Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam unveiled a report Monday morning on the Governor’s Veterans Education Task Force, which outlines ways to improve higher education opportunities for Tennessee veterans.
Haslam formed the group in November 2013 and gave it the responsibility of identifying obstacles for transitioning veterans, researching best practices to serve student veterans and making recommendations on improving opportunities for veterans to earn a post-secondary degree or certificate.
“Veterans returning home from serving their country should have a smooth transition when enrolling at one of our colleges or universities,” Haslam said. “I appreciate the hard work of the Veterans Education Task Force to look at this issue and how we serve those veterans who have served so bravely for us.”
The nine-member task force met for six months and reviewed ideas that had already been implemented on college campuses across Tennessee, receiving feedback from student veterans. The goal was to identify the common problems student veterans faced and how to help them have successful academic and social experiences.
After compiling ideas and research, the task force made recommendations such as standardized, statewide training for campus leaders on veteran education practices, opportunities for colleges and universities to compete for funding of veteran-focused initiatives and the establishment of a new comprehensive veteran education website.
The task force is scheduled to start working with stakeholders from the state Department of Veterans Affairs and higher education officials in the coming months to begin implementing the recommendations.
Planning on the statewide training initiative and web-portal will begin immediately.
“These are people who put their lives on hold, and their lives on the line for all of us, so why would we not want to help them further succeed?” said Many-Bears Grinder, who serves as commissioner of the state Department of Veterans Affairs and on the task force. “We don’t want our veterans to just to get a job, we want to see them in quality careers because they have so much to offer.”
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