Caleb Hansen is a very busy man. The 29-year-old is married to his wife Amber and they have a two-year-old son named Rourke. He is a sergeant in the Minnesota National Guard, and in March, he transferred from his unit in Monticello to the military police unit at Camp Ripley. He works full-time for a concrete fabricator in Elk River. In 2016, he started his own small firearms training business, Invictus Defense, and is currently the only instructor. On top of all of that, Hansen is a full-time student at St. Cloud Technical and Community College. Oh, did we mention he is also a volunteer with the Becker Police Department?
During the spring semester of 2018, Hansen attended classes on campus on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but he also spent time completing online courses. “Online is really convenient, especially with a family and a full-time job,” he explained. Hansen will complete his Associate of Arts Degree in Liberal Arts in August of 2018. “I’m a full-time student taking 20 credits a semester,” he said. At the end of August, he will transfer and begin coursework in the Law Enforcement program in Alexandria.
Hansen joined the National Guard in 2006 and served 13 months of active duty in Afghanistan from 2012 to 2013. That service opened up additional opportunities for him. The Army pays his tuition, but not for books and fees. “When I started at SCTCC, I received some excellent advice from Rocky Horn, the Recruitment and Retention Specialist at SCTCC. He advised me to apply for every scholarship that I was eligible for, so I did,” he said. Hansen applied for and received a $1,000 SCTCC Foundation scholarship. He also received a $1,000 scholarship from U.S. Bank that specifically supports veterans. The scholarships made a big difference in his ability to pay bills. “It is definitely helpful,” he said. “I’m not 18 years old anymore; I have a mortgage, grocery bills, and a family to support. Along with all of that, there are books that are ridiculously expensive.” The $500 each semester made a big difference to Hansen and his ability to meet those obligations and earn his degree.
When he started at SCTCC, his plan was to enroll in Business Management. He eventually realized that his experience in the National Guard Military Police brought him the greatest career and personal rewards, hence his decision to puruse Law Enforcement. “I realized that that is what I need to be doing every day,” he said.