New Programs Help Veterans Transition from the Military to College
Many veterans have taken advantage of the post-9/11 GI Bill and the Yellow Ribbon program to enroll in college. Some veterans, however, have found college life difficult after the rigors of the military. Colleges are responding to their needs by developing programs aimed at easing the transition between military service and the classroom.
Keith Wilson, director of education services for the Department of Veterans Affairs, stated that approximately 800,000 veterans used GI Bill benefits last year to attend school, a 40 percent increase since 2009. An example of this growth is at the University of South Florida, where veteran enrollment has increased by 10–15 percent every year. Last year, the school was the first to hire a full-time VetSuccess campus representative.
VetSuccess, launched by Veterans Affairs to provide personalized assistance to every veteran on campus, has been tested at eight colleges. Such assistance includes peer mentoring, special orientations and private space on campus. According to Wilson, the program is planned to be expanded into nine more colleges in 2012.
Report on Programs of Study Released by National Research Center for Career and Technical Education
The National Research Center for Career and Technical Education (NRCCTE) has recently made available on its website the report Six Stories About Six States: Programs of Study. This is a case study on how states use in-state and out-of-state resources and technical assistance to develop and implement Programs of Study (POS) as mandated by the Perkins IV federal legislation.
The center found that states with effective Tech Prep programs could leverage their knowledge to develop rigorous Programs of Study. The authors conclude that POS “are expanding their scope and numbers and becoming a more stable component of the CTE system for delivering articulated, documented, collaborative programs that truly connect secondary schools, community colleges, and business and industry.”
Final Regional Community College Summit Held in San Diego
The U.S. Department of Education held its fourth and final community college regional summit on April 15, at San Diego City College in San Diego, Calif. The event, Exemplary Programs for Veterans, Military Members, and Families, brought together federal, labor, industry and philanthropic partners.
Approximately 150 partner participants attended the event to discuss the role of each entity in supporting local community college efforts to meet the president’s goal of achieving the best-educated workforce and the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020.
Topics discussed at the summit included solutions and promising practices in college completion, developmental education, industry-education partnerships, services to members of the military and veterans, transitioning adults to community colleges, and successful transfer programs to four-year colleges and universities.
Under Secretary of Education Martha Kanter and Roberto Rodriguez, special assistant to the president for education, each delivered messages during the summit. “…[W]e are focusing on the role community colleges can play to advance opportunities for our veterans and military families,” Rodriguez said. “We chose San Diego because of their large share of the military population and because the program (of the San Diego Community College District) is an exceptional one.” The district teaches 75 classes a year on local military bases, and also serves approximately 12,000 veterans, active service members, and their dependents, on its three campuses.
For more information on the regional summits, as well as the upcoming virtual symposium about community colleges, scheduled for April 27, please visit OVAE's home page.