Active military and veterans gathered March 26, at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center, in Washington, D.C., for the Improving Veteran’s Education Symposium. Hosted by National Louis University, the focus of the discussion was the college’s Education to Employment program, which was launched in 2012 with the help of a $750,000 grant from the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.
The university’s program was designed to meet the needs of transitioning veterans by providing holistic support reminiscent of the community that veterans had while in the military. At the heart of the program is the idea that student veterans and military-connected families will be more successful in an academic program that is designed for them, by those who understand their specific needs and culture.
“It is very intuitive, it is basically what we do in the military when you [move] from one base to another, you’ve got that built-in support network,” explained Stephen Curda, the special advisor to the president on veterans education at National Louis University. “It allows the soldier, sailor, airman, Marine to focus on their job because all of the support networks were provided. Why can’t we do that to education as well?”
The program is designed to serve as a one-stop shop for student veterans through the use of “wrap-around” services that provide eight key support components in the following areas: academic, curriculum, finance (with an emphasis on VA benefits and financial literacy), career, mental health/social services, physical, spiritual, and legal.
“When a veteran comes back to school, they are focused. They have a specific goal in mind and we have to do everything we can to take care of some of the issues so that they can focus on their education,” continued Curda, explaining that NLU’s holistic model isn’t tied to a budget, and can even be done on the cheap, since it relies so heavily on community involvement.
“We don’t have the financial resources to provide all that internally. We provide certain things: academic support, career services, and so forth, but everything else comes from relationships and partnerships we’ve built within the community,” he said.
The symposium included a panel discussion with speakers from Robert R. McCormick Foundation, Gallup, Student Veterans of America, and the American Legion, with an overarching theme emphasizing the importance of developing programs now while there are still large numbers of veterans transitioning out of a wartime military.
Among the topics discussed were the importance of beginning transition training for military personnel early on in the military; the need to view veterans not as a monolithic group, but as a mosaic of individuals with a variety of needs; how to present veteran students as force multipliers to prominent schools; and the importance of continuing support networks from the military on to civilian life.
“If we don’t study this over the next few years, we’ll have to wait for the next war,” said David Goldich, a senior consultant at Gallup, and a Marine veteran.
“If you want to specifically measure transitioning combat veterans, particularly junior enlisted veterans who will separate after four years, eight years of service … you have to do it, right now,” said Goldich.
Part of the importance of developing programs like the one at NLU, and keeping track of how veterans perform, is to prepare for future generations of veterans returning from war.
“It’s important to measure how combat veterans are transitioning into the civilian sector, so that we know what works and what doesn’t, for whom and why,” said Goldich, adding that when future generations of veterans return from war, the country should be prepared with programs and systems designed for their needs and built for their success.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs paid $13,000 over a three-month period for a senior official's biweekly commute to Washington from his home in California, according to expense reports obtained by ProPublica.
Staff Sgt. John Eller conducts pre-flights check on his C-17 Globemaster III Jan. 3 prior to taking off from Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii for a local area training mission. Sgt. Eller is a loadmaster from the 535th Airlift Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Shane A. Cuomo)
CUCUTA, Colombia — The Trump administration ratcheted up pressure Saturday on beleaguered Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, dispatching U.S. military planes filled with humanitarian aid to this city on the Venezuelan border.
U.S. Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan speaks at the annual Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany February 15, 2019. REUTERS/Andreas Gebert
ABOARD A U.S. MILITARY AIRCRAFT (Reuters) - Acting U.S. Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said on Saturday he had not yet determined whether a border wall with Mexico was a military necessity or how much Pentagon money would be used.
President Donald Trump on Friday declared a national emergency in a bid to fund his promised wall at the U.S.-Mexico border without congressional approval.
A pair of U.S. Navy Grumman F-14A Tomcat aircraft from Fighter Squadron VF-211 Fighting Checkmates in flight over Iraq in 2003/Department of Defense
Since the sequel to the 1986 action flick (and wildly successful Navy recruitment tool) Top Gun, was announced, there's been a lot of speculation on what Top Gun: Maverick will be about when it premieres in June 2020. While the plot is still relatively unclear, we know Tom Cruise will reprise his role as Naval aviator Pete "Maverick" Mitchell, and he'll be joined by a recognizable costar: The iconic F-14 Tomcat.
It looks like the old war plane will be coming out of retirement for more than just a cameo. A number of recently surfaced photos show an F-14 Tomcat aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt, alongside Cruise and members of the film's production crew, the Drive's Tyler Rogoway first reported earlier this week.