Completing the Mission II:
A Study of Veteran Students' Progress Toward Degree Attainment in the Post 9/11 Era
As the enrollment of military-affiliated students continue to surge at campuses across the country, OCP and the Arizona-based Pat Tillman Foundation released a paper reviewing their progress toward degree completion.
The expanded study illustrates student veterans' succeeding on college campuses. Access report here.
Operation College Promise (OCP) is a national policy, research and education program based in Trenton, New Jersey, which supports the transition and postsecondary advancement of our nation's veterans. Originating in 2008 as a web-based resource, the project was founded by the New Jersey Association of State Colleges and Universities (NJASCU) in 2008 to centralize transition information for servicemembers on a comprehensive website. In 2009, OCP was one of only 20 applicants awarded an ACE/Walmart Foundation "Success for Veterans" grant. Today, the project has partner institutions across the nation and has established a National Advisory Council (NAC) to support its rapidly broader national mission. (Our mission)
Educating veterans and those who serve them is a top priority of OCP. Major projects include the development of the nation's first resource manual for veterans' service providers (The OCP Field Guide) as well as the signature Certificate for Veterans' Service Providers (CVSP) program. The CVSP training has been offered at four different locations, including The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, Ramapo College of New Jersey, Texas State University-San Marcos, and the University of North Carolina - Charlotte. More than 200 professionals from 25 states have participated.
OCP launched its Speaker Series in March 2011 with a screening of "Warrior Champions" at William Paterson University, along with theatrical performances of"Into the Fire" and the "Telling Project" at Stockton College. To date, OCP has hosted more than 20 events, reaching more than 500 professionals in 25 states.
Direct outreach to veterans supports the dissemination of information to our veterans and servicemembers. OCP staff regularly participate in the New jersey National Guard's mandatory "Yellow Ribbon" Post and Pre-deployment programming and provide updated information on existing and emerging programs and services through the OCP website, monthly "Mail Call" e-newsletter, as well as social networking sites.
To begin the process of evaluating student veterans' progress toward degree, OCP partnered with the Pat Tillman Foundation to produce a survey of institutions across the nation in a pilot evaluation of the Graduation Probability Indices (GPI) - a methodology developed by OCP. This landmark report is available here. A longitudinal study of more than 50 schools will be launched in the summer of 2012.
OCP staff regularly testify before the New Jersey Legislature on policy affecting veterans and their transition and was awarded a Senate Resolution for its efforts on behalf of veterans and servicemembers. The project collaborated with the New Jersey State Senate to establish the "Veterans' Education Awareness Week." A federal resolution designating this week has been introduced in Congress. OCP is also researching and developing condensed degree programs that maximize the benefits of the Post-9/11 GI bill, while recognizing the skill sets of our military students in fields with potential for long-term employment. The first of these, "VETeach," a streamlined teaching degree plan was signed into New Jersey Statute on April 5, 2012. Other streamlined degree plans are being researched in engineering, psychology, business and nursing.
For more information on Operation College Promise, call 609-989-1100.
“The New Jersey Association of State Colleges and Universities and its member presidents demonstrated insightful leadership in recognizing early on the need to prepare their campuses for the arrival of this latest generation of returning veterans.”
-James Selbe, Assistant Vice President - American Council on Education (ACE)
Some individuals have misconstrued a quote by Barmak Nassirian, director of federal policy for the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), regarding the in-state tuition requirement enacted as part of the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014. The quote, which appeared in the Sept. 4 issue of Stars and Stripes, said, “Offering out-of-state veterans in-state tuition is certainly the best way of improving educational benefits for them.” Nassirian also expressed concern that Congress neither provided funding for the in-state tuition benefit, nor did it require the states to cover the cost. Nowhere in the quote does Nasssirian suggest that veterans are undeserving of the in-state tuition benefits mandated by this act.
Indeed, AASCU believes that all the benefits veterans and their families are entitled to have been earned through their selfless service and sacrifices for the nation. It should be noted that access and opportunity for veterans is a component of the association’s Public Policy Agenda.