More Than 50 Campuses Participate in Inaugural Veteran Education Academy
NASHVILLE – Senior campus leaders, student affairs personnel and student veteran organization representatives from more than 50 higher education institutions today joined the Tennessee Department of Veterans Affairs, Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC), Drive to 55, the Governor’s Veterans Education Task Force and Austin Peay State University at the inaugural Veteran Education Academy, an initiative to learn and share best practices in support of student veteran success in Tennessee.
The event is part of the larger discussion Gov. Bill Haslam and Department of Veterans Affairs Commissioner Many-Bears Grinder are encouraging around the state to improve access to higher education for student veterans.
Haslam formed the Veterans Education Task Force in November, 2013 and appointed Grinder as the chair. Last year Haslam approved the recommendations of the Task Force which included the Veteran Education Academy, the 1 million dollar Tennessee Reconnect competitive funding grant and a comprehensive veteran web portal which will be launched in the spring.
“The brave men and women who have served our country are enrolling in our colleges and universities more and more,” Haslam said. “The Veteran Education Academy provides a unique opportunity to develop best practices and help ensure the success of these Tennesseans when they return home.”
The one day event included presentations from Student Veterans of America President Wayne Robinson, American Council on Education Director of Veterans Programs Tanya Ang and University of Memphis President Dr. M. David Rudd.
“The number of student veterans enrolled at colleges and universities across the state has increased by nearly 200 percent since 2008,” Grinder said. “The increase in enrollment is encouraging, but we want to make sure campuses are connecting with innovative best practices that result in college degrees to equip veterans to compete for high quality jobs.”
The Veteran Education Academy will be hosted annually at different campuses across the state for the next five years.
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