As part of the Obama Administration’s ongoing effort to foster postsecondary educational opportunities and dramatically improve employment outcomes for returning service members, the Department of Education (ED) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced today a challenge to education institutions to adopt best practices supporting educational success.
With the more than 250 institutions leading the way, the “8 Keys to Success” can aid veterans in their effort to afford and complete their college degrees, certificates, industry-recognized credentials and licenses in preparation for jobs in high-growth sectors of the economy.
To help draft the “8 Keys to Success,” ED convened more than 100 experts to review approaches that could be scaled and replicated to foster veterans’ success on campus and via distance learning. A wide range of stakeholders participated in the discussions including non-profit organizations, foundations, veterans service organizations and, importantly, veterans who had recently completed postsecondary education in a range of disciplines. Best practices learned from existing programs at ED and VA provided the foundation for the “8 Keys to Success,” specifically best practices from the highly successful VA VetSuccess on Campus programs.
The “8 Keys to Success” include the following:
Create a culture of trust and connectedness across the campus community to promote well-being and success for veterans.
Ensure consistent and sustained support from campus leadership.
Implement an early alert system to ensure all veterans receive academic, career, and financial advice before challenges become overwhelming.
Coordinate and centralize campus efforts for all veterans, together with the creation of a designated space (even if limited in size).
Collaborate with local communities and organizations, including government agencies, to align and coordinate various services for veterans.
Utilize a uniform set of data tools to collect and track information on veterans, including demographics, retention and degree completion.
Provide comprehensive professional development for faculty and staff on issues and challenges unique to veterans.
Develop systems that ensure sustainability of effective practices for veterans.
More than 250 community colleges and universities in 24 different states and DC will fully adopt the “8 Keys to Success” and more are expected to rise to the challenge in the coming months.
For more options on continuing your education or transitioning to a post-military career, check out MOAA’s member benefits and services; including careers and networking, educational assistance, and professional development.
The Department of Labor’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Service today announced the award of 22 grants, totaling more than $5 million, to provide about 1,900 homeless female veterans and veterans with families with job training to help them succeed in civilian careers. The grants are being awarded under the department’s Homeless Female Veterans and Veterans with Families Program.
The services provided by grantees will include job placement, on-the-job and classroom training, career counseling, life skills and money management mentoring, as well as help in finding housing. VETS estimates that these funds will help approximately 1,900 veterans.
Funds are being awarded on a competitive basis to state and local workforce investment boards, local public agencies and nonprofit organizations, including faith-based and community organizations. These grantees are familiar with the areas and populations to be served and have demonstrated that they can administer effective programs to help homeless veterans.
More information on the Department of Labor’s unemployment and re-employment programs for veterans can be found at www.dol.gov/vets. For more information on these grants contact Cassandra Mitchell at 202-693-4570.
MOAA has been working on the issue of student loan debt for servicemembers faithfully for years. With new legislation from Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Representative Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), part of this burden may become a little easier for our servicemembers to bear.
The Durbin-Duckworth Servicemember Student Loan Affordability Act would allow pre-service private or federal student loan debt to be consolidated or refinanced, while retaining the 6% rate cap under SCRA. This enables servicemembers with Federal Family Education Loans or Perkins student loans to enroll in the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program while they are serving and still take advantage of the 6% rate cap under SCRA.
One thousand new veterans in 2013 will have the opportunity to start a new career as a personal trainer for free thanks to Salute You Scholarship. It’s a new program by the American Council on Exercise (ACE), the largest educator and certifier of fitness professionals and health coaches. Anyone who’s been honorably discharged in the last twelve months is eligible.
ACE believes veterans of the U.S. armed forces are ideal candidates for personal trainers because of their sense of duty, their commitment to fitness and health, and their desire to serve their nation. ACE believes that is crucial as fitness professionals engage more deeply in the fight against the obesity epidemic.
The unemployment rate among veterans aged 18-24 is 17.7%. (Bureau of Labor Statistics / Institute for Veterans and Military Families. May 2013.) At the same time, employment of fitness trainers is expected to grow by 24% from 2010 to 2020 (Bureau of Labor Statistics). Last year CNNMoney named personal trainer as one if its 20 Best Jobs in America with 10-year growth forecast of 24%.
Applications are being accepted now. Go to ACEFitness.org to learn more!
Thinking About Your Next Career? So Are We®! If you’re looking for additional options for your post-military career, check out www.moaa.org/career for MOAA career fair information, transition publications, videos, staff experts, resume review opportunities and more.
COL Terri Coles, USA (Ret), deputy director of MOAA’s transition center, appeared on Channel 8 news this morning with Bruce DePuyt to discuss the issue of veteran employment.
COL Coles highlighted many of the issues that hinder veterans in their job search when they leave the military, including the translation of military skills into civilian terms. The use of generic, military-centric titles from every rank and service often need to be converted into parallel titles that employers in the civilian community can understand and monetize. DOD and organizations like MOAA can help with this task.
COL Coles also noted the services MOAA offers to help officers transitioning to the civilian job market, including Marketing Yourself for a Second Career presentations given around the country (almost 9,000 presentations already this year), teaching members how to hone their interview skills and brand themselves, and even develop their professional civilian resume.
Watch COL Terri Coles, USA (Ret) talk to Bruce DePuyt about the challenges facing transitioning servicemembers today:
COL Coles takes questions from callers:
MOAA not only offers transition assistance in the form of interview counseling, resume reviews and financial preparation – it also hosts free career fairs open to all servicemembers and their spouses, with military-friendly employers in attendance.
The 2013 fall MOAA Career Fair will be held on October 18 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.