BRISTOL, R.I., – In a collaborative effort to provide Rhode Island’s military veterans customized opportunities for educational and career development programs, the Roger Williams University School of Continuing Studies and the Rhode Island Division of Veterans Affairs have joined forces on a partnership that will allow local veterans to apply military training and experience toward certificate and degree programs.
“For more than 30 years, the School of Continuing Studies has worked with military students to offer credits for life experience, flexible course formats and personal support,” says Jamie E. Scurry, interim dean. “This partnership provides a pathway for veterans in Rhode Island, particularly those recently returned from Iraq or Afghanistan – whether it’s a certificate program or a four-year degree, these are career-oriented opportunities ideal for adult learners.”
Through the agreement, Rhode Island veterans can pursue a bachelor of general studies degree or an existing certificate program; alternatively, they can work with the School of Continuing Studies to develop an academic plan that tailors their military experience with today’s workforce demands. Academic credit can be applied from prior college attendance, military training and experience, College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) or other standardized exams, and other non-traditional experiential training.
The School of Continuing Studies will also work with Veterans Affairs to provide support services, including dedicated advisers, one-on-one academic advising, tutoring and other educational resources. And to assist with the transition from military to student life, veterans will have the opportunity to participate in a “pre-semester experience” program that offers an introduction to college life and tips for balancing schoolwork and other responsibilities.
Sandra M. Powell, Director of the RI Department of Human Services, welcomed this new collaboration. “This is a prime example of government and non-government organizations working together to the advantage of those we serve. The partnership will really enhance the work of our Division of Veterans Affairs, and we look forward to a long and fruitful relationship with Roger Williams University.”
“This is an exciting first step for our division in expanding the educational opportunities and programs we can offer our veterans,” said Kim A. Ripoli, Associate Director of the RI Division of Veterans Affairs. “We can provide education counseling and overall awareness of the GI Bill benefits in coordination with the staff at Roger Williams University. Many, many veterans will profit from this initiative.”
The partnership comes on the heels of an ongoing surge of student veterans now entering college campuses, as a result of the Post-9/11 GI Bill. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that 660,000 military veterans are now enrolled in undergraduate programs nationwide – approximately 3 percent of country’s current undergraduate population.
The RWU School of Continuing Studies has a deep history of serving military learners, including active-duty service personnel and disabled veterans, and offers a variety of degree and certificate programs with flexible course schedules and/or distance learning options. More than 900 military learners have graduated from the School of Continuing Studies in a program that started with a handful of classes taught at Naval Station Newport in the late 1970s.
Individuals interested in learning more about R.I. Division of Veterans Affairs educational resources can visit http://www.vets.ri.gov/ or call at (401) 254-8343. Prospective students looking for additional details on School of Continuing Studies programs can call (401) 254-3530 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.