VUB Archived News
From Combat to College-Veterans as Agents of Change in the Campus Community
See Also: View Powerpoint Presentation
Veterans Upward Bound at Truckee Meadows Community College in Reno Nevada was selected by a competitive process to present a breakout session at the Sept. 18, 2009 Northern Nevada Human Resources Association 7th Annual Diversity Conference, whose theme was "Diversity: Now More Than Ever."
Susan Thomasson, program counselor, and Nanci Fowler, special projects assistant, examined the role of veterans as agents of change from several different perspectives. First, they looked backward at the history and impacts of the GI Bill of 1944 to appreciate the potential of returning veterans to change not only the entire higher education system, but the very fabric of American society as a whole. They discussed how recruitment practices have influenced the make-up of the military, and addressed the impacts of fighting the Global War on Terror. Both of these factors will significantly affect the cohorts of returning veterans we will be serving. They then presented a detailed and comprehensive description of how we at TMCC Veterans Upward Bound are successfully helping veterans thrive in college.
The 1944 GI Bill contributed more than any other program in history to the welfare of veterans and their families. College enrollments increased by 70 percent over pre-war levels. Seven million veterans took advantage of education and training. In higher education restrictions against Jews and Catholics were dropped, thousands of African Americans attended previously white universities and the large number of disabled veterans on campuses raised the general awareness of disability issues and increased the demand for special services. Thousands of African Americans and whites joined the middle class. Children of these vets didn't wonder if they would go to college, but where they would go to college.
Today with two million veterans returning from the global war on terror higher education is set to experience a similar phenomenon. The Post-9/11 Veterans Assistance Act of 2008 will provide benefits at a level not known since the 1944 GI Bill. In addition, the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA) has removed barriers to campus accommodation for many disabilities, especially psychological and cognitive disabilities. There is currently no one reliable source for the percentage of returning veterans headed for higher education who may be individuals with disabilities, however, an estimate of 40 percent is not considered unreasonable.
This year TMCC Veterans Upward Bound is celebrating 20 years of helping vets successfully transition from the structured environment of combat to the independence expected on college campuses. We recognize the strengths that students with military experience bring to campus, and also the attributes of combat training and reactions that do not translate very well into the classroom. We know how to involve students immediately, taking advantage of their initial motivation and how to keep them involved through the co-creation of an individual career plan, showing them how to "do" college, preparing them academically in math and English, teaching them study skills and computer basics. We not only focus on academic integration, but also social integration at well, by providing a welcoming physical environment and class structure which fosters cooperative learning, networking, socializing, informal peer counseling and, ultimately results in increased retention. Our statistics (2007-2008) bear this out: 80 percent of participants completed VUB or were retained in the program. Seventy three percent of participants were enrolled in postsecondary education by the fall term following completion of VUB. Sixty one percent of participants who were enrolled in postsecondary education were retained for the second academic year.
Veterans Upward Bound programs specialize in assisting veterans transition from soldier to civilian to student. Now more than ever, we will be able to use our unique and innovative services to help these veterans get back to school.
Veteran of the Month.
Read more about TMCC's past veterans of the month.
The TMCC Veterans Upward Bound Program grant rated in the top 10 percent of similar programs in the nation.
The TMCC Veterans Upward Bound grant was recently re-funded by the U.S. Department of Education. The program was rated within the top 10 percent in the country by receiving perfect scores of 100 from all three federal grant evaluators. As a result, the program was awarded an additional year of funding for a five-year grant award period from 2008 through 2012.
Veterans Upward Bound receives Gold Medallion of Excellence.
TMCC won a 2007 Gold Medallion Award from the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations District 6 for the Veterans Upward Bound brochure .
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