Friday, December 13, 2013

President Obama Unveils Government and University Partnership to Help Veterans Succeed at Higher Education

President Obama Unveils Government and University Partnership to Help Veterans Succeed at Higher Education

President Obama recently unveiled two major initiatives to assist veterans at the annual Disabled American Veterans National Convention. The first initiative will launch a new research project to help better understand and combat both PTSD and mild traumatic brain injuries. The second initiative concerns implementing programs in which the government and colleges and universities will cooperate together to help veterans succeed at a degree or technical training program to help them compete for the high skilled jobs of the 21st century.

The education initiative, which is made up of “8 Keys to Success,” will provide comprehensive professional development for college and university faculty and staff concerning the unique needs and challenges that veterans face. So far, approximately 250 community colleges and universities have agreed to participate, which is great news for the millions of veterans across the country who wish to continue or begin their education.

The “8 Keys to Success,” as per the Official Blog of the US Department of Education, are:

•"Create a culture of trust and connectedness across the campus community to promote well-being and success for veterans."

•"Ensure consistent and sustained support from campus leadership."

•"Implement an early alert system to ensure all veterans receive academic, career and financial advice before challenges become overwhelming."

•"Coordinate and centralize campus efforts for all veterans, together with the creation of a designated space (even if limited in size)."

•"Collaborate with local communities and organizations including government agencies, to align and coordinate various services for veterans."

•"Utilize a uniform set of data tools to collect and track information on veterans, including demographics, retention and degree completion."

•"Provide comprehensive professional development for faculty and staff on issues and challenges unique to veterans."

•"Develop systems that ensure sustainability of effective practices for veterans."

President Obama’s commitment to
education benefits for veterans seems promising. His desire to forge a cooperative partnership between the federal government and universities with the ultimate goal of helping veterans succeed is encouraging and a much needed development. The “8 Keys to Success” not only provides ideas that can be immediately utilized in higher education, but also has a system for tracking and analyzing veterans progress, so that the methods implemented can be tested for success.

With so many veterans returning home to a painfully sluggish economic recovery, a new and committed approach to educating our veterans is paramount to our society’s success. After the men and women of the armed forces serve our country proudly and bravely, they deserve a commitment from their country to help them succeed in higher education. This success will in turn allow our veterans to compete for the high skilled jobs of the 21st century, where they will continue to contribute to their country.

To learn more about the recently unveiled “
8 Keys to Success” and President Obama’s commitment to helping veterans pursue higher education.

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