State Grant Will Help UofM Improve Services for Student Veterans

August 13, 2015 - The University of Memphis is one of 11 colleges selected to receive the Veteran Reconnect Grant, a competitive grant aimed at improving the success of student veterans enrolled in Tennessee colleges and universities. The UofM will receive $93,374.

"From 2008 to 2013, we saw a 200 percent increase in the number of veterans enrolling in our Tennessee colleges and universities," said Gov. Bill Haslam in announcing the awards. "Our Veterans Education Task Force has been working to address the unique needs that our service men and women have when they come home and go back to school, and these grants will help two-year and four-year schools develop initiatives specifically designed for veterans to be successful in earning a degree or certificate."

The grant will allow the UofM to create a Student Veteran Support Team (SVST). The SVST will be co-chaired by Joy Stout, director of Adult and Commuter Student Services and director of the Veterans Resource Center (VRC), and Dr. William Akey, associate dean of the University College. The support team will serve as an advisory committee for the VRC and Grant Oversight Committee, and collaborate so the VRC serves as a single point of contact to coordinate comprehensive services for student veterans. It also will plan, assist with implementation, and evaluate the revised New Student Veteran Orientation; develop a sustainability plan for the expansion of the VRC; plan, develop, monitor and evaluate data systems for serving student veterans; and use data provided by team members and other sources to improve services to student veterans.

"The University is proud to serve the growing number of veterans on our campus and in our community," said UofM President M. David Rudd. "This grant will complement an expanding portfolio of support services for veterans rivaling the best in the nation."

The University will focus on increasing use of its Prior Learning Assessment program, including experiential learning credit (ELC), a portfolio system particularly useful for veterans. The Veterans Reconnect funds also will support dedicated internships for student veterans, increased marketing to veterans, and training for faculty and staff on improving services to veterans.

Contact: Gabrielle Maxey