SAVANNAH — More than 70 veteran service professionals representing 51 different colleges and universities from 16 states and the District of Columbia participated in the Certificate for Veteran Service Providers professional development training March 9-11 at Armstrong State University.
The program, designed by New Jersey-based Operation College Promise and sponsored in part by Armstrong and the University System of Georgia, educates veteran service providers to support veterans as they reintegrate to civilian life, particularly to higher education.
The program featured presentations from the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Army’s Soldier for Life program, American Council on Education, the Department of Labor, and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, among others. The audience also heard from keynote speakers Armstrong President Dr. Linda Bleicken and U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter, R-Ga.
“This program was an invaluable experience in learning how to better serve our military-affiliated student population,” said Anna Burns, director of the Academic Institutions for Military Students Network. “I have better insights to the Post 9/11 GI Bill, and most importantly to the advances in mental health counseling for our service members and veterans.”
The VA reports that more than 1 million veterans and service members are taking advantage of the bill. The growth of the veteran population on college and university campuses is expected to continue to grow as more than 1 million service members are slated to transition to civilian life over the next five years.
“The CVSP is the most comprehensive training program available to professionals who work with veterans in higher education,” said
Phil Gore, Armstrong’s military education coordinator. “Armstrong shares OCP’s vision to create an environment conducive to student veteran success. We are proud to partner with OCP to host a conference that gives professionals the tools they need to ensure student veterans achieve their academic, professional and life goals.”
The CVSP’s agenda is composed of seven modules that emphasize contemporary resources available for veterans of post-9/11 conflicts.
“There is no population that we as a nation are more indebted to than those brave men and women who have worn the uniform and sacrificed so much on our behalf,” added Wendy A. Lang, OCP director.