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The university said it would pay nearly $1.3-million to settle the case brought by the women, who are current or former undergraduates.
For 70 years, the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944 – known as the “GI Bill” – has provided our nation’s military with higher education opportunities. In an effort to give back to our veterans, the Obama administration signed an Executive Order 13607, Establishing Principles of Excellence for Educational Institutions Serving Service Members, Veterans, Spouses, and Other Family Members that led to the creation of the 8 Keys to Veterans’ Success (8 Keys).
These are concrete steps institutions of higher education can take to assist veterans and service members on their campus in their transition to postsecondary education. Over 400 universities and colleges across the country have pledged themselves to these 8 Keys. On July 16, Education Under Secretary Ted Mitchell and Under Secretary of Veterans Affairs Allison A. Hickey sent a joint letter to institutions of higher education encouraging them to affirm support for the 8 Keys.
Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) offers a view into what it looks like to support veterans through the 8 Keys.
“At Virginia Commonwealth University, we have taken significant steps to ensure that our more than 1,100 veteran, active duty, and military dependent students have an educational experience that is second to none in our nation,” VCU President Michael Rao said. “We are proud of our record in supporting these outstanding students, and we are committed to ensuring that they have every resource to succeed at VCU and beyond.”
From the creation of Military Student Services (MSS) to the Green Zone program, veteran students on campus have ample opportunity to connect with one another. MSS addresses the unique needs of military students during their time at the university. Undergraduate student Scott Seal said, “MSS guided me through every step of the transition process, from utilizing my GI benefits to registering for classes and helping me to navigate the college experience.” The Military Student Service Center (MSSC) works with a number of organizations to help improve the student veteran experience and offers a number of systems that provide students with financial, academic and career advice. MSSC is centrally located and provides military affiliated students with a place to relax, study and socialize with their peers.
Green Zone is an innovative program that trains university faculty and staff members on how to better support veteran students making the difficult transition from service member to student. “The training was immensely helpful and targeted a population of students all too often forgotten. I would recommend Green Zone training to any individual employed in a higher education setting who has contact with active or veteran military students,” said Amy Rostan, a VCU academic advisor. VCU’s efforts are not solely confined to their own campus but have reached other institutions. For example, Green Zone has been shared with approximately 20 other colleges and universities across America.
To join VCU and the hundreds of other schools committing to these principles, to learn more about them, and to electronically upload your institution’s affirmation letter, visit the 8 Keys registration website.
Sydney Mann is an intern for the Military Affairs Team at the U.S. Department of Education.
A legislative committee held a grueling hearing this week on the matter and may announce next month whether it plans to move against the regent.
The leaders of Cornell Tech, a new institution in New York City, are designing spaces meant to accommodate whatever tomorrow brings.
Freeman A. Hrabowski III, president of the University of Maryland-Baltimore County, thinks he knows what students need: lots of support.
Fudan University and other universities are under scrutiny from the government's anti-graft watchdog, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection.
In a review ordered by the Supreme Court, the Fifth Circuit judges split in favor of the affirmative-action policy.
The dispute over the University of Texas at Austin's consideration of race in admissions has a long legal history. Here's a guide to key moments in the case.
The Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) appointed former Vice President of Government Affairs for Apollo Education Group Dr. John Lopez to direct the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) for the compact.
Reposted from the Huffington Post.
The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 enabled the U.S Department of Agriculture to make historic changes to the meals served in our nation’s schools. Breakfasts, lunches, and snacks sold during the school day are now more nutritious than ever, with less fat and sodium and more whole-grains, fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and low-fat dairy. For many kids, the meals they get at school may be the only nutritious meals they receive that day—and when children receive proper nourishment, they are not only healthier, but they also have better school attendance and perform better academically. It’s not enough, though, to make the meals healthier—we must ensure that children have access to those healthier foods.
The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act authorized a program, known as the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP), that can help schools achieve their educational goals by ensuring that children in low-income communities have access to healthy meals at school so they are ready to learn. In this program, schools agree to offer breakfast and lunch for free to all students, and cover any costs that exceed the reimbursements from USDA. Designed to ease the burden of administering a high volume of applications for free and reduced price meals, CEP is a powerful tool to both increase child nutrition and reduce paperwork at the district, school, and household levels, which saves staff time and resources for cash-strapped school districts.
Starting this upcoming school year, the program is available to schools across the country. The decision to participate in the Community Eligibility Provision is a local one, and schools must decide for themselves whether this program is right for them. In order to give schools more time to make that decision, we recently extended the deadline to participate in School Year 2014-2015. Last month, USDA announced that schools now have until August 31 to enroll.
State educational agencies and local school districts often use data collected through the National School Lunch Program to carry out certain eligibility requirements for other programs, including Title I for schools serving students from low-income families. The Department of Education recently released guidance highlighting the range of options that schools have for implementing these requirements while also participating in CEP—and many districts already have successfully implemented Title I requirements using data that incorporate Community Eligibility. We strongly encourage schools and school districts that have not yet adopted CEP to review ED Guidance on Community Eligibility and Title I and USDA’s Resources on Community Eligibility, and carefully consider the positive impact that CEP can have for your students, schools, and communities.
This program has already been working in nearly 4,000 pilot schools across the country, some of which are already in their third year of participation and seeing tremendous results. Schools that participated in the pilot phase of this program saw increased participation and revenue from breakfast and lunch programs:
- In Washington, D.C.’s public schools, Lindsey Palmer, school programs manager for the Office of the State Superintendent of Education, outlined why CEP has worked so well for D.C.’s schools; including reduced stigma, reduction in administrative functions, better prediction of federal school meals funding amounts based on previous participation, more resources available to improve the meals and overall program, and better reach to those students who really needed the benefits of the school meal program.
- In New York, Larry Spring, superintendent of the Schenectady City School District, also offered high praise. His district can better focus efforts on food- insecure students and provide greater access to meals with the help of CEP. According to Superintendent Spring, his schools have enjoyed an increase in attendance since adopting CEP, which generally translates into higher test scores and improved academic achievement.
We want to give every child an opportunity to learn and thrive at school. CEP has the potential to bring the promise of healthy school meals to over 3,000 school districts nationwide. The Departments of Agriculture and Education have been working together to make sure that every eligible school knows about CEP and has the information they need to determine if it is right for them. To learn more visit USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service Website.
See what others have to say about the program.
Arne Duncan is Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education and Tom Vilsack is Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
On Wednesday, July 2, ED commemorated the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 with a Civil Rights Bus Ride. Some of the original Freedom Riders and current student leaders took a trip from Washington, D.C., to Richmond, Virginia, for a symbolic and celebratory returning ride.
Jessica Faith Carter attends the University of Texas at Austin and is from Houston, Texas
I am a first generation college student, a few semesters away from a Ph.D., my fifth degree. For me, education has been a great equalizer and the reason I have been able to transcend some potentially unfortunate circumstances that may come with being born an African American female, in a low-income community. Instead, I have become an accomplished educator and trailblazer. Without the Civil Rights Act of 1964, I would not have had the opportunity to attend the prestigious institutions of higher education that I have, and I don’t think I would be the leader I am today without the knowledge and experiences that I gained through education.
On July 2, it was truly life-changing to be in the company of men and women who risked their lives to fight for the rights that I enjoy today. As we rode school buses between Washington, D.C. and Richmond, Virginia. I was inspired to be among the next generation of leaders who are continuing to advance the work that those luminaries started decades ago. My favorite part of this experience was the dialogue that took place during our journey. Hank Thomas and John Moody — two of the original Freedom Riders — spoke candidly about their experiences as young activists and provided a great deal of insight for future leaders. I stepped off the bus feeling inspired and empowered to continue to work to ensure that every child in this country has access to a high-quality education.
Cindy Nava attends the University of New Mexico and is from Albuquerque, New Mexico
The commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was an experience that will be embedded in my heart for the rest of my life.
It is important to remember every stone that has been lifted, every tear that has been shed, and every life that has been taken, in order to appreciate the sacrifices of so many and to acknowledge how far we have come as a country.
As a low-income, immigrant child, the daughter of a house cleaner and a construction worker from Mexico, I could have only dreamt of ever having the opportunity to participate in such an event.
The words of advice, encouragement, and faith from the Freedom Riders truly touched my heart. The words of Assistant Secretary Catherine Lhamon brought a sense of reality and motivation to continue working toward a better future that represents justice for all. The passion with which Hank Thomas spoke about his days on the freedom buses was inspirational. He brought to life every second of his pain, struggle, and success during the last five decades.
It is time to learn from the successes and the mistakes of past movements. I think that we must operate within the system to create real change, through creation of policy and educational access for all. We must accept the responsibility of continuing to build the bridge for the millions coming behind us, and we must continue work that will connect young with old. By doing this for years to come, we may continue the battle for equality and justice.
For another student’s perspective, check out student blogger Manpreet Teji’s post on the SAALT blog.[View the story "#civilrightsride Commemorates 50th Anniversary of Civil Rights Act of 1964" on Storify]
The lawsuits accuse the companies of preying on struggling borrowers, charging fees to enroll them in free government programs.
The department fails to effectively monitor borrowers’ complaints about companies under contract to collect on defaulted federal student loans, an audit finds.
Plain and simple, college tuition is expensive. It's only getting more so, according to the Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education.
If you’re interested in a hands-on learning experience with the Department of Education, but are unable to travel to Washington, D.C., the Virtual Student Foreign Service (VSFS) program is for you!
Federal Student Aid (FSA) is teaming up with the State Department’s Virtual Student Foreign Service (VSFS) to offer 11 opportunities – in writing and editing, digital engagement, financial literacy communication, database system development, and others — for students to engage on postsecondary issues.
VSFS uses technology to help students who can’t travel to Washington begin their careers in public service.
A full list of FSA positions is available on state.gov/vsfs.
To be eligible, you must be:
- A U.S. citizen
- A college or graduate/post-graduate student of freshman status or higher
- A part-time or full-time student pursuing an undergraduate or graduate/post-graduate degree at an accredited US college or university
Undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate students can apply through July 22, 2014 at USAJobs.gov.
To apply, you’ll need:
- A copy of your official or unofficial transcript
- A statement of interest
- A resume
The application period for the 2014-2015 VSFS eInternship program is July 2-22, 2014. For more information about the program, visit state.gov/vsfs. For questions on the FSA-posted projects, email VirtualIntern@ed.gov.
Meredith Bajgier is a public affairs specialist in the Office of Communications and Outreach at the U.S. Department of Education.
The Let’s Read! Let’s Move! summer series danced off to the beat of the Native American drum with the Black Bear Singers surrounded by 225 children, ages three to seven, in a continuous round dance at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) on July 9, 2014.
Secretary Arne Duncan was joined by NMAI Director Kevin Gover, Washington Kastles tennis coach Murphy Jensen, Assistant to the President and Cabinet Secretary Broderick Johnson, White House chef, executive director of Let’s Move! and senior policy advisor on nutrition in the Office of the First Lady Sam Kass, and Corporation for National and Community Service CEO Wendy Spencer. The USDA Power Panther also made an appearance, motivating all in attendance to improve their eating and physical activity behaviors.
Students sang “Happy Birthday” to the museum at the top of their lungs and listened closely as Duncan and his friends read The Butterfly Dance by Gerald Dawavendewa. During the question and answer section following the reading, students quizzed the panel on their favorite books and sports.
Shortly after, the event transitioned to Let’s Move! activities, including a food tasting of banana chips with NMAI Mitsitam Café staff , indoor tennis with Washington Kastles team members Martina Hingis, Anastasia Rodionova, Leander Paes, Bobby Reynolds and Kevin Anderson, igloo building, an obstacle course through “the Wetlands,” complete with a kayak, Yup-ik yo-yo demonstrations, and Hawaiian bowling with the help of the YMCA of Metropolitan Washington. At the end of the day, each child left with a new book, healthy snacks, and a book bag courtesy of Target and its partnership with First Book.
The next installments of the Let’s Read! Let’s Move! series are scheduled for: July 16th, July 23rd and July 30, in various locations throughout Washington, D.C. The program supports First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative, which promotes healthy lifestyle choices and nutrition, while also encouraging strong early learning programs to ensure bright futures for children.
For highlights of this week’s event, watch our Let’s Read! Let’s Move! kick-off video:
Molly Block is a rising senior at the University of Michigan. She is interning with the Web Team in the Office of Communications and Outreach at the U.S. Department of Education.
Our fourth social media tip sheet is now online!
During the past few weeks, we’ve been presenting clear and concise information about social media messaging for educators and now we’ve released information about measuring those engagement strategies.
State and local agencies participating in the Reform Support Network’s (RSN) survey of State education agencies (SEAs) and local education agencies (LEAs) about the use of social media said that measuring success can seem to bethe most challenging aspect of communications work. As a result, many agencies simply are not measuring success at all or as well as they would like.
This latest tip sheet includes information about trackingsocial media reach and engagement. It also discusses the importance of metricsand working with third-party tools and partners to build comprehensive reports.
To access all of the tip sheets we’ve put together for educators, please visit our Communicating and Engaging: Race to the Top Resources page.
Dorothy Amatucci is a digital engagement strategist at the U.S. Department of Education.
Policy makers have embraced the idea that an increase in college graduates will fuel a better economy for their states. But strings are attached to the modest generosity.
Queens chose a former cabinet secretary in Puerto Rico, while Lone Star picked the president of its North Harris campus. Read about that and other job-related news.