Vermont VFW partners with Excelsior College to draw younger vets seeking educational opportunity
The Veterans of Foreign Wars, Department of Vermont has signed an education partnership agreement with Excelsior College®, a regionally accredited nonprofit distance learning institution based in Albany, New York.
Vermont’s VFW counts nearly 6,600 members in its 25 posts throughout the state, and employs 114 people, who are also eligible for the partnership’s education benefits. Many of these veterans will also qualify for educational cost reimbursement through the Veterans Administration and some are unemployed in Vermont.
“With the unemployment rate for our youngest veterans hovering around 15 percent, many would like to pursue a higher education to increase their competitiveness but unsure where to turn,” said State VFW Commander Allston (Joe) Gilmond. “This partnership will provide a pathway for our organization to connect with this new generation of veterans and provide each with the support they need to make higher education a reality.”
The Vermont initiative reflects a national VFW goal: to attract younger veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars who are returning home and considering their higher education options. Under the new agreement Vermont VFW members, their spouses and domestic partners are eligible for reduced tuition and fees for undergraduate degree programs in Excelsior’s schools of Liberal Arts, Health Sciences, Business and Technology and Nursing. “This partnership will provide a tremendous benefit to all of our VFW members, especially our younger veterans,” said, Ronald Tallman the former State VFW Commander. “We want to provide our returning soldiers with options as they make the transition, including the ability to pursue higher education.”
Similar partnerships are in place between Excelsior and VFW departments in New York, Nevada and California. In New York,the partnership has already begun to pay off for VFW members.
Vermont veterans who are interested in joining the Department of Vermont, Veterans of Foreign Wars are invited to contact 802-223-5368 or visit www.vtvfw.org for more information.
"Excelsior College is happy to include our veteran neighbors in Vermont in our rapidly expanding education partnership network,” said Excelsior President John F. Ebersole. “We encourage veterans, their spouses and domestic partners to explore the many ways that Excelsior can assist with degree completion.”
Excelsior College, established in 1971, has a long and successful history of providing education to veterans and service members. The College has an extensive range of support services tailored to veterans, including financial counseling on veteran benefits and other financial aid and academic advisors who are veterans themselves. The College offers a range of academic support programs and career counseling services tailored to veterans.
The College accepts prior military training in the form of academic transfer credit based on recommendations from the American Council on Education’s Military Evaluations Program. Each year, Excelsior accepts approximately 50,000 military training program credits per year toward completion of undergraduate degree programs.
In November 2011, the College was named by Military Times Edge magazine as a “Best for Vets” top school for veterans, and has been repeatedly named a top “military friendly” school by GIJobs magazine.
Excelsior College’s education credentials include:
· Excelsior’s course, “Success Strategies for Military and Veterans” earned the 2010-2011 Innovation Award from the Center for Transforming Student Services (CENTSS). The course provides college and career orientation to veterans and military members and teaches transition strategies for those entering the civilian workforce after a military career.
· Excelsior is a recipient of the Council of College and Military Educators’ (CCME) Institutional Award.
· Excelsior’s military academic advising team includes veterans who are uniquely attuned to the needs of military students, veterans, and their spouses.
· Susan Dewan, executive director of Excelsior’s Center for Military Education is the recipient of the 2011 William E. Kennedy Award from the Council of College and Military Educators (CCME), which recognizes leadership in providing higher education programs to personnel at U.S. military installations.
· Excelsior President Ebersole is a U.S. Coast Guard veteran who served in Vietnam and received the Secretary of the Army Public Service Award in 2010 for his leadership in contributing to the Army’s educational mission.
As part of the partnership, veterans and their spouses are invited to provide unofficial military and civilian transcripts firstname.lastname@example.org or call 888-647-2388, ext.1352 for an unofficial courtesy review of their credits toward the degree they are closest or a particular degree they have in mind. To visit the Department of Vermont VFW landing page go to: http://www.excelsior.edu/vfw-department-of-vermont. Excelsior College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and has a long standing history of serving the military.
Media may contact Mike Lesczinski, Excelsior College’s public relations manager at email@example.com.
About the VFW, Department of Vermont
The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. is a nonprofit veterans' service organization composed of combat veterans and those who currently serve on active duty or in the Guard and Reserves. Founded in 1899 and chartered by Congress in 1936, the VFW is the nation's largest organization of war veterans and is one of its oldest veterans' organizations. With 2.1 million members located in 7,700 VFW Posts worldwide, the VFW and its Auxiliaries are dedicated to "honor the dead by helping the living" through veterans service, legislative initiatives, youth scholarships, Buddy Poppy and national military service programs. Annually, the VFW and its Auxiliaries contribute more than 11 million hours of community service to the nation. For more information or to join, visit the Vermont department Web site at www.vtvfw.org.
About Excelsior College
Excelsior College http://www.excelsior.edu is an accredited, nonprofit distance learning institution that focuses on removing obstacles to the educational goals of adult learners. Founded in 1971 and located in Albany, NY, Excelsior is a proven leader in the assessment and validation of student knowledge. It offers more efficient and affordable access to degree completion through multiple avenues: its own online courses and college-level proficiency examinations, and the acceptance in transfer of credit from other colleges and universities as well as recognized corporate and military training programs. Excelsior College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.