Media Contact:
Noah Black
noah.black@apscu.org


November 29, 2012

Contacts:
APSCU: Kevin Lawlor, 301-686-8025 / klawlor@ddcadvocacy.com
Grantham University: Johanna Altland, 816-595-5759 Ext. 513 / jaltland@grantham.edu

APSCU Blue Ribbon Taskforce For Military & Veterans Education Meets At Grantham University

Kansas City, MO - The Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities (APSCU) Blue Ribbon Taskforce for Military and Veterans Education met for the first time yesterday to begin formulating recommendations and best practices to improve the quality of institutional academic and programmatic delivery for military and veteran students. Such recommendations will be lifted up for all institutions of higher education to consider and employ in their service to these populations. Hosted by Grantham University, the meeting was fittingly held at the National World War I Museum in Kansas City.

The taskforce was created with the mission of ensuring that every service member, veteran or family member utilizing their earned benefits are provided with the quality education they deserve at every institution of higher education.

"Today's Taskforce meeting represents critical dialog in an ongoing conversation between military and veteran education stakeholders and the higher education community to ensure that every service member, veteran and family member is provided with the quality education to which they are entitled at every institution of higher education," said Jeffrey P. Cropsey Cpt. USA (Ret.), Vice President for Strategic Initiatives, Grantham University and Chair, Public Affairs, Council of College and Military Educators.

"The Taskforce is fortunate to have insight and input from our nation's key veteran service organizations, institutional leaders with expertise in military and veteran education, and representatives from leading military and veteran organizations as we collectively work toward influencing the larger, national conversation about how to provide an exceptional education to our service members and veterans,” said James Hendrickson, Lt. Col. USAFR, Vice President of Military Education and Executive Director of the CTU Wounded Warrior Scholarship, Colorado Technical University.

"The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) is proud to see leaders in the private sector education community coming to the table in an effort to ensure that veterans attending proprietary schools receive the kind of education to which they are entitled," said Ryan Gallucci, VFW Deputy Legislative Director, who serves as an advisor to the APSCU Blue Ribbon taskforce on veterans education. "During difficult fiscal times, we've already heard whispers on Capitol Hill about scaling back the Post-9/11 GI Bill as a result of reports that some schools may fail to deliver on their promises. We are hopeful that the taskforce can develop some good ideas on how to better serve veterans in higher education, which is why we are proud to offer a veterans' voice to the taskforce and looking forward to the final report in early 2013."

The taskforce includes the following institutional and organizational military and veteran education representatives from APSCU, non-APSCU and veteran service organizations:

Co-Chairs:

  • Jeffrey P. Cropsey, Cpt. USA (Ret.) - Vice President for Strategic Initiatives, Grantham University and Chair, Public Affairs, Council of College and Military Educators
  • James Hendrickson, Lt. Col. USAFR - Vice President of Military Education and Executive Director of the CTU Wounded Warrior Scholarship, Colorado Technical University (CTU)

Members:

  • Jeff Arthur - CIO and Vice President of Financial Assistance, ECPI University
  • Mike Betz - General Manager, Military Student Initiatives, Education Corporation of America (ECA)
  • Scott A. Kilgore - Senior Vice President of Military of Affairs, Kaplan University
  • Russell Kitchner, Ph.D. - Vice President for Regulatory and Governmental Relations, American Public University System
  • Scott D. Palumbo, LCDR. USNR - National Director of Military Affairs, DeVry University
  • James Shane, Jr., BG. USA (Ret.) - Director of Military and Veterans Affairs, Sullivan University
  • Kathy Snead - Service members Opportunity Colleges (SOC) Consortium President and Vice President for Military and Veteran Partnerships, American Association of State Colleges and Universities
  • Dennis Trinkle, Ph.D. - Provost and Chief Academic Officer, Harrison College
  • Joseph W. Wescott - Executive Director, Veterans and Military Education Programs, North Carolina State Approving Agency and Vice President, National Association of State Approving Agencies
  • Garland H. Williams, Ph.D., Col. USA (Ret.) - Association Regional Vice President, Military Division, University of Phoenix

Special Advisors:

  • Michael Dakduk - Executive Director, Student Veterans of America (SVA)
  • Ryan M. Gallucci - Deputy Director, National Legislative Service, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. (VFW)
  • Steve Gonzalez - Assistant Director, National Economic Division, American Legion

Each of these schools exhibits a commitment to both the quality of education and the student veterans they serve. Combined with the expertise and knowledge of those representing the military and veteran education communities, the taskforce will provide unique insight and practices to allow other institutions to implement similar policies to improve their military and veteran education programs in areas such as appropriate marketing and recruitment, education benefits, student support services and mentoring, academic counseling and placement services.

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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.