Consortium of Michigan Veterans Educators: Improving Veterans' Access to Education

"On this Veterans Day, let us remember the service of our veterans, and let us renew our national promise to fulfill our sacred obligations to our veterans and their families who have sacrificed so much so that we can live free." - Dan Lipinski, IL Congressman 

Consortium of MI Veterans Educators

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, 19,012 Michigan college students used VA educational benefits during the 2013-2014 academic year. It is estimated that 30,000 to 50,000 additional veterans will return to the state of Michigan by 2024. These veterans will reintegrate into civilian life in a number of ways. For many, seeking education with the help of their VA educational benefits will be the first step in re-entering the civilian workforce. The Consortium of Michigan Veterans Educators seeks to increase the number of military-affiliated students taking advantage of educational benefits in Michigan, and ensure they receive the support needed to successfully attain and complete their education. 

The CMVE was established in 2010 and includes representatives from all 43 public colleges and universities in the state of Michigan. It offers a rich network of professionals with varied expertise on issues facing military-affiliated students. This collaborative network provides ongoing professional development opportunities, relevant information and resources, and demonstrations of best practices to support all of Michigan’s military-affiliated students. After a recent $500,00 Kresge Foundation grant award, the CMVE stands readier than ever to help institutions build capacity and remove barriers to degree completion for military-affiliated students.   

Student veterans are presented with unique challenges as they transition from military service to the classroom. In addition to potential service-related physical injuries or mental trauma, they may experience difficulty when transitioning from structured military life to more loosely-defined civilian life. While campuses are doing their best, lack of resources or know-how to address the complexities involved in serving military-affiliated students can mean they face additional barriers and lower rates of educational attainment than non-veterans. CMVE aims to help institutions gain capacity to address these issues. 

In order to provide military-affiliated students with the best possible education-related services, CMVE participates in the Multi-State Collaborative on Military Credit, and also is exploring collaborations with other relevant national organizations and initiatives to enhance its critical partnerships. This includes strengthening relationships with the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency and MCAN’s Michigan Veteran Education Initiative. The consortium also looks forward to further integrating into the state’s six Veterans Community Action Teams and the newly formed Student Veterans of Michigan. 

CMVE members are passionate about celebrating our national heroes in pursuit of higher education and invite you to keep up with our activities! Here’s how you can get involved: 

  • Share your feedback on areas of success or challenge for military-affiliated students in higher education so we know what’s working and can help overcome service gaps on your campus.
  • Join the CMVE listserv (send a request to Katie at the email shown below) and LinkedIn group (search for CMVE).
  • Faculty and staff at postsecondary institutions are also invited to serve on one of CMVE’s subcommittees, including the newest committee on Academic Credit.

 To learn more, contact Director of Veteran and Transfer Initiatives Katie Giardello by sending an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

  

KatieGiardelloAuthor: Katie Giardello, director of veteran and transfer initiatives, Michigan Center for Student Success, Michigan Community College Association 

Posted: Nov. 5, 2015

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