APSCU Announces Best Practices for Military and Veteran Education
Blue Ribbon Taskforce Provides Roadmap for Military and Veteran Student Success
Washington, D.C. – The Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities (APSCU) has released the "Report of the APSCU Blue Ribbon Taskforce for Military and Veteran Education,"which provides recommendations and suggestions to institutions of higher education for improving the educational experience of America's military and veteran students. The Blue Ribbon Taskforce was composed of institutional leaders of campus military programs, state leaders and representatives of Veteran Service Organizations who served as special advisors.
Both APSCU and the taskforce are committed to ensuring military and veteran students attending postsecondary institutions are positioned to succeed and maximize the educational benefits they have earned through heroic service to our nation. The recommendations address: consumer information, enrollment and recruitment; institutional commitment to provide military and veteran student support; promising practices for ensuring military and veteran student success through student services; and establishing institutional research guidelines for tracking military and veteran student success.
The recommendations included in the report broadly address full transparency and accuracy of information in the recruitment and enrollment process; institutional commitment supporting the military and veteran students' academic needs; appropriate student services reflecting the numbers and needs of the military and veteran student population; and pursuit of outcomes data related to retention, degree completion, and other metrics for an institution's military and veteran students, enabling institutions to evaluate and improve services in the future.
Relating to consumer information, enrollment, and recruitment, the taskforce recommends that colleges and universities provide students with accurate and complete information, as well as in-depth financial counseling so students fully understand all financial obligations. The taskforce also recommended that institutions take steps to develop appropriate recruiting policies, sound enrollment practices, and tailored orientation programs.
The recommendations also suggest that colleges and universities actively support and promote programs and services tailored to the needs of military and veteran students. Specifically, the best practices identify good personnel practices, including faculty and campus-wide staff training on the specific needs of military and veteran students, as well as resources that are available to assist these students and their families.
The taskforce's recommendations were developed after a careful process, which included a thorough examination of pertinent information and robust conversation. The findings will help form sound policy regarding the education and training of a growing and diverse military and veteran student population in all sectors of higher education. Today, for instance, private sector colleges and universities educate more than 325,000 men and women who have served in the Armed Services, their spouses and dependents.
"These recommendations will help improve accountability among institutions of higher learning, and as a result, benefit prospective military and veteran students seeking the training and skills necessary to succeed in the civilian workforce," said former Congressman Steve Gunderson, the president and chief executive officer of the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities. "APSCU encourages all postsecondary institutions to review these Best Practices and adopt the recommendations which will benefit their military veteran students.
Gunderson concluded, "We are privileged that hundreds of thousands of military and veteran students and their families have chosen to attend private sector colleges and universities. We have no higher priority than providing our military and veteran students with a quality education that allows them and their loved ones to prosper and achieve the American Dream."
PSCUs open doors to many of the 13 million unemployed and 90 million undereducated Americans by providing a skills-based education. To remain competitive over the next decade, we must identify between 8 and 23 million new workers with postsecondary skills. PSCUs are a necessary part of that solution, having produced over 800,000 degrees last year alone.