Chatfield Legacy and Recent Grad Joins Air Force

Fayetteville resident Cole Brown received his associate degree from Chatfield College on May 18th. Not only did he graduate from college, but that same weekend he graduated from Fayetteville High School. This was all possible because of the Ohio College Credit Plus Program (CCP) where students can earn college credits paid for by the State.

Cole recently left for basic training for the United State Air Force at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. His associate degree entitled him to enlist at a higher rank, as an E3 rather than an E1, and increased his pay and leadership rank.

What’s so special about Cole’s story? Cole graduated as one of Chatfield’s many “legacies”. Cole’s mother, Becki Brown, graduated from Chatfield in 2007, when Cole was just six years old. Becki grew to love Chatfield so much that she decided to stay even longer—she currently works at Chatfield’s St. Martin Campus as a financial aid counselor. Becki stressed the importance of education to her children and set an example for them by returning to school herself after several years, despite having her doubts.

“When I went back to school, I was a wife and mother of three kids.  Attending classes with high-schoolers was intimidating because I had been out of school for a number of years, but the students at Chatfield were so encouraging and truly wanted to see me succeed.  They never acted as though I didn’t belong in the classroom with them.  I am glad I didn’t let my fears and concerns stop me from going back to school,” Becki said.

As a sophomore in high school, Cole decided he wanted to participate in Ohio’s CCP program as a way to earn a degree at no cost to his family.  He knew he would choose Chatfield. Not only did he grow up a just a few miles from campus, he was familiar with its bucolic campus and welcoming culture, having been there so often over the years while his mother attended classes and then worked in the administration.

“It was the type of environment I wanted to be in, just starting college. I enjoyed feeling like I knew everyone on campus and seeing people I knew every day. Although the academics were more challenging than I was used to at the high school level, it was nice having approachable instructors and friendly faces in the classroom.”

After enrolling, Cole quickly decided to get involved in campus activities. He was an active member of Chatfield’s Student Service Club — serving at the Ohio Veteran’s Home in Georgetown, the Hope Emergency Program in Lynchburg, and participating in various fundraising events and service projects with students on campus. If you came to last year’s Fall Festival, you would have seen Cole driving the tractor for the hay rides!

 “Chatfield has definitely helped me to talk to others more comfortably. Before coming to college, I was very shy, but this environment has made me more confident and outgoing,” said Cole.

Cole decided to join the military because he wanted to be trained in the mechanical field and likes to work with his hands.  He plans to become an aircraft mechanic. Cole is also well aware of the educational benefits available to military veterans, since he eventually plans to earn a bachelor’s degree in Engineering.  He also wants to see the world and thought a good way to do that would be to join the Air Force.  Cole also wanted to honor his grandpa, an Air Force veteran, who just passed away a year ago, on June 1, 2018.

Chatfield College is a private, Catholic, liberal arts college offering the Associate of Arts degree in Brown County, Ohio and Cincinnati, and is an open enrollment college. The Brown County campus is located at 20918 State Route 251; St. Martin, OH 45118; the Cincinnati campus is located in historic Over-the- Rhine at 1544 Central Parkway; Cincinnati, OH 45202. For more information, visit the website, at, call (513) 875-3344 or email


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