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1 Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges Understanding the Military Market: Promising Practices for Creating and Maintaining a Military-Serving Institution Marcy Shapiro Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges CAHEA August 3, 2012

2 Agenda Characteristics Military Populations Contacts Attract and Retain Military Students Promoting Best Practices How Colleges are Responding Uncertain? Guidelines Summary

3 Characteristics of Military Students Work in a disciplined job environment Typically nontraditional students Mature with work and family responsibilities Delayed college entry to serve or work Many are first-generation students Leadership skills learned in the military Money and other education benefits for college TA, VA benefits Excellent students dedicated to their education College degree is means to meeting career goals Students are engaged in the classroom

4 Military Populations Populations Active-Duty Members National Guard and Reserves Subpopulations Veterans in the Community Family Member Spouse Children

5 Potential Military Population Service Active Duty National Guard Reserves Total Army 547, , ,000 1,110,600 Navy 328,800 65, ,300 Marines 202,100 39, ,700 Air Force 331, ,700 69, ,900 Coast Guard 49,954 10,000 59,954 Total 2,314,454 75% join for education benefits but smaller percentage use them Authorized strengths in the FY 2010 Defense Budget. Latest available figures.

6 Contacts in the Military Military Education Centers - AD Installations Reserve Centers National Guard State Education Office - State HQ Military Recruiting Units Veterans (no longer serving) in the community - word of mouth

7 Attract and Retain Military Students Interaction with the military - building relationships Develop relationships/partnerships - public/private/community Literature rack in Reserve Center or Guard Armory Invite local recruiters to campus for an orientation Support/sponsor special events - holidays, orientations Meet special academic or degree program needs of the unit Support and service for military students - academic/counseling Help them to understand your institution - policy, procedures Enhancing their education experience - retention tool Addressing, researching, resolving concerns Offer assistance and resources designed to increase the level of student satisfaction - retention tool

8 Promoting Best Practices Institutional flexibility appropriate to servicemembers Protect and assure quality of education programs for servicemembers Military Student Bill of Rights - all military student populations have basic rights to satisfactory college marketing, admissions, student services practices Support for returning warriors by faculty and admin Awareness of military/veteran issues and policies helps to overcome/understand challenges and obstacles

9 Military Student Bill of Rights Military Student Bill of Rights 10 basic rights to fair marketing/student services military students should have as they pursue their academic career at a SOC institution

10 Institutions that serve the military... Build a strong web presence - military page/one stop Give their military/veteran students a voice - form an advisory group to meet their needs Establish specific points of contact - one stop Publish concise information on transfer credit for military experience Take a community-based approach - involve community organizations American Council on Education, 2008

11 How Colleges are Responding Simplified/expedited registration/application/reenrollment Counseling services focused on servicemembers Support groups, centers, lounges for veterans (SVA/VSO) Community based peer support programs and outreach Scholarship/grant opportunities to further defray costs Deferred tuition plans to accommodate paperwork lags (i.e., Chapter 33) Academic research addressing needs of veterans - military specific academic programs Faculty/staff orientation and awareness training

12 OH Youngstown State University Office of Veterans Affairs - resource for returning vets; waive application and orientation fees for veterans and current military personnel OR Eastern Oregon University Information for returning vets OR Oregon Army National Guard Reintegration program PA DeSales University Military Benefits PA Penn State University Training will prepare military recreation managers to assist service members returning to active duty PA Penn State University Back from Iraq - Veterans Stories Project PA Robert Morris University Tuition-free degree. For veterans in enrolling and earning their degree the RMU Veterans Education and Training Services Center (VETS Center) provides a host of transitional services to veterans and their families. The spouses and dependents of veterans SC Trident Technical College Veterans Upward Bound - Brian Juden TX Ft. Bliss Youth Education Support Services Information on scholarship opportunities for military members/dependents) TX Texas A&M University Provides 25 scholarships, known as Honored Service Scholarships, each valued at $3,000. They are intended to supplement the living expenses of the veterans who qualify for the stipends and have a demonstrated need for such assistance. To qualify, a recipi TX University of Houston Veterans Web page TX University of Texas Returning veterans TX University of Texas Counseling and Mental Health Center TX University of Texas-El Paso Veterans Home Page UT Weber State University Veterans Home Page and Veterans Upward Bound and UT Weber State University Free writing workshops for veterans - improve communication skills VA ECPI Offers annual scholarships of up to $6,000 for severely injured service members.

13 Uncertain? Convene a focus group of veterans/servicemembers to share feedback on institutional policies and services Engage your veterans who have benefited from peer support programs and support on your campus Convene a working group including all stakeholders to explore how to best serve and support veterans Campus-based student veteran organization to support veterans transitional needs - i.e., SVA

14 A Few Guidelines Three Ss: support, services, safety nets A veterans champion who speaks their language and understands their uniquenesses Guidance and assistance with transition to the academic world Assistance with special needs - disabilities Turn obstacles into opportunities to learn from and further understand your students

15 Summary Military students and Veterans are an asset to any college community - life experiences, leadership skills Understand the different components of the military market and how they can be an asset Maximize opportunities (develop partnerships, enhance visibility, expand outreach)

16 Contact Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges 1307 New York Avenue, NW Fifth Floor Washington, DC Phone: ; Fax:

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