If I Qualify for ARMY COOL funding?

According to the ARMY Credentialing and Certifications program, “Eligible soldiers include those who are: Regular Army, Active Guard/Reserve (AGR) pursuant to Title 10 and Title 32, U.S. Army Reserve (USAR), and Army National Guard (ARNG) in active drilling status with a designation as satisfactory.” Additional information regarding who qualifies can be found on a downloadable ARMY COOL Fact Sheet.

Choosing the Right Online Program

Make sure the career education program that you are going to enroll in is an approved provider of the ARMY Credentialing Assistance Program. Check the types of career training and certification programs that they offer before you enroll. A reliable and approved certification program will assist you in utilizing military training in the private sector in a career field that you’ve already completed while in the service.

Blackstone Career Institute (BCI) is a leader in online education and is an approved Army COOL program provider. Training and certifications to work as a paralegal/legal assistant, pharmacy technician, and medical biller/coder are available within the ARMY COOL program. BCI has also been named a military-friendly school which means they offer financial assistance and support to the military and veterans to enhance the workforce.

Course training is online and can be completed from anywhere. The time to complete the coursework for specific programs varies. Explore BCI’s ARMY COOL program page for information on the certification programs available.

Also, make sure that the school you choose is accredited. Accreditation means that the institution has met the required educational standards to provide the coursework and correct training to ready students for their chosen careers. Find out how Blackstone prepares students to take certification and licensing exams required by their chosen career field’s licensing organization.

BCI’s Top Three ARMY COOL Program Picks

BCI offers five ARMY COOL coursework and training programs for certification, and the following career choices are noted to be among the most in-demand in the civilian workforce.

Medical Billing and Coding

A medical coder’s responsibilities include assigning Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes and the Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) which are number and letter codes for a patient’s medical diagnosis, procedure, tests, or interventions done by a healthcare provider. The American Medical Association CPT editorial panel routinely provides ongoing updates, revisions, and changes to CPT codes. Medical coding is used worldwide, and most countries use the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) coding. ICD is updated by the World Health Organization (WHO) and is modified by each country that is a member of WHO. ICD-11, the latest revision, came into effect in January 2022.

These codes are then used by the medical biller responsible for submitting a bill or claim to the patient’s insurance company. This helps determine the appropriate charges for the patient. Medical billers are responsible for communicating with patients about payment and collecting payments for the provider institution or practice.

BCI’s online Medical Billing and Coding Program prepares students to have the skill set needed to secure a job working in the medical billing and coding profession after military service.

Pharmacy Technician

Pharmacy technicians are a vital part of the healthcare team, whether working in a retail pharmacy, general retail store, hospital, or outpatient clinic. The majority of a pharmacy technician’s time is spent assisting a licensed pharmacist and customers in managing prescription requests and refills. Although most pharmacy technicians work in pharmacies, general merchandising stores, or hospitals and clinics, there are career opportunities in the insurance industry, pharmaceutical warehouses or companies, government health agencies, and even drug software companies. Advanced certification in sterile compounding, hazardous compounding, and non-sterile compounding is also available.

Graduates of BCI’s online Pharmacy Technician Training Program, which includes an externship, qualify to sit for the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) offered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB).

Legal Assistant/Paralegal

Paralegals/legal assistants help lawyers prepare materials for trials and assist attorneys with conducting research, communicating with clients, conducting interviews, collecting statements, and handling other administrative tasks. Paralegals work in private or government organizations.

Students in BCI’s online Legal Assistant/Paralegal Diploma Program on average complete the program within 8 to 12 months. You have the freedom to work at your own pace and have up to 18 months to complete the program. BCI’s program includes the 900 clock hours needed to sit for the Certified Legal Assistant/Certified Paralegal (CLA/CP) exam given by the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA).

Making the Decision

Once you decide which online career course through the Army COOL program that you would like to pursue, keep in mind the time needed to complete the program and your personal and family schedule. Consider how much time you can commit to education training, when you can realistically complete the program, and how soon you want to be employed in your career in the civilian sector.

bio of blogger Jo for Blackstone Career Institute