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Nazareth College Among Just 250 Colleges Nationwide to Implement 8 Keys to Veteran Success

  • Published: September 04, 2013

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Media: Julie Long (585) 389-2456

or Jeremy Bagley, Coordinator Veteran Student Enrollment & Support Services (585) 389-5017

Nazareth College Among Just 250 Colleges Nationwide to Implement 8 Keys to Veteran Success

As part of the Obama administration’s ongoing effort to foster post-secondary educational opportunities and dramatically improve employment outcomes for returning service members, Nazareth College was named by the Department of Education (ED) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) as one of just three upstate New York colleges among more than 250 colleges nationwide that immediately answered the call to implementing the “8 Keys to Success” to help Veterans on campus.

 “We’re announcing what we call ‘8 Keys to Success’ -- specific steps that schools can take to truly welcome and encourage our Veterans,” President Obama said. “And so far, more than 250 community colleges and universities have signed on, and I’m calling on schools across America to join us in this effort.  Let’s help our Veterans get that degree, get that credential and compete for the high-skilled jobs of tomorrow.”

With Nazareth the only Rochester college and one of just 21 statewide leading the way, the “8 Keys to Success” can aid Veterans in their effort to afford and complete their college degrees, certificates, industry-recognized credentials and licenses in preparation for jobs in high-growth sectors of the economy.

To help draft the “8 Keys to Success,” ED convened more than 100 experts to review approaches that could be scaled and replicated to foster Veterans’ success on campus and via distance learning.  A wide range of stakeholders participated in the discussions including non-profit organizations, foundations, Veterans service organizations and, importantly, Veterans who had recently completed postsecondary education in a range of disciplines.  Best practices learned from existing programs at ED and VA provided the foundation for the “8 Keys to Success,” specifically best practices from the highly successful VA “VetSuccess on Campus” programs.

The “8 Keys to Success” include the following:  
1. Create a culture of trust and connectedness across the campus community to promote well-being and success for Veterans.
2. Ensure consistent and sustained support from campus leadership.
3. Implement an early alert system to ensure all Veterans receive academic, career, and financial advice before challenges become overwhelming.
4. Coordinate and centralize campus efforts for all Veterans, together with the creation of a designated space (even if limited in size).
5. Collaborate with local communities and organizations, including government agencies, to align and coordinate various services for Veterans.
6. Use a uniform set of data tools to collect and track information on Veterans, including demographics, retention and degree completion.
7. Provide comprehensive professional development for faculty and staff on issues and challenges unique to Veterans.
8. Develop systems that ensure sustainability of effective practices for Veterans.

Nazareth is also a model school for two other programs the VA is expanding to further Veterans’ success in higher education and employment, VetSuccess on Campus (VSOC) and Veterans Integration to Academic Leadership (VITAL) programs, which connect Veterans to VA resources.  Thousands of colleges and universities are developing or expanding their Veterans Success Centers as a result of the VA’s VSOC and VITAL investments.  VSOC is currently located at 32 campus sites in 16 states and is expanding to additional campuses in 2013.

Founded in 1924, Nazareth College is located on a close-knit, suburban campus in the dynamic, metropolitan region of Rochester, N.Y. The College offers challenging academic programs in the liberal arts and sciences and professional programs in health and human services, education, and management. Nazareth's strong cultures of service and community prepare students to be successful professionals and engaged citizens. The College enrolls approximately 2,000 undergraduate students and 1,000 graduate students.

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