More than 40 Campuses Participate in the Statewide Veteran Education Academy

Wednesday, March 08, 2017 | 10:33am

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Department of Veterans Services Commissioner Many-Bears Grinder addressed more than 100 representatives from more than 40 higher education campuses for the second Statewide Veteran Education Academy hosted at Middle Tennessee State University today.

”Student veterans enrich the campuses across the state with their life experiences, leadership, wisdom, commitment and determination to persevere,” Haslam said.  “This population is a critical piece of our Drive to 55 initiative to increase the number of Tennesseans with a postsecondary degree or credential to 55 percent by 2025.”

Haslam established the Veterans Education Task Force in November 2013.  The Veteran Education Academy, Tennessee Veteran Reconnect Competitive Funding Grant and NextChapterTN portal for veteran jobs, education and business resources were the three recommendations from the Task Force approved by Haslam in 2014.  The first Statewide Veteran Education Academy was hosted at Austin Peay State University in March, 2015, with regional Veteran Education Academies hosted at University of Memphis in May, 2016, University of Tennessee at Knoxville in August, 2016 and Lipscomb University in October, 2016.

"These events have helped to strengthen the campus network through a shared commitment to student veteran success through improved data collection, information sharing and utilizing best practices to address transitional challenges,” Grinder said.  “We still have a ton of work to do when it comes to measuring graduation and persistence rates, but we believe our campus partners see a tremendous value to supporting student veterans through improved data collection.”

Attendees also received presentations from Student Veterans of America (SVA), Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC), Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) and the Tennessee Army National Guard.

Grinder also presented the state’s first Transformational Award to Middle Tennessee State University Systems Analyst Janae Peterson for the development of the most comprehensive data collection program now being shared across the Volunteer State.