Consortium of Michigan Veterans Educators Receives $500,000 Kresge Foundation Grant

The Consortium of Michigan Veterans Educators (CMVE) received a $500,000 grant from The Kresge Foundation that will bolster the group’s efforts to help Michigan veterans navigate their higher education pathways as they seek education and training to re-enter the civilian workforce.

Established in 2010, the CMVE includes representatives from all 43 public colleges and universities in Michigan, including OCC. It offers a rich network of professionals with varied expertise on issues military-affiliated students face to facilitate information sharing and ongoing professional development opportunities for member institutions. Campus advocates provide leadership dedicated to improving the student veteran experience in Michigan along with partners from the Michigan Center for Student Success (MCSS) at the Michigan Community College Association (MCCA), the Michigan Association of State Universities (MASU), the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency (MVAA), and the Michigan College Access Network (MCAN).

“As Veterans Day approaches, and provides us the opportunity to recognize the honorable service of American military men and women, it also provides us the opportunity to re-focus our efforts on supporting student veterans and military-affiliated students,” said MCSS Executive Director Erica Orians. “The goal of the CMVE is to build capacity around awarding academic credit for military service and training, build competencies among the faculty and staff who work with student-veterans, and address institutional policies and services that can enhance the experience of veterans on campus.”

The grant funding – distributed over three years from 2015-18 – will support these efforts and improve the capacity of colleges and universities statewide in helping student veterans, Orians added.

During the 2013-14 academic year, 19,012 students used VA educational benefits in Michigan. The timing of CMVE’s expanded leadership is needed — with the continued removal of troops from the Middle East, Michigan can expect to see an influx of 12,000 more veterans by 2018.

Student veterans have unique needs as they transition from military to civilian life, and the role of the CMVE will be to support the efforts of our member institutions to be sure these students have access to the appropriate programs and services on campuses across the state to meet their educational goals, Giardello said.

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