State Task Force Helping Veterans
Recommendations made by the task force are: support standardized, statewide training for campus leaders on veteran education practices; provide opportunities for colleges and universities to compete for funding veteran-focused initiatives; and establish a comprehensive veteran education web-portal.
“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. These recommendations will improve veterans’ access to higher education and help Tennessee toward the goals of Drive to 55.”
The governor’s “Drive to 55” initiative is aimed at increasing the number of Tennesseans with a certificate or degree beyond high school. By 2025, 55 percent of the jobs in Tennessee will require a post-secondary credential, and currently only 33 percent of Tennesseans qualify.
Haslam formed the Governor’s Veterans Education Task Force in November 2013, charging the group with identifying hurdles 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.
The task force will work with stakeholders from the state Department of Veterans Affairs and higher education in the coming months to begin implementing the recommendations, with planning on the statewide training initiative and web-portal beginning immediately.
The nine-member task force met once a month for six months and hosted meetings at college and university campuses across the state, focusing on those campuses that have been the most successful in educating veterans.
Dr. Mary Lou Apple, President of Motlow State Community College is a board member.