BGSU commits to White House’s efforts to implement keys to veterans’ success on campus


BOWLING GREEN, O.—Bowling Green State University is one of 250 community colleges and universities nationwide, and one of only four institutions in Ohio, implementing the Obama Administration’s “8 Keys to Success” to help veterans on campus.

The “8 Keys to Success” highlight specific ways that colleges and universities can support veterans as they pursue their education and employment goals. It aims to aid veterans in their effort to afford and complete their college degrees, certificates, industry-recognized credentials and licenses in preparation for jobs in high-growth sectors of the economy.

President Obama recently introduced the initiative at the Disabled American Veterans National Convention in Orlando. 

“We’re announcing what we call ‘8 Keys to Success’ — specific steps that schools can take to truly welcome and encourage our veterans,” President Obama said. “And so far, more than 250 community colleges and universities have signed on, and today I’m calling on schools across America to join us in this effort. Let’s help our veterans get that degree, get that credential and compete for the high-skilled jobs of tomorrow.”

“We can proudly say that BGSU currently addresses each of the eight steps and we are ready to do more,” said BGSU President Mary Ellen Mazey. “Supporting this national voluntary effort is in complete alignment with our strategies and goals for BGSU student veterans and the surrounding community.”

“BGSU continues to enhance the services we provide to veterans,” said Barb Henry, assistant vice president for Nontraditional and Transfer Student Services. “For example, it has been a challenge for institutions across the country to collect meaningful data to assess the success of our student veterans, and in collaboration with Institutional Research, we are developing more robust dashboards to better inform our decision making at BGSU.”

The “8 Keys to Success” include the following:  

1. Create a culture of trust and connectedness across the campus community to promote well-being and success for veterans.

2. Ensure consistent and sustained support from campus leadership.

3. Implement an early alert system to ensure all veterans receive academic, career, and financial advice before challenges become overwhelming.

4. Coordinate and centralize campus efforts for all veterans, together with the creation of a designated space (even if limited in size).

5. Collaborate with local communities and organizations, including government agencies, to align and coordinate various services for veterans.

6. Utilize a uniform set of data tools to collect and track information on veterans, including demographics, retention and degree completion.

7. Provide comprehensive professional development for faculty and staff on issues and challenges unique to veterans.

8. Develop systems that ensure sustainability of effective practices for veterans.

“This commitment made by colleges and universities will help veterans better transition from the battlefield to the campus, find a good job and strengthen our economy,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “Given a chance, veterans will succeed because they are disciplined, self-starters accustomed to working hard.”

The Obama administration’s "8 Keys to Success" build on its work to provide veterans and military families with a high-quality, affordable education. In April 2012, President Obama signed an executive order establishing the Principles of Excellence (POE), which provide protections for our nation’s military, veterans, and their families, including by helping to ensure they have the information they need to succeed in higher education.

The Post-9/11 GI Bill has also played a large role in helping returning service members attend college. VA has issued approximately $30 billion in Post 9/11 GI-Bill benefit payments since its inception in August 2009, and helped nearly one million service members, veterans, and their families pursue their education.

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(Posted August 15, 2013 )