January 27-29, 2015
Attendees: Candice Gilbert, Military and Veterans Programs, Terry L. Cook, Student Engagement
This conference brings together approximately 1000 higher education professionals and representatives of governmental agencies serving military and veteran students to address transition and completion challenges. Guiding the practices of colleges and universities are The Principles of Excellence (POE) as set forth in President Obama’s Executive Order 13607. Institutions sign a Department of Defense Voluntary Education Partnership Memorandum of Understanding (DoD MOU), that outlines practice related to recruitment, funding and support of military and veterans students. Schools may be selected for Third Party Review to ensure compliance with the DOD memorandum. Dawn Bilodeau, Chief, Voluntary Education Programs and DoD Liaison provided an update on requirements and compliance. Her presentation may be found at here.
NMSU’s Military and Veterans Programs directed by Jacobo Varela offers many of the support resources that are considered essential for success, and the program is working to address the primary challenges that were identified in conference presentations:
- Faculty and staff training to better understand the challenges of our students
- Students have a “home” in the MVP Center in Garcia Annex with access to support staff and a computer lab and lounge
- Students have advocates that help with registration, credentialing to certify benefits and other issues that affect degree completion
- Our installation access has improved in the past few years due to efforts of MVP Staff who work with Education Services Officers (ESO’s) at Ft. Bliss and White Sands.
- Keeping the MVP office in compliance with new changes from the VA and the DoD and ensuring our military and veteran students are aware of these requirements.
Where do we need to improve?
- Expand online courses and degree offering when possible; schools that offer greater flexibility in scheduling are seeing higher enrollment
- Explore options to award credit for military experience
- Collaborate with local institutions (UTEP & EPCC) to form a regional State Advisory Council on Military Education.