Cleveland State Community College recently received the Veterans Reconnect Grant valued at approximately $80,000 to serve veterans and service members and help them earn postsecondary degrees as part of Governor Haslam’s Drive to 55 initiative.
The Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC) will award $760,781 in total Veteran Reconnect funds to support programs and services for student veterans at campuses across the state. The 2017 grant program is specifically focused on improving the assessment of prior learning for student veterans returning to college, helping them more easily convert previous military experience into college credit and improving the transition between military service and postsecondary education.
“We are proud to be only one of three communities colleges in Tennessee selected for this grant” stated Dr. Bill Seymour, CSCC President. “Cleveland State has always been a veteran friendly college. With these funds we can enhance our support to help vets be even more successful.”
According to THEC, institutions receiving the grants are required to develop and implement new evaluation processes for translating military training into academic credit, while also ensuring that prospective and incoming student veterans have easy, clear access to the information.
Cleveland State plans to use these funds to employ a Prior Learning Specialist who will coordinate and implement programs and services in three target areas: 1) increasing awareness and support from faculty and staff; 2) enhancing competence of faculty and staff in evaluating military and other prior learning experiences for credit; and 3) improving communication to prospective adult students and student veterans to encourage them to pursue credit for prior learning.
Dr. Michael Stokes, Vice President for Student Services, stated, “We are excited to be a recipient of this grant, which will help us as we build on the work that has already been done with Prior Learning Assessment at Cleveland State. We have a number of ways in which adults may receive credit for their work experience, training or other forms of learning, which can speed their time to completing a college degree. Through the activities of the Veteran Reconnect Grant, we will increase our outreach to veterans and other adults so that they will be able to know early in the enrollment process what credits they may have earned through their previous training.”
About the Tennessee Higher Education Commission
The Tennessee Higher Education Commission was created in 1967 by the Tennessee General Assembly. The Commission develops, implements and evaluates postsecondary education policies and programs in Tennessee while coordinating the state’s systems of higher education and is relentlessly focused on increasing the number of Tennesseans with a postsecondary credential.